Byron Sharp would like you to know that almost everything you’ve learned about marketing is wrong.
Here’s the real truth, according to the University of South Australia marketing professor, 20% of your brand’s biggest buyers don’t really account for 80% of sales. These “loyal” consumers aren’t really that loyal. The best way to grow is to get more sales from people who care even less about your brand than the loyalists.
There’s more: Buyers of different brands are fairly similar despite all your most obsessive data segmentation efforts. People rarely hear your “reasons to believe” and don’t believe them anyway. They’re more likely to buy based on emotion and because your marketing has drilled into their memories with well-worn brand characteristics like logo, colour, scent or old ad taglines.
Byron uses the expression that we’re all polygamist consumers. We’re loyal, but within a range of things, which is why people have two or three types of shampoo in their shower.
Sharp believes that we need to recognise that a brand’s consumers come and go, so winning means winning more often and requires broad reach. The implications are massive for loyalty programs, surgical online targeting and influencers – they are too small to be of consequence.
To get an interesting counter argument, have a read of anything by Marketing Professor Mark Ritson who believes that absolutes sit uneasily in the ever-changing, heterogeneous world of marketing.