The World's Only Online Magazine Devoted Exclusively to the Business of Bowling
No doubt, you have heard about the recent crisis at Volkswagen.
Seems the good folks in Wolfsburg, Germany decided that the emissions
standards for their diesel engines weren’t quite right so they fraudulently
reported lower emissions and greenhouse gasses than they actually had.
They got caught and the CEO was forced to resign while the largest
automobile manufacturer in Europe, VW, with over a 50% market share has
just suffered the worst calamity a company can go through; loss of trust in
No doubt this will have far-reaching consequences for the global automotive
industry, as well as impacting the European economy, and perhaps the future
of the diesel and or gasoline internal combustion engine that has been
around since Karl Benz invented it back in 1897.
And it happened because VW forgot the cardinal rule of
“Marketing is no longer just advertising or PR or promotion or even
sophisticated digital marketing. If you still conflict and are uncertain
about present day marketing, please realize marketing is not all
communications, whether old school traditional or sophisticated digital
media. But rather:
Marketing IS THE PRODUCT!
Years ago, in the boardroom of the largest family owned bowling center
chain worldwide, I said, “Marketing is Everything.." I was greeted by jeers
from other department heads who thought I was saying that their “spheres of
influence were less relevant than mine.”
Of course, they misunderstood my words; they were, sadly, too myopic to
understand that what I was saying was that“the customer sees our centers
through his/her eyes...and the product is the marketing."
From the lanes, to the cleanliness of the bathroom, to the service we
provide, to the quality of the food and beverage to the lighting of the
parking lot, to the parking lot itself, to signage to the quality of house
balls and rental shoes and to many other elements they visually and
tactically perceive our quality and the value of their experience.
They do all of this processing, analyzing and concluding what our center,
and their experience, is or isn't in less than a second. Yikes!
And no amount or kind of advertising or promotion will overcome a bad
product. Ever. Can't fake it till you make it anymore. (See VW above!)
So the message for today is to make sure that all of the elements of your
“product” are your marketing?
Start with a checklist. What are ALL of the elements of your product? Then
rate them from 1 to 10 with 1 being BAD AND 10 being EXCELLENT. Then have
your employees rate the elements. Now ask your customers.
No doubt, you will get a very precise feel about your product and then you
can start to improve, over time, each and every element…almost assuring
that your marketing will be successful!