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Saturday, April 23, 2005


David Cowan

Dear Freddie

While I don't want my comment to come over aggressively what I wrote in Market Leader has been completely misinterpreted and misunderstood. I was certainly not suggesting that suppliers should arrogantly demand that customers fit the way they do business to make life easier for suppliers. What I was writing about concerned the end-objective of marketing which is to increase profitable revenue. The customer behaviour change I was talking about was the purchasing or usage behaviour change that leads to increased revenue.

Your comment says: "A responsive supplier would change it's behaviour to meet my needs and aspirations not the other way around". Absolutely. The responsive supplier changes its behaviour in order to either gain new brand users or increase frequency of use or increase the loyalty of its customers. Of course more than one of these may pertain. Marketing needs to be clear, but often isn't, about which purchasing and usage behaviour change it seeks to bring about. It then needs to identify the variables that need to change that will bring this about and how these variables should be used.

Behaviour change is what marketing is all about yet it is not even mentioned in the Marketing Society's manifesto - this is what my short article was saying.



PO Box 38290


Human behavior is human behavior. It cannot be changed, it is immutable. If you want to influence someone's actions (i.e.: to buy) you have to work within the framework of their existing behavioral tendancies. This is pure science. For example, people arrive at all decisions based on a process of elimination, including buying decisions. That means the marketer's mandate is to facilitate the decision-making process...to "shepard consumer behavior."

That's the trouble with words. I believe you and Freddie are saying the same thing--you just used the wrong words.

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