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What The Merovingian Can Teach You About Marketing




This is the single most difficult concept for most marketers in automotive to understand.  “Why” is the reason AutoTrader and run millions of dollars in ads on TV, then put only a fraction of that budget into real content that consumers go online to find “the expensive kind of marketing” as noted by Seth Godin in his book "All Marketers Are Liars" renamed "All Marketers Are Storytellers.”


“Why” is also the reason GM is failing at Facebook. They’re not asking “why” people even want to come to their social sites. They’re posting from within a bubble. “Why” is the reason people debate on Twitter whether they should use Adwords PPC or Facebook.  I absolutely love debates like these because they force people to think about "WHY” they believe what they believe... and “Why” is a much more important question than "WHAT". Ask the Merovingian, he knows.


Facebook or Adwords is not a choice; it's a question of message and intent...the “WHY”of it all.


What Ford and Scott Monty knows, that GM doesn't, is that people don't go to Facebook to find Ford or to find out "What’s going on at Ford"? The truth is, they don’t care!

People go on Facebook to keep up with friends and family and to discover things that are important to them, in other words, the "WHY” of what makes them visit a page. Ford and Scott Monty's team do a terrific job of producing content with that intent, the “Why” of it all, in mind.


People go on Google and other search engines to find things, that is their intent, their "WHY" and smart marketers buy keywords and write ads with that intent in mind. It’s a "WHY" question NOT a "WHAT" question...


It shouldn’t be "WHAT" are your goals from the platform?




WHY are they there?


And more importantly, how can your message fit the visitor’s “why”?


The Merovingian would be proud!


I hope this post has helped you think more about why than what. I will be discussing “WHY” and bringing a lot of data on this subject in my Digital Dealer Session in the Jamaica Room on Oct. 24thIn Las Vegas... 


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Tags: &, 13, AutoTrader, Autohook,, Chrysler, Conversion, DD13, Dealer, Digital, More…Digital Marketing (Organization Sector), Edmunds, Entice, Ford, GM, General Motors (Organization), Haystack, Hooklogic, Internet Marketing (Professional Field), Marketing, Moore, OnlineDrive, Optimization, Reachlocal, Scary, ShowroomMagnet, Toyota


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Comment by Larry Bruce on October 19, 2012 at 2:46pm

Thanks Ralph, 

All to often we get caught up in the "What" we want customers to do instead of finding out "Why" they are doing what they are doing or "Why" they are where they are. If we did go 5 layers of "Why" we would definitely begin to understand out customers better and that is who ultimately wins in marketing, the company that understand the customer best. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 14, 2012 at 11:10am

Larry, your post is thought provoking (as usual) and appreciated... Especially the embedded video clip! You also made me think of one of the first lessons I learned while working on projects for Toyota... "The Five Whys" are part of the "Toyota Way" and refers to the practice of going 5 layers deep into the question "Why?".  At no point along the way are the questions around "What?", "How?" or "When?" interjected until after you have sought out the reasons "Why?" five layers deep into a process, situation or issue being dealt with. 

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