Four Lessons in Marketing

   Henry Ford is supposed to have said: “We can sell the Model T at such a low price only because it earns such a nice profit.”
   Of the top marketing lessons for the highly competitive twenty-first cen- tury, the most crucial one is that buying customers doesn’t work. The collapse of the Hyundai Excel was a spectacular marketing failure. There was nothing wrong with the car. But the company had greatly underpriced it. As a result, it had no profits to plow back into promotion, service, dealers,
or improvements to the car itself.
   How to define the market is the second lesson—the lesson of what was both a marketing success and a major marketing fiasco: the conquest of the American market by the fax machine. The Japanese did not ask, “What is the market for this machine?” Instead they asked, “What is the market for what it does?” And they immediately saw, when looking at the growth of courier services such as Federal Express, that the market for the fax machine had already been established. The next lesson is that marketing starts with all customers in the market rather than with our customers. The final lesson is that of the success of the new “pastoral” churches by exploiting demo- graphic changes as a marketing opportunity.

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