How To Stop A Marketer Dead In His Tracks

31 10 2011

Last night my oldest daughter, Becca, and I stopped in Amarillo the view the balloon “glow” being held in conjunction with the Pirates of the Canyon event. We enjoyed seeing the operators fire up the jets, making their balloons glow in the dark chill. And I, of course, was in heaven trying to capture it all on my Canon.

But as we headed back to the van, I noticed that one of the corporate balloon sponsors had an impressive RV on the lot, awning out and LCD TV showing the World Series via one of the underbelly bays. I love RVs and camping, and was drawn to the majesty of this rig. It was at least a 40-footer. Fully-on body wrap touting the sponsor’s logo. All the bells and whistles.

I told Becca how these Prevost buses start at $1 million and go up. Way up. I joked, “So do you think we should we should get one of these?”

She wasted no time in reply. “No. We already have one.”

I was stunned. Here’s a kid whose middle name is Gimme. My close friends know that her angst-filled life has become mine as well (such is the lot of being 14…and a parent of one). But there she was, completely out of the blow sounding like she had all the wisdom of Solomon in her still-forming cerebral cortex. Holy crap. Four words that could send any marketer to his instant demise. Words that basically tell any marketer where to go, and oh, by the way, here’s a road map.

To be honest, we don’t own a Prevost. While part of me still fantasizes of being a rock star (and all the trappings thereof Nickelback so eloquently crooned), my life for now is much simpler. Yes, we have an RV, but it is a very modest one. A paltry 31-feet. No marble floors. No TVs in the underbelly bays. A manual awning. Paid-for and actually cost less than a shiny new Ford F-350.

Maybe, just maybe, Becca is absorbing some of the lessons her marketer father has been preaching. That in spite of the fact that I teach people how to take other people’s money, we really do not necessarily need everything that marketers dangle before our eyes. Even if that million dollar ride might be nice.

We’re pretty dang cheap when it comes to vehicles (we always buy used, and keep them maintained until they fall apart on the driveway). We value our experiences more than we value our possessions.

Marketers tease us with bling and glamor, hope and fear. They try to convince us that we are unhappy (or should be) with our current product, and that a shiny new replacement will make us feel much better. That we really do need six when 1 or 2 will do. It’s an idiocracy, but we buy into the idea anyway.

But out of the mouths of babes oft come gems. Becca uttered the four most powerful words any consumer can say to a marketer. We. Already. Have. One.

And even if you don’t, they’re good words to keep at the ready, for they are the ultimate buzz kill for any marketer intent on spinning his web of persuasive speech.

Yes, that was a Proud Papa moment last night. I just hope I can remember to use it the next time Becca asks me to buy something for her. And I hope I can remember to use it the next time a marketer ask me to buy something for my sake…and for his.

Dr “No Sale” Gerlich



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