Why Promotion is Frequently Ignored in Marketing

There’s a song that I remember from my old Boy Scout Camp Songbook that we’d sing to the tune of Auld Lang Syne:

The fish, it never cackles ’bout

it’s million eggs or so,

The hen is quite a different bird,

one egg-and hear her crow.

The fish we spurn, but crown the hen,

which leads me to surmise:

Don’t hide your light, but blow your horn.

it pays to advertise.

Yet, for some reason, the promotional side of marketing tends to get ignored and maligned even by those in charge of marketing strategy. Maybe it’s because many of us were indoctrinated that humility is a virtue while pride was a vice. I think in many cases, people view promotion as an “expense” rather than an “investment” – throwing a party rather than building lasting business capability.

St. Humility transporting bricks to the monastery.
[SOURCE] Painting by Pietro Lorenzetti, work is public domain.

Marketers will be familiar with a common, “Build it and they will come” mentality that some product creators and business owners have. They think all it takes is yet another feature, or capability, and then we will get more customers.

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