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Market Orientation: the Foundation of Effective Marketing

I’ve been involved in the value conversation throughout my career.

First, it began with nightclubs.

Experience was everything.

Value in nightclubs came in many different forms including price of entry and drinks, music, format, and night of the week.

When you got it right: value was on display and you’d make money.

When you missed the mark, you’d have an empty club, high overhead, and a depressing experience. 

At the EMP in Seattle, the value was still the primary point of conversation.

The examples here were focused on giving donors, guests, and VIPs something they’d never experienced before.

You had to be great. A Frank Geary designed building demanded it.

Our success was in using the expectation that the building created and using it as a jumping off point for an experience that folks had never had at a museum before.

We failed when we tried to be like other museums that were staid, stuffy, or not innovative.

Broadway was another unique experience.

What I learned there was that the experience begins when folks make the decision to come to NYC to see the theatre.

When we did a good job of talking about value and understanding needs and desires, we captured tons of value.

When we failed, we had lots of unsold seats and dissatisfied customers.

I point all this out because you need to understand value from the POV of your customers.

Your brand is built in the minds of your audience. They define the meaning and success of your value. Not you.

Our job is to see value through the lens of what our customers want. Then give them that.

This is called being market oriented. And, it is the essential first step in great marketing.