This Guy Just Summed Up the Sad State of Advertising and Marketing In 18 Words

I love, love, love when I read something that is so succinct, so right-to-the-point and sure, I like it when it aligns with my own way of thinking, I mean c’mon, who doesn’t love that? Today that honor goes to Lars-Alexander Mayer. In a piece penned earlier this month entitled How to Start Creating the Change Advertising Needs, Mayer wrote the greatest 18 words I have ever read.

Well, they are the greatest 18 when strung together as he so eloquently and perfectly used them. I mean they are pure gold, poetic even.

They are:

“There is a huge discrepancy between what the industry thinks consumers want and what the consumers really want.”

I am sure — oh so sure — there are many reading this thinking something along the lines of: “But Steve, while I agree with you there is a discrepancy, surely this is a relatively new phenomenon, right? I mean advertisers and marketers haven’t always been this disconnected.” 

Um, hold that thought:

Jun 10, 2014, 01:46pm EDT – Forbes

65% Of Marketers Are Not Giving Consumers What They Want


Everyone knows of the infamous acronym that is K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Perhaps there are other variations I am not aware of but the meaning and intent and context remain the same: Don’t over complicate things but rather keep it simple.

Remember that while reading the following two excerpts, courtesy of and, respectively:

  • 35% of e-commerce executives plan to invest in creating a ‘seamless shopping experience’ across stores, web and mobile.
  • Study Shows Consumers Want Seamless Shopping Experience. The study found that 89% of consumers said it was important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is convenient for them, no matter which sales channel they choose.

Aug 19, 2019, 05:00am EDT – Forbes

Why Don’t Marketers Give Consumers What They Want?


The fact of the matter is, there are technology solutions available today that can help marketers design personalized customer experiences across channels—that is, they give the people what they want!

But the bottom line is always the bottom line, and if brands and their marketers want to live to see another day, they need to wake up and give the people what they want.

Oh wait, there is more, of course there is more.

Why? How? Rinse. Repeat. 

Why AND How does this keep happening? Why has this been going on or allowed to go on for so long? Lord knows if I dug deeper, there would be examples of this sort of disconnect between marketers & advertisers and consumers that go back to the Stone Age. Yes, the Stone Age.

So the questions begging, if not screaming to be answered is Why and How?

Let’s start with the Why.

Because marketers and advertisers are made up primarily of people who are in their own worlds and fiefdoms and believe they know what a consumer wants better than the consumer does themselves. Ok perhaps that is too broad of a stroke for I of course know not EVERY marketer and advertiser acts this way but sure as hell looks like enough do otherwise survey after survey would not show the same thing.

Consumers feel they are not being listened to… Again.

Now for the How. How does this keep happening, especially over such a prolonged period of time.

The How is just as easy to explain in my-not-so-humble opinion: Because they can. Because no one is “calling them on it.” Because there is no accountability. Because marketers and advertisers still “hit their numbers” en masse so what’s the problem? Nothing broken here that needs fixing. Move right along.

Overly simplistic in my explanations?

You’re damn right they are.

But. That. Is. The. Point.

Stop overthinking. Stop overcomplicating. And stop assuming you know what consumers want and actually give it to them.

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