Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

The Tip Of The Iceberg Is What the Customer Sees

Marketing is a Bit Like An Iceberg & The CustomeIceberg Marketingr Only Sees The Finished Article

They don’t see what is under the surface and most often they aren’t interested in the blood, sweat and tears you’ve spilled. 

It is a bit like when a chef creates a fantastic meal.  You don’t see all the ingredients they use.  Of course some are very obvious but many are in small quantities and add to the wonderful flavours and aromas created.  When I create a meal in my kitchen I use several “secret sauces”, tips that I’ve been taught over the years and have a process where all the ingredients are first assembled before cooking commences.  Chef’s call this mis en place. 

But my guests only see the bit that arrives on the plate. They don’t see any skill I might have or long hours learning how to cook or the mis en place process that takes place in my kitchen. They don’t see the sourcing of ingredients, the washing, chopping and dicing that goes on. 

It is this hidden bit that takes most time.  


Marketing’s Secret Sauce


It is the same with the products and services we have to market.  The customer doesn’t see the hours of work or skill put into producing them.  

For example if you want a widget on a website it might take days or weeks to produce the code.  It might have taken years to learn how to write the code.  But on the website all we see is what happens when we click a tab or fill in a form. 

Often far more than 90% of the time spent on a project is hidden “below the waterline”. 

Our customers want value for money, they want quality and a load of other benefits.

The thing is if they can’t see them we need to make them obvious. 

So in a restaurant the chef will market locally sourced products and put them on the menu. They will put photographs of wonderful ingredients on their website and maybe even on the walls of the restaurant. Then when they explain quality it is far easier for the customer to appreciate it. You see it is easy for a customer to forget quality  .. often they only notice when it is absent.  So our job, as marketers, is to subtlety make it obvious.       

Top chefs have for years used the “chef’s table” as a way to allow a handful of selected customers to view what is going on in the kitchen.  It is subtle in that you say nothing .. but you allow the customer to observe.  With the growth in cookery programmes customers have come to almost expect this these days. It is a successful way to demonstrate the magic that is being imparted in to dishes.  So good is it that more and more restaurants now remove the end wall of the kitchen so that the public can see through from the dining area.   


Display More of Your Marketing Iceberg

Your business will benefit from allowing customers to experience the magic you impart into your products or services. You task is to work out how to show more of the 90% hidden below the waterline.  Take a tip from the top chefs and work out what you are hiding.  Do that well and your sales will grow.  Fail to do it and your competitors will steal the lead from you. 


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2 Replies to “The Tip Of The Iceberg Is What the Customer Sees”

  • Mike,

    I can’t fault your German or logic when it comes to how laws are made. But I’m not so convinced by the same argument when it comes to the production of software. It rather depends on the audience. Showing them how you have sourced the logic for some of the functionality could maker a great story that enhances the sales process. I know some developers that will ask an audience what they want from a piece of software before they even get started. They then engage them in the beta testing process. The benefits can be huge, especially if they then use them as advocates and boost sales that way.

    Going back to laws; these are not products, and my argument focuses on sales so doesn’t include laws. If I were trying to sell products or even commodities today I’d try to get my audience on side and advocating my product. It is what restaurants do when they talk about provenance and food miles etc. Look at what Waitrose are doing in the UK with their farm products. They are telling a story and getting prospects involved in the story behind the production of the milk, meat, eggs etc. they sell. It’s great marketing and gets them high profile coverage PLUS sales.

  • “Je weniger die Leute darüber wissen, wie Würste und Gesetze gemacht werden, desto besser schlafen sie nachts.”
    Which is usually translated as

    The less people know about how sausages and laws are made , the better they sleep at night .

    A view I endorse. All software I produce was compiled or encrypted. Amateur, ill-informed comments never improve the product but they do detract from the prime objective – To do the task intended

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