December 15, 2017

Do You Suffer From Marketing Narcissism?

I learned a great new term several weeks ago in my most recent “From Napkin to Revenue” Workshop, I want to share this with you because it really gets to the root of so many product and marketing mistakes that companies make.  That word is:  Marketing Narcissism!   (Thanks David Orshalick for sharing that).

What is Marketing Narcissism?

Marketing Narcissism is doing marketing that is all about you, your company or your product.  Over the years, I have seen many examples of this.   This includes: Powerpoint presentations that start out speaking about how great your company is, marketing materials that talk about the executive team and their years of experience, advertisements that talk about how great your location is, descriptions of all of the features and functions your product can do, etc, etc.  While this information about your company or product can be useful at some point to establish credibility or proof, customers and prospects do not want to hear you brag about yourself.

What do customers want to know?

Customers and prospects want to know  that you understand them and the challenges they are facing and that your company can help them solve those challenges.  Our marketing messages need to be about them and not about us.

Marketing Narcissism in your products

Let me extend the definition of Marketing Narcissism beyond marketing messages and apply it to the products and services that we create and deliver to our customers.  When we create products or services that want to create (which occurs most of the time) versus creating products and services that our customers need to address their problems and challenges, we are practicing another form of Marketing Narcissism.

How to overcome Marketing Narcissism

To overcome Marketing Narcissism, we first need to speak with customers or potential customers and understand the challenges they are facing and the problems that they want to solve.  Then we create products or services that effectively address those challenges or solve their problems.   And then finally, we communicate marketing messages that speak about our customers/prospects and not about us.  In each of these steps, we go back to our customers (or potential customers) and test our ideas and messages with them to make sure that our products and messages resonate with them.

So remember, it’s not about us,

it’s about the Customer!


  1. Hi Kenneth – it really is basic and it is about the customer(s), but unfortunately, way too many companies, especially start-ups, don’t get this right.

  2. Sounds like a basic customer-based strategy..

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