There are many different strategies you could take in advertising a product or service, but all of them fall under one of two categories: self-promotion or service. The key difference surrounds listening.

Self-promotion is characterized by statements like: “This is my product/service, it’s great, you should buy it”. Service-base-based thinking asks the question: “What does my audience want or need?” and then communicates in light of those responses.

It’s easy to do the former because it’s natural to focus on ourselves. But I’d argue that it’s a small view of advertising.

The alternative, although preferable, is scary. Asking people what they want will not only affect your advertising, it can change the very product or service you are putting out there. It’s a gamble of risk and reward…a very worthwhile one.

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.