One-to-One Marketing and the "Shot Heard 'Round the World"
Bobby Thomson, the New York Giants' third baseman, stands poised in the batter's box. In the bottom of the ninth inning, in the final game of a playoff, his team trails the Brooklyn Dodgers 4 to 2, with two men on base. Dodgers' pitcher Ralph Branca's fastball hurtles toward him. Mr. Thomson swings, he connects, and the ball sails over the left-field wall and into history.
That home run capped an unprecedented comeback by the Giants, propelled the team to the 1951 World Series, and secured Robert Brown Thomson's name in American lore. Months shy of its 50th anniversary, Mr. Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World" echoes ever louder ...
—Joshua H. Prager,
The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 31, 2001
At a direct marketing conference several years ago, I heard a Peppers and Rogers Group MBA go on about taking care of customers' needs on a one-to-one basis. When it came my turn to speak, I quoted the late economist Herbert Stein who said: "I never forgot what my old professor Frank Knight said. 'People don't want their wants satisfied. They want better wants.'"
I said direct marketers don't deal with needs. We create wants. I need gas for the car. I want a Jaguar. The Jaguar people, however, have not made me want a Jaguar badly enough to figure out how to either pay for it or convince my wife, Peggy, that having one would be a neat idea. The fact is, product managers satisfy needs; direct marketers create wants.
Following my talk, the Peppers and Rogers MBA unctuously gushed that she had never heard anyone articulate the difference between wants and needs. The Peppers and Rogers marketing premise is summed up in the subtitle of their publication 1 to 1: "Using technology to manage customer relationships."