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Milk: Food for marketing thought or why I am intolerant of some marketing people?

Something kept me away from blogging all these years. But my recently diagnosed Lactose intolerance triggered a sudden reaction.

I often hear Marketing being mentioned as if it is the exact same thing as Marketing Communications. Even by some acknowledged experts! Marketing for many begins AFTER a product or service is created. And, this makes me Marketing intolerant.

Let me get to the point. I have been trying to get a good refreshing cup of coffee with Lactose free milk for nearly six weeks in Sydney. Every cafe I go to, I ask, “do you have lactose free milk?”. They offer me Soy. I hate the taste and weight of Soy more so when they call it milk.

One day, I spotted a coffee shop in a Westfield mall with a tetra pack of “Liddle’s” lactose free milk sitting on the bench behind the coffee machine . I rubbed my hands in glee. But. the joy was short lived. The barista told me that the milk was left there by a regular customer (imagine THAT?)

I have since checked out some of the best coffee places in town and no one does lactose free milk!

What’s all this got to do with Marketing you might ask.

Well what if the barista made my coffee with the milk he already had and sent his aide to fetch another pack from Coles (which was located just across the floor). He would have won me over. And, what if the next day, he put up a new sign saying: “Lactose free milk (not Soy) now available” for all those Soy shy people like me. He would have made a killing and many more regular customers. All for an investment of $2.50!

Marketing is about sensing a market need and responding to it. In the process, delivering satisfaction and value to the the consumer and profits to the business. It is not just about Marketing Communications. We seem to spend a disproportionately large amount of time on creating awareness as compared to meeting customer needs.

When are we marketers going to be more tolerant to this view?

P.S. If you are a coffee chain, wanting to grow your market, do give me a call on +61425 254 659. It will add the goodness of milk to both our businesses.

About Mahesh Enjeti

Mahesh Enjeti is the Managing Director, SAI Marketing Counsel and Advisor to Bubblefish Creative Brand building. He combines his rich management and marketing consulting expertise and experience to make a difference to his clients' businesses. He develops brands, nurtures them, builds them, and restores them when they are on a decline. Apart from being a marketing practitioner, consultant and educator, Mahesh is a prolific writer and presenter. See his LinkedIn profile at
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