5 marketing lessons from Warren Buffett

1. A truly great business must have an enduring “moat” that protects excellent returns on invested capital

Product/service design, communications and strategy should build a moat for your business. By definition a moat offers protection in the form of a competence that is unique, difficult to copy and gives you competitive advantage.

2. In line with Berkshire’s owner-orientation, most of our directors have a major portion of their net worth invested in the company. We eat our own cooking.

Do you eat your own cooking? Do you send out the type of communications that you would bin or read? What about your agencies, do they practice what they preach?

3. [W]e try to stick with businesses we believe we understand. That means they must be relatively simple and stable in character.

KISS – Keep it simple stupid. Don’t try and bedazzle and confuse your customers. Make your services and marketing easy to use, comprehend and buy.

4. Never trade reputation for money.

Bribing customers is a sign of lazy marketing. Sure it works for a while but offering 20% cash-back is just another race to the bottom. Tribes are built through trust and interest, not bribery.

5. A reputation creates a consumer franchise that allows the value of the product to the purchaser, rather than its production cost, to be the major determinant of selling price

True marketing isn’t just about push and pull triggers, it’s about values and communication at a H2H (human to human level). The best marketers build and market exceptional products that customers value – it’s what Apple have done so well.

If you’re interested in Warren Buffett I highly recommend the Intelligent Investor which Buffett both approves on and contributed to.

David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

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