Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.



Marketing's PR Problem

My friend Michael has been reading GrokMart -- thanks, pal -- and agrees with my wife's assessment of marketing (who's asked to remain nameless by the way... She's still smarting from a college essay I posted to a long-gone personal website that offered a humorous--or so I thought--take of the stress of trying to have a baby. I WON'T be posting that here.).

Michael's take on marketing:
Of course I've always been somewhat skeptical of marketing. My parents taught me as a child to realize that advertising was meant to play on my emotions. That I wouldn't necessarily be as happy with <fill in the blank toy> as the children depicted on TV. That the happy smiling beautiful people in cigarette ads in magazines weren't made happy by the cigarettes they were smoking...
You may be surprised, Michael, but I agree with you (except for the part where you named Satan as the first great marketer. Ouch.) My better half, for her part, tells me she's just tired of being made to feel lame because she doesn't have an endless supply of cash to go to every "Saturday Only!" sale that Meier & Frank and JCPenney and Mervyn's are trumpeting. Personally, I would like to get my hands around the neck of the person who first promoted shopping as a leisure activity.

I DESPISE advertising that manufactures need. I think much of the advertising aimed at kids borders on the unethical.

But that's not marketing.

Not the essence of it anyway. Marketing is much more than promotion. It's also about developing products and services that meet a need, pricing them at a level the market can bear, placing them where they can be found, and staking a brand position in the market that differentiates them from the competition. The essence of all these things is facilitating the connection between buyer and seller.

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