Magazine article Marketing

What Will We Do to Change Minds over Marketing?

Magazine article Marketing

What Will We Do to Change Minds over Marketing?

Article excerpt

Two recent surveys by Marketing/NOP and The Marketing Society make grim reading. Inside the company, marketing has clearly lost its exclusive franchise as the advocate for the consumer, while the public sees marketers as the unhidden persuaders, who tempt people to spend money they haven't got on products they don't need. Marketers rank in public esteem down with MPs and estate agents.

The first part of the problem is probably a sad but inevitable by-product of marketing's own success in selling the concept within the company. If everyone is converted, who needs missionaries?

As for the public, it is ironic that we marketers, who list persuasive mass communication high amongst our special skills, have failed utterly to achieve an even half-way respectable public image.

I suspect there are two main reasons. First, our relevance to real life is not grasped. It achieves little to mouth off about 'wealth creation' or 'added value' to those who don't need it, and still less to those who believe none of it will accrue to them.

Second, we are victims of a national malaise, which is self-doubt: "They are trying to sell me something and I doubt if I have the judgement to evaluate the arguments or the confidence to reject the blandishments." Marketers, like salesmen and advertisers, are either dreaded, defensively derided, or both.

If we want our role as advocates for the consumer helping to bring them the products and the prices they want - to be recognised and believed, then surely we must do something about it; no one else will. …

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