In a recent radio interview, I heard a comedian make an interesting statement. He was asked what his pet hates were. High on his list was marketing and people who worked in marketing.
The interview was part of a PR campaign, to promote [market] his latest stand-up comedy tour. He was genuinely, totally unaware of the irony.
I think I know what the comedian meant, though.
Some marketing really sucks
Hate is a strong word. However, there are parts of marketing that I hate. For instance, I hate the way junk food is deliberately marketed at kids. I hate the way tobacco companies market cigarettes, to encourage more people to smoke. And I think pretty-much everyone is sick and tired of all the spam and cold calls we receive, from people pushing junk at us.
In each of those cases, marketing is used to motivate people to make bad decisions. There are lots more examples too. And it sucks. It really sucks.
As a result, many business owners are conflicted about marketing. Their negative feelings about some of the marketing they experience, becomes a barrier to the promotion of their own business.
It would be easy to hate marketing, if that’s all marketing did. But it isn’t.
Marketing is so much more than that
Marketing is also used for good. And we see examples all day every day.
Marketing is used to encourage people to make better lifestyle choices, through public health campaigns. It’s used to motivate people to use their democratic right to vote. It’s used to promote the good works of charities. It’s used to educate children on how to stay safe online. It’s used to help small business owners build rewarding businesses. It’s used to encourage people not to drink and drive.
Here’s the thing: Marketing is neither good or bad. It’s what you market and how you choose to market it, which defines how people feel.