I was speaking to a client about marketing yesterday. He was keen to get some marketing done for his Manhattan-based business, but was quick to stress that he wants “to be honest with his customers”.
Isn’t that sad?
“Marketing” in today’s world seems to have a stigma against it. To “market” something is to deceive a non-buyer into purchasing a substandard product that they don’t want or need.
By and large, I would agree with this stereotype of marketing. When an infomercial comes on the TV, I find myself reading between the lines, trying to find out how exactly that particular company is trying to screw me over. I wait for the typical fast-paced deep voice at the end that reels off facts they have to share by law but would rather not. “Buy now for just $15!” is quickly followed by “terms and conditions apply, must be bought in packs of three, subject to $30 shipping and handling” and so on.
Wikipedia says that Marketing is “the process by which companies determine what products or services may be of interest to customers”. I encourage all fellow marketers to remember this fact, so that my client in Manhattan and many others like him can rest easy when he contacts marketers that they will use an upright, honest approach to what should ultimately be an act of helping others.