I'm with Mrs. Seamons

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Don's wife is beginning to hate marketers because "all marketing tries to do is sell you stuff that you don't need."

Don goes on to give an answer where he quotes Seth Godin ("the world's best-known marketer"—I'd quibble and say "one of the internet's well known marketers"):

Marketing is not about trickery or even insincerity. It's about spreading ideas that you believe in, sharing ideas you're passionate about... and doing it with authenticity. Marketing is about treating prospects and customers with respect, and realizing that it's easier to grow the amount of business you do with happy people than it is to find new strangers to accost.

I'm not buying it.

What Seth says, and what Don aspires to, may be true for some minority of marketers. I'd wager it's the most effective form of marketing, and the least soul-damaging for the marketer themselves. It might be what marketing should be, but it certainly isn't what it generally is in my experience.

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...

I've long thought that Lucifer was the world's first great marketer.

Contrast Seth's idealism with that of another (apparent) Internet marketing guru, Hugh MacLeod, as quoted on Don's blog:

Ordinary people actually aren't that different than ad agencies i.e. they're only going to tell your story if there's something in it for them. With ad agencies, it's easy—they just want the large wads of cash.

Which jives with the first hand testimony about one local marketer/promoter, Doug Wright, that I heard from his (Doug's) wife: put a dollar bill on his tongue and he'll say [aka market, promote] whatever you want...

So, Mrs. Seamons, I agree with you.

And Don, I'm sure she loves you for many reasons above and beyond your bill paying abilities. :-)

Updated June 22 to hide Don's wife's name since she prefers to remain nameless online.

—Michael A. Cleverly


Ben: [ mail | www | link ]

In thinking about starting a business, marketing has always been my main hurdle to get over. Unfortunately, in business marketing is a necessary evil, but it is usually more evil than it is necessary.

/me goes to delete spam from his inbox.

Mon, 20 Jun 2005, 22:30

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