Why the Marketer Hates Marketing

This just-past election made things very clear to me.  Not only did it bring into focus the most crucial issue (see my group on Facebook about Life trumps Wealth), it clarified my personal conflicts about marketing.

We have elected a person to lead us who has no known skills except to know how how to market, or at least to be aware of the power of marketing and to know how to pick a good marketer.

This brought up all my personal, subconscious ideas about marketing.  Which are:

One, marketers basically lie to get what they want because they convince you that they have what you want.  This is the rather convoluted corollary of the maxim that we marketers are taught:  find out what people already want and find a way to give it to them.  In my mind I have taken it another twist to say that marketers will give people what they want no matter what they have to do, say or become to get it for them, just so they can make a profit.

Two, marketing is about getting money from people for yourself, not about providing what would benefit others.  Just because people want something doesn’t mean it is good for them.  Marketers, however, are not supposed to make that kind of judgment, just blindly provide what is desired.

Now, I am not saying my ideas are right, just that they have been the subconscious program that has driven my marketing for the past several years.  Proof that they likely are not right is that my marketing has been gloriously unsuccessful!

I have always thought/believed that I would try to provide people what they needed, what would be good for them, not just what they want.  That makes me arrogant and potentially all-knowing, I realize, and I apologize for that.  However, when you see lots of people that drugs are not helping and then watch a vitamin turn their life and health around, it is very difficult to keep passing out drugs when the vitamin brings health.  Somehow the Oath to “first do no harm” superceded the personal need to generate an income.  Altruistic, arrogant, poverty-producing for me, but helpful for the patient/consumer and that is what I thought medicine was about, at least for me.

I have always thought that money was not the all-important.  Consequently I treated people whether they had money or not.  I still find it difficult to charge people for services or knowledge that I have gained when they need it or ask for it.

Bottom line – my ideas about marketing and providing services and helping people have been all screwed up.

Here are some new ones I am working on, trying to get into the subconscious to write the new program:

1) Marketing is based on building relationship FIRST, not just finding out what people want.  This allows me to get inside of where people really are and discover what they are really thinking.  Maybe they really want what is good for them and not just the external thing that is not so good for them.  Maybe when I spend time and effort to really listen they will share their real thoughts and desires.  Maybe not.  Etiher way, we will have connected.  That is better than just marketing, though may still not pay the bills!

2) Marketing is me being me and letting people who want what I have find me.  This is the hard part for me.  First I have to be confident in who I am.  Second I have to be willing to let others see me as I am.  When I get there, products and services I market will be a reflection of me, not just some product lots of people seem to want.  This gets past the idea of lying.  In the context of relationship, this lets people know who I am just as I am learning who they are.  Again, connection has been made.

3) Money is just a means of exchange of value once the relationship has been established and maintained. It is a reflection, not a goal.  It is a symbol, a sign of approval, a sign of value and worth that must first come from within.

Friends in the Beginners Marketing Class are helping me with these concepts.  Feel free to join us and join the discussion.  Add your thoughts and insights and experience.  Maybe you can help straighten me out.

Meanwhile, I’ll go work on some more relationship building and become a better marketer.


Dr Jon

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