Communicating meaningful information so people can make meaningful choices.
Let’s talk about the definition of ‘Marketing.’
It isn’t sales.
It isn’t some psychological mumbo jumbo of convincing people to do something they don’t want to do.
It IS about attitudes & behavior. That means … at its heart marketing should be about education.
And similar to our school systems I believe marketers have a similar responsibility as teachers … a responsible transfer of information.
That doesn’t mean, as a marketer, I have to always facilitate a debate on the positives of social democracy versus socialism in the marketplace with regard to adult diapers but it does mean marketers have a responsibility to speak the truth. Not nuances of the truth (or selective lying … or selective or partial truths).
So, in the end, I tend to believe marketing’s struggle will always reside within individuals’ definition of “meaningful information.”
And we shouldn’t be naïve enough to believe that even if everyone agrees with this definition that everyone will “get it right.”
In some cases people will make true mistakes based on “I think it should be ‘this’ versus you think it should be ‘this’.” <note: because whether we want to admit it or not … people in marketing are … well … people .. and not all people think exactly the same way … sorry about that>
On other occasions, someone will decide to try and communicate something unimportant and try to make it important (shame on you).
The largest error in our ways will be reflected in what I see is the biggest flaw in the marketers’ world.
The fact that most marketers delude themselves into shaping something <product or service … or worse … a ‘brand’> as unique when it is simply well crafted information (and not unique).
I believe marketing is ultimately about truth.
Maybe I am naïve but I believe common sense and honesty always ends up winning. False “uniqueness” is uncovered as emperors’ clothes in the end … so why not stake truth out, meaningful information, for all to see and let people make meaningful choices?
You are gonna have to do it anyway <because consumers are pretty smart people>.
In other words, educate people and they will judge what you say, your product,your company, your brand with an unjaded eye.
All that said. Here is a surprising definition (that is if you have done the math and uncovered the formula) … the definition of Marketing is … well … truth.