Marketing is on Strike!
It’s well known that, many times consumers are manipulated to acquire products or services they do not need, just because of marketing. Impulse buying (1) is due to marketing. Sometimes, people are disappointed by their shopping because they were deceived. They are encouraged to buy because marketing announces a price with “,99” making the consumer believe that he’s paying less. Marketing often hides important information and, if in certain situations that’s hidden, in other situations it’s not even provided, hence there are more and more sellers without proper training. Every day, consumers are exposed to tens, hundreds and thousands of ads because of marketing… on TV channels, on radio channels, on the internet, muppis and now, even on mobile phones… ads on social networks are carefully selected and appear on personal profiles, while at the same time, you don’t understand very well how search engines inform social networks that you’re looking for a product or service that meets your needs. But who is to blame after all? Marketing.
However, this guilt that professionals carry all day, only happens in Marketing. Because, no patient will blame Medicine for not being well treated by a doctor. No client will blame Law if a lawyer doesn’t defend him successfully in court. If a child fails in getting good results, no one blames Maths or Portuguese. And if a building was poorly designed, let’s not blame Engineering or the Architecture, at the most we’ll blame the architect, but never Architecture.
Now let’s imagine this scenario: Marketing will be on Strike. Let’s abolish brands, labels, logos, colours and slogans. Let’s eliminate labels, the information on products, close shops, warehouses, supermarkets, hypermarkets and online shops. Let’s end up after-sales service. Imagine that Marketing goes on strike and won’t listen to people’s needs anymore, won’t develop new products or services and will cease improving them. And if there’s no need to improve, it doesn’t make sense to benchmark nor be better than other competitors, hence the consumer will only have a product or service available, you will have to settle for that product / service with a fixed price. Will no longer exist strategies, planning, market studies, and goals. From now on, everything produced in a country, will remain in that country, and internationalisation will no longer exist… and if there is no internationalisation, possibly there won’t be any tourism. And speaking of tourism, there’re also dozens of other areas. With marketing on strike, we’ll finally live in a homogeneous society, where everyone does the same thing, wears the same clothes, drives the same cars, eats the same thing and no longer have their individuality nor personal tastes.
Don’t you believe it? So, imagine you are thirsty and you want to buy a juice, you get into a store without a name and white walls, and you’re faced with dozens of juice cans with no label nor information, having only a set price. You take two cans, one in each hand, and you can’t decide which juice will quench your thirst and at the same time, sweeten your taste.
So, thank you to all marketing professionals that have to listen, and study people’s needs every day (because consumers are above all people). Thank you to all the marketers who try to make their products or services the best. Thank you to all the marketers that try to find a fair price for their customers, yet still have that to enter in competitive wars. Thank you to all marketing professionals who fight every day for a position in the market, at home and abroad, to all those who pursue goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual basis. To all those who must plan, validate, approve, manage and still take the blame… the blame that comes from a superior hierarchy in companies, work colleagues, friends who joke about “because you are from marketing” and even the consumer they don’t know at all. Thank you to all marketing professionals who are also warriors, and have to deal with pressure, anxiety and uncertainty in a market that changes every day.
Nevertheless, professionals are people and people also fail. And as previously mentioned, there are also bad doctors, bad lawyers, bad teachers and bad architects. And yes, there are also bad marketing managers. But it’s people’s fault… not their work field.
Therefore, to all good marketers… thank you for existing.
MA Marketing Course Leader
London School of Design and Marketing
(1) Spur of the moment, unplanned decision to buy, just before a purchase.