I understand that people hate distraction and the chore of having to sort through junk mail and spam, but this isn’t marketing. I also understand that people hate being lied to, but this isn’t marketing either.
Marketing is targeting your audience, meaning you only approach those who have a reasonable likelihood of being interested, rather than bothering everybody. Marketing is when you word things for clarity, rather than being confusing. Marketing is highlighting those attributes of your product that customers are most interested in, rather than boring people with extraneous information they don’t care about. Marketing is formatting your message so it will be most useful to your customers, rather than taking out radio ads for those who can’t hear or taking out magazine ads for those who can’t read.
Sometimes marketers take advantage of psychological quirks of the customers, altering their decision-making – but if they didn’t do this, those quirks would still exist and the customers would still make “bad” decisions, falling prey to spontaneous memes such as superstitions, or falling prey to the marketing of the competition. Why not take advantage and guide them towards a product or service you believe will help them?
For example, it was discovered in the fifties that people would return some boxes of detergent complaining it was too strong and had damaged the clothes, and return other boxes of detergent complaining it was too weak and had failed to remove all the dirt. The contents of the boxes were identical. The only difference was that in the first case the company had used bright colors on the box and in the second case had used subdued tones. Given that people are irrational and refuse to listen to facts, why not just give them what they want by printing the box with some calming blue? That way everyone is happy. It is the job of the business to provide what people want no matter how unreasonable, not to tell them what they should want and how unreasonable they are being – that’s the job of their parents. It would be the height of arrogance for one to tell businesses what they shouldn’t provide and customers what they shouldn’t buy.
Marketing is not only science, it is art. It is one of the interesting activities that creative humans do, and celebrating creativity is the point of the InkDoodler blog. Marketing isn’t any more of a dirty word than medicine or counseling. It helps connect business and customers.