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Okay, Not ALL Marketers are Evil. Just be a discerning consumer

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When tackling the topic of marketers being sinister (not in the ultra hip way that we members of the sinister cabal of BlogCritics are) at my blog an alert reader pointed out that I have been ragging on marketers in a rather one-sided way. (see BlogCritics sample rant)

Let me say this about that:

Everything is marketing ultimately. Any parent who has ever tried to get their kids to try broccoli has had to learn how to do it. I went to a seminar a while back where the presenter, Mikki Williams, defined marketing as:

… the transfer of enthusiasm from one person to
another.

I love this definition. I’m just saying that, as consumers, we should look to see WHY the marketer is so enthusiastic. Is it because they think you are a sucker who will give them lots of money for nothing if they just dazzle you enough as in the crushed lifesaver analogy or is there something that really has substance here that is worth considering spending your money on, as in Donna’s example of bird baths (which have been a HUGE hit in my yard with our severe drought), or my getting all misty eyed when I talk about the household cleaner and laundry pre-soak of the Gods, Basic H. (read about a real life marriage saving miracle cleaner here)

Sometimes people get money for marketing along with their transfer of enthusiasm, as I do for Shaklee (like the Hair Club for Men…I was a customer and loved Shaklee so much, I started my own business).

Sometimes people just feel the satisfaction of passing on great tips and get no money, like my mom does when she fills up my voice mail with blissful reports on the best chocolate ice cream ever or a restaurant review that caught her eye.

Heck, I’m even marketing to you my beliefs about what I think makes a good life.

Marketers aren’t evil. But some do think you are a schmoe and aren’t treating you with respect.

And, let’s be fair: Some of you may be lured by sugar, and maybe you don’t deserve respect. It’s a free market economy, baby, and people have a right to exploit you if you are willing to pay for crap.

Laura Young is a personal development and business coach. She is a contributing author to A Guide to Getting It: Purpose and Passion and Become Your Own Great and Powerful: A Woman’s Guide to Leading a Real, Big Life. She has recently been featured on By, For and About Women and Artists First Radio. Learn more about Laura or visit her blog.

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About Laura Young

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    You’re a marketer too – all your posts are pure marketing – sugar candy et al

  • http://antwatching.blogspot.com/ Laura Young

    Well, I think I said that in my post, Aaman, very openly and honestly. Everyone is a marketer…of ideas, world views, material goods, philosophies. Heck, if you haven’t caught on yet, blogcritics is a marketing mecca with recommended books from Amazon on every darn post, not to mention the plethora of affiliate ads peppered all over the place. And why shouldn’t they get some remuneration for providing this forum for all of us to exchange ideas? It’s cool, valuable and everyone has to eat, right?

    We are all communicating, enthusiastically (some enthusiasm comes out as joy, some as anger, etc) about what we believe in and what we want to promote. Our goals for the promotion may be monetary or they may be spiritual or relational as we attempt to get our needs met.

    Anyone who has ever applied for a job HAD to market themselves in order to get hired, and every day you show up, provided you have a boss who pays attention and customers who care, you are marketing your value in order to retain the financial security the position affords you.

    And if you are self-employed, as I am, it works exactly the same way.

    There’s nothing _inherently_ evil about this or underhanded. I openly admitted that I market opinions and, on occassion goods and services when I think there are things people would like to know about because I think they are useful…I may promote my own goods and services, or the goods and services of others, including “competitors” when I think they are doing cool stuff. Anyone who posts anything at this, or any other blog who thinks they aren’t promoting something (if only a concept that they are someone who has interesting thoughts that people should read) is just kidding themselves.

    In fact, if you have something of value to share with others and don’t let people know about it…if they have a problem in some regard that you have part or all of a solution for and you are too hung up about marketing to share what you have, it’s just plain goofy. Many small businesses that have great potential to bring valuable services to people go out of business (look up SBA stats on failure rates) because they don’t know how to get on the radar screen.

    I see really entrepreneurial, creative and innovative people staying in agonizing jobs all the time because they find “selling” so aversive they would rather suffer under a bushel than step out in all their brilliance.

    Very sad and we all lose out on unique and inspirational people as a result.

    What I find REALLY interesting about your comment though is the “sugar candy et al” comment. I’ve been writing about suicide, disability, death, mortality, anticipatory grief, and mid-life crisis issues that are leading people to re-evaluate their lives in very deep and anxiety provoking ways. Sure, I do it with humor and sometimes I toss in funny things like the “How to be a Good Wife” post, but if you think this girl is about the sugar candy, I think you need to step up and read a little deeper.

    Thanks, Aaman, for allowing me to elaborate on this because it’s a hugely important topic for anyone who wants to step out in the world and create a life with their stamp on it and keep a roof over their head in the process.

    I hope others join in on the conversation here…it’s a complex topic.