April 14, 2010

Does Marketing Make You Stupid?

It's amazing how quickly otherwise intelligent people become knuckleheads when exposed to marketing.

I am often invited by clients to attend confabs about sales and marketing. Over the years I have met many staff members of these client organizations. Some have been in sales, some in operations, some in finance, some in manufacturing.

As many corporations will do, sometimes these clients will move people out of one area and into another. A smart sales person who is moved to manufacturing remains smart. A smart finance person who is moved to operations remains smart. But take someone out of any other department and put her in marketing, and she immediately becomes a cliche-babbling moron.

Suddenly, someone who used to have intelligent things to say is overcome by the compulsion to spout nothing but jargon.

Instead of talking about getting further information, she now talks about "deep dives."

Instead of dates, she now has "time frames."

All of a sudden her vocabulary is limited to "low-hanging fruit" and "messaging" and "transparency" and "hand-raisers" and, of course, "conversations."

What's going on here? Does marketing make you stupid? Can't you speak like a human being anymore?

Or is marketing an occupation that is so shallow and so obsessed with trendiness that you can't feel comfortable unless you think and sound just like everyone else?

For A Discussion Of...
...my post The Failure of Web Advertising, listen to this week's BeanCast.

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