February 05, 2015

Marketing: From Sales To Sociology

Now that the U.S. educational system is unable to educate our children, they have redefined their mission.

They are no longer in the business of teaching readin', writin', and ‘rithmetic. Instead, they are in the business of instilling values, and fostering expression. In other words, their mission has evolved from education to sociology.

The marketing world is headed in the same direction. This is why reading essays about marketing in business journals or attending marketing conferences is such an exasperating experience.

The marketing chatterers no longer seem terribly concerned about the selling of goods and services. Instead, they are obsessed with relationships. We are flooded with nattering about conversations and engagement, co-creation and “dialogues.”

It is the rare marketing article or talk that even mentions the words “product” or “selling” anymore.

The reason for this transformation is that it helps us avoid the one thing we hate most -- accountability. It is far more dangerous to measure sales than to measure the effect of “conversations.” We can hide behind “likes” and “followers” as indications of achievement even though it is pretty clear that the relationship between these "metrics" and customer acquisition is substantially nonexistent.

According to Mark Ritson, Assoc. Professor of Marketing at Melbourne Business School, the prevalence of articles about social media is 10 times out of proportion to its actual business importance.

I am pretty certain that an understanding of sociology is useful in marketing. But I am equally certain that its prevalence in business media is, likewise, about 10 times out of proportion to its value.


Annie Pettit said...

Soooooo..... you don't want a relationship with your butter? :) (I don't!)

Stephen Eichenbaum said...

Correct again. And very depressing to work around.

Lee Foster said...

The thing about relationships is that whilst brands want to nurture ongoing, meaningful, life long ones (akin to marriage), sometimes you just want a one night stand (with a brand) - when will marketers understand this?

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

My husband and I watched the Super Bowl for different reasons. After 38 yrs of marriage, I finally became interested in football just as he has lost interest due to many reasons, not least among them Over-the-top showmanship on & off the field, NFL tax breaks as a non-profit org & the NFLs hypocritical stances on injuries of any kind and domestic violence.
I agree with him on all counts but am always curious about the ads. The toe fungus ad doesn't show a fully healed foot, did you notice? Maybe it doesn't work all that well.
AS for Idina Menzel, I am in the camp that turned off her when "Let It Go" became a mega-hit. Fingernails on a chalkboard.
You left out the ever annoying C&W component with the opening act by Carrie Underwood following in the footsteps of her hero, Faith Hill. Ugh. ugh & more ugh.

Frank Grasso said...

I cant read marketing magazines anymore, every second article is about a customer journey that no one can actually define. I think that the marketing profession can use an overhaul.

Frank Grasso said...

i am not sure that I have a relationship with my wife. I certainly dont have one with a brand.

I do however buy many brands

Shanghai61 said...

I want the same kind of relationship with my shampoo that I have with my postman. Just do the damn job, and I may tip you at Christmas.

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