Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 10, 2009 7:17 AM

The Success Of Marketing

"Unlike accounting or the law, marketing is not a profession. Anyone can call himself or herself a marketer. The absence of entry barriers allows for greater creativity, imagination and new ideas. But the flip side is that manipulation and deception of consumers by irresponsible marketers is all too common. Absent professional exams and codes of conduct, abusers of the marketing toolkit are subject only to the sanctions of the marketplace and the law. The vast majority of marketers are honest and respect their customers but, collectively, they need to work harder to expose and shut down the charlatans."

A very interesting and insightful article from Harvard Business Review titled, How Marketing Succeeded (But Still Fails To Impress),by John Quelch looks at how and why Marketing works, and how and why it still struggles to gain credibility and acceptance - within industry and from the everyday consumer.

Marketers do a terrible job of marketing "marketing" - both as a channel to communicate messages and as a great industry for a young person to get involved in and consider as a vocation.

"Even with these advances, marketers still do a surprisingly poor job of marketing Marketing. They do not appreciate, let alone articulate, the economic and social benefits of marketing. Marketplace exchanges are based on mutual trust between buyers and sellers. They create value for both parties. The billions of successful daily marketplace transactions are an important part of the glue that holds our society together. Good marketers offer consumers choices. Choice stimulates consumption and economic growth and facilitates personal expression. Good marketers provide consumers with information about new products and services, thereby accelerating their adoption. All these benefits are routinely overlooked as the 17 million Americans engaged in marketing, selling and customer service routinely try to fly under the radar of social critics and go about their daily work contributing brilliantly but often unknowingly to our quality of life."

The idea of marketing is one that has polarizing effects on people. Those engaged in the profession have a deep passion for both the creative and scientific processes that take place in developing, executing and optimizing brands, products, services and messages, and then there's the group of people of people who wished they never saw another ad again - not really understanding that advertising is only one (albeit large) facet of marketing overall.

Do Marketers need to do a better job of marketing "marketing"? What do you think?

By Mitch Joel