It's Just Marketing.....HONEST!
edited: Saturday, September 07, 2002
By Bob Pladek
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2002
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Marketing? Honesty? The search.
I thought it’d be a hoot to do an article about marketing and honesty, “hoot” because that’s something my newest netWit buddie Marie Hawk likes to say. Her use of the term has caused me to rethink certain prejudices I had about people who use words like “hoot.” And I mean that honestly.
That I figured this would be one of those conundrum things is obvious; heck, I wanted it that way. I wanted written proof that Honest Marketing was as big an oxymoron as Paid Article Writer. Just because a lot of words follow these, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea---that I discovered something unique.
I couldn’t find ANYONE, ANY VENDOR, ANY 22 YEAR OLD MARKETING GENIOUS MILLIONAIRE who came right out and said, honestly, that lying was integral to marketing success. The closest I got were a couple of decent articles on how to control hyperbole to one’s advantage (“selective honesty in marketing”), which sounds pretty noble until you think about it for about 30 seconds. The articles took less than 15 seconds EACH to read.
Me still being a student, albeit an ancient one, I tried the definitional route: My favorite on Marketing:
“Marketing is the art of selling people what you want to sell them, at the price you want to sell it, all the while making them believe they wanted it at more than the price they paid.”
The best definition of Honesty I found reads thus:
“Honesty is the practice of not withholding valuable information that the holder believes could influence another person’s decisions or situation.”
Not near so charming, but that’s where honesty gets ya. You can try, if you’d like, to put them together, but it’s a bear, man. My two best shots at it resulted in
Honesty is the transmission of valuable information so late in the sales process as to not affect what is essentially a done deal.
Marketing is the process of withholding valuable information until its so late in the sales process as to not affect what is essentially a done deal.
As a sloganeer of the first and worst kind, I was curious whether anyone had utilized what I consider to be incredible eBook /article titles to promote the advantages of honest marketing. Here are 10 that I tried, NONE of which got a Google hit.
By the way, Mr. Dare……these are MINE…………..©
“Honesty equals profit”
“Making money with honesty”
“Why being honest pays”
"Making Honesty Work for You"
"Honestly, Honey, I made some Money" (I love THIS one…)
"Make a Million Being Honest"
"Make a Thousand Being Honest"
"Make a Hundred Being Honest"
"Make a Couple of Bucks, anyway, Being Honest"
"Ok, so don't be honest and screw people over. See if I care."
There actually were some hits on on a search for “Honesty in Marketing.” 64 of them. You can imagine my joy when one of those returns was titled: “Your Ad Seen By Millions.”
Honesty ITSELF is a difficult concept to get ahold of, far more difficult than Marketing. I base this inane conclusion on my search of “honesty”, which netted me 1.4 million hits; and “marketing” which garnered me 14 million. In my experience, anything that takes 10 times as long to talk about is ten times LESS complicated than what its being compared to. I have attended a lot of seminars. I know from whence I speak.
Both honesty and marketing involve some sleight of hand, but in the former you’re OFFERING a hand; in the latter instance you’re REMOVING a hand from a pocket surreptitiously as possible: certainly, ideally, with a better than 50/50 chance of being able to remove it again, and soon.
The Tao guys have a lot of problem with this question of pure honesty. Case you were wondering. Then again, they have a lot of problems with every question. The good news is that they all smile a lot, and don’t seem to care about their lack of answers to anything. I had a boss like that. He was so efficient he didn’t bother thinking about whether there WERE any answers or not. So long as mine didn’t turn out to be wrong. When they were right, they were his.
So we don't have an ideal world. If we did, I’d be really wealthy.
Oh, and products would be described completely and totally objectively. Problem is that such a system doesn’t impart enough information. The truth (ha!!) is that our psyches require subjective judgement. That’s how people are elected President, and why all women marry so poorly (and at all.) Beyond the great joys of blind faith, we also thrive on knowing we’ve been lied to. Gives us something to DO. To SAY. To…..write about? To justify one lawyer for every 200 people in America. And let’s be honest (haHA!): in a world of increasingly limited resources, which is fiscally and environmentally more responsible---building better product, or writing better copy?
Web Site: Insincerious Business
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|Reviewed by A. Hack (Reader)
|Well, I, for one, seriously loathe Marketing and had the misfortune of studying for 4 excruciating years.
Philip Kotler's definition of it would be:
"It is the art of creating genuine customer value."
We try to one-up our competitors by making them look bad and call it a "Marketing Strategy". Then we cap them with a little piece of evidence from "Marketing Research"; come up with a lousy one-liner and call it a "Positioning Statement". I have yet to see an honest person make a million by telling them: "What we're selling you is the beta version of the product (meaning that it's still absolute crap) but we're selling it to you anyway because we believe we think that it's a clever way of disposing what we have... It's so clever it has become an art..."
Good, insightful article, Bob. Enjoyed reading this.