Have you ever heard anyone say "ah, but that’s just marketing."
Maybe you've even said it yourself.
“Just marketing”??? What does that phrase mean?
As I understand it, at best it is dismissive, a trivialization of marketing – as in, “it’s nothing important,” “nothing you should take seriously” – it’s just marketing.
At worst, it is synonymous for "it's a lie," or "they're just lying." As in “using Axe deodorant is not really going to make you popular with women – it’s just marketing.”
So “it’s just marketing” means either that the claims made by a seller are merely intended to entice you to buy something (a product, a service, an idea), but without much benefit to you; or that the benefits communicated are non-existent.
And when you think of the junk mail, the pop-up ads, the annoying commercials, greasy sales pitches, and sleazy bait and switch tactics, I understand where the disdain for marketing comes from.
But as a professor of Marketing (just marketing?), I believe that in trivializing or discounting marketing, we risk ignoring how important marketing is in our lives, how much of the meaning in the lives of consumers is a result of marketing, how bland our lives would be without marketing.
Our lives bland without marketing? Really?
I know, I know, standing behind marketing is not a terribly popular position to take. But I will take it often. My posts will generally be about the meaning of marketing, rather than the more common demeaning of marketing. Given its awful reputation, marketing, it seems, has not been very good at marketing itself. This blog is devoted to the awesome power of marketing.
Marketing is construed very broadly on this blog.
In general, most of us think of Marketing as a subset of human communication. But let’s give this some more thought for a second – isn’t all communication an attempt to persuade, to change the recipient in some way? Can you think of any human communication that is not intended to change the way people think or behave?
If not, maybe we need to reverse the order of that statement: Communication is essentially marketing.
So, even though this blog is about Just Marketing, as in only marketing, and nothing but marketing, we’ll take that as a pretty broad remit.