I know you hate marketers but face it, you need them
Well it’s official. People hate marketers, particularly those in advertising. Research by Roy Morgan has ranked advertising as the third most-hated industry across all professions. We’re more hated than union leaders and real estate agents, but just managed to scrape in front of journalists and car salesmen.
All I can say is thank god I don’t work with any car clients because with this article and an interest in marketing I might take the trifecta and actually be the most hated person in the world.
So why do people hate the profession in which I’m going to invest my entire career? I’ll probably agree with what you’ve got to say for the most part, but I should probably at least attempt to convince you otherwise.
Most people probably assume that marketers simply sell stuff to people who don’t want it or don’t need it, right? I’ve heard everything from brainwashing to creating needs from nowhere to using subliminal advertising on children to make them smoke cigarettes. It probably doesn’t help either that the word “telemarketer” has the word “marketer” in it because, let me tell you, what those people do is not really marketing. While research is certainly an important part of a marketer’s job, unfortunately there are only a few legitimate ones out there and even then they’re not really helping our case by calling you just as you sit down for dinner.
Then there’s ads. I think most people are pretty happy with the majority of advertising, and realise how important it is, but those ads screaming at you that they’ve just over-ordered millions of RUGS! RUGS! RUGS! and have to sell them for nothing aren’t really giving us a good rap either.
Although people hate marketers and advertising, I think they’re genuinely interested in what we do. American television series Mad Men, currently airing on SBS Thursdays at 8.30pm, has had phenomenal success. But even then they portray us as chauvinistic pigs who spend most of the day drinking, smoking and sleeping with receptionists.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The Gruen Transfer was immensely popular, and while it simplified things a little it didn’t portray us too badly overall. (I’m not sure about that Russel Howcroft bloke though.) Apparently, as a result of the show. applications into marketing degrees across the country have boomed, so we can’t be doing too badly.
So before you must make up your mind about what we do for a living, just remember without advertising there is no newspaper, radio or The Punch. Television also gets the boot. Even to those who buy the DVDs, well, it’s marketers who are responsible for making sure they’re sitting on the shelf at the retailer. It’s also going to be hard to pick your favourite groceries if they’re all in plain white packaging with black text listing their ingredients.
The list goes on and one quickly realises that marketing is a necessity. I’ll be the first to say there’s a lot of terrible marketing out there but there’s also a lot of a good stuff going on too. While you might see promotions for a cigarettes, alcohol and cars that are slowly killing the environment every day, we do more than just advertising lethal products.
Earth Hour is a great example of the positive that can come from marketing efforts, likewise for the recent World Blood Donor Day campaign for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Not just when it comes to charities, but a lot of businesses offer good valued services and products, and without advertising and marketing they couldn’t exist. Not all of us are evil.
So next time I’m meeting you and I say that I studying marketing, please don’t scoff and tell me that that rubbish doesn’t work on you. Especially when you’re wearing a suit I could never afford, driving something more expensive than my HECS debt and drinking a premium imported beer.
Also please don’t tell me about this really funny ad you saw the other day, it’s just annoying.
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