Marketing Is Not An Ego Massage


Marketing is not an easy profession. It is actually pretty freaking hard.

The job of a marketer is to persuade people that they need something. Or someone. And then sell it to them.

How easy is it to...

Get a 4-year-old to eat carrots?

Get into Harvard?

Get a job?

Get married?

Get someone elected?

Get someone to literally buy whatever it is that you sell?

All of these things involve marketing. And if they were so easy, we would all be rich, happy and retired.

Yet the most popular misconception about marketing - after the belief that we are all a bunch of liars - is the idea that it is "all about the message." 

Meaning that if you can only find the exact right thing to say, your audience will believe you.

As if people are so stupid.

Believing that marketing is "messaging" is really just a form of ego massage.

"I am wonderful, here are the reasons, now I've succeeded in marketing to you."

A better way to think of marketing is like listening actively and then responding.

"How are you? Tell me about it."

And then when the customer has told you, and told you, and told validate what they've said.

"I hear that. You feel ---. You want ---. Let me see what I can do about that."

And then you do it.

While it is true that people often can't articulate what they want, it is also true that they don't want you to "message" them.

Marketing is listening. It is ego-free.

If you do it properly, the audience pays you to listen.

If you do it the wrong way, you are talking and talking and their minds are a million miles away.

Think about it, and good luck!


Photo source here


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.