Marketing Is About Understanding What People Are Actually Thinking, Not What You Want Them To Think

It's really very simple. Don't tell your customer what to think.

But these are very "loaded" times we're living in, and people get fired for saying offensive things, and that can morph pretty quickly into letting them go simply for having the wrong opinion.

It also can morph into shutting down other people's views just because you find them disagreeable.

Needless to say, you aren't going to sell a heck of a lot of soap that way.

Perhaps it is just me. But I don't recall any time in my lifetime when such an emphasis was placed on "diversity and inclusion" that the very notion of free speech -- freedom of thought, freedom of expression -- would become a threatening concept in itself, and its champions ridiculed, or labeled in the most pejorative terms.

It is in that very dangerous space that marketing -- everybody's favorite punching bag when it comes to social ills, it seems -- may offer some hope of sanity.

For it is in the effort to address a customer need that the marketer must accurately pinpoint what they are thinking. Get it wrong, and you starve.

Now of course there is a downside to marketing, and that is the creation of needs that never existed before. There is a legitimate critique that says, marketers brainwash us into getting into debt; they turn us into anorexic, superficial mannequins; they amplify classism, sexism, and racism; they divert us from thinking about what really matters in life.

There is a legitimate critique that says, the marketer should not have access to so much of the consumer's personal information.

But to the extent that marketers are focused on what the consumer is truly, accurately saying, they are doing something good for society.

Keeping us from veering off the deep end, into politically correct insanity.

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Copyright 2018 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author's own. This content is hereby released into the public domain. Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons).