Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

23 June 2006

The Alchemy of the Profession

There are some things you can learn and other things you must develop a feel for. Marketing's among the latter. You can learn the theory, commit your due diligence to demographics and purchasing habits, and get savvy on all the latest media.

But if you haven't got your finger lightly pressed to the pulse of what it truly is to be connected with your consumer, and with what's salient to him or her, and with all the outlets they reach for or that reach for them on a given day, then what have you got? You've got a quantifiable past and, at best, a marginally speculative future.

Granted, you can never really tell for sure what's going to catch your audience's fancy. But if you can tap into what's closest to home and do so in an authentic way, you significantly improve your chances.

A great marketer needs to remember she's as much a consumer as an accomplice in the sales process. What catches her eye, what stirs a sense of relevance deep inside? How does the product feel in her hand, what does she think of it? Our senses are an immense resource, and they can only add to the numbers we've written out, looked up and stored in the banks of memory.

Due diligence is a critical aspect of the profession. It keeps us out of a lot of trouble, protects us from making ancient mistakes. But one's own experience is also a unique and information-rich resource. Hone your intuition, and you've got a weapon that can't be replicated by any competitor.

At the same time, we need to learn to freely cross the line dividing the self-titled "marketer" and consumer. Consumers today are, more than ever, all marketers - they're hawking their lifestyles and opinions off to us, and we're as hungry for their attention as they are for ours. They know now that the images and personalities we wrap around their products are reflections of themselves - and they want to contribute to the canvas. I can't think of a more exciting time for the profession.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like it.
I totally agree. I feel that marketing has been really interesting lately. Of course there are still some stupid ideas out there. Whenever I see an ad that makes me feel stupid, in terms of the content being made for one who only understands layman's terms, i begin to wonder if they're trying to insult me or if they're really just that stupid. Of course the latter makes me feel better about myself. Like, dude, I totally love every ad Apple makes. From the iPods to the Macs, their ideas are just innovative and simple without them inundating the consumer with tons of confusing "technical" information or impersonable, cold approaches that isolate the consumer. Wal-Mart must be l337 in the area of marketing. People can argue till their blue and white in the face about them overtaking small businesses and eventually the world but the big yellow happy face will always emerge. Of course I don't know if that's marketing so much as it's masterful control of supply and demand over the manufacturer. But I guess that ability to control had to start with some genius marketing strategies to get big enough to say "hey if you don't sell here your product will suck and you'll lose buku bucks". I wonder how they got to be so big from such humble beginnings. They were the company to start that whole calling-the-employee an "associate" thing. Perhaps their strategy was to work their personable marketing approach inwardly and then outwards to the customer. I mean friendly, little elderly doorgreeters? Why, it's like walking into grandma's house and having pie before you realize you're really in the bakery department of some bigtime frachise superstore.