When I traveled around Asia I met lots and lots of people, from all over the world. And I discovered something interesting. When it comes to introductions I would usually start by saying I’m a blogger or I notice things for living and write them down. By starting with that people looked to me fascinated, however. When I said that I’m also a marketer their whole face changed. In a second their perception about me was different, so in one second I became a liar that tries to manipulate people. (It was funny.)
Luckily, not everybody reacted in the same way, but a lot of people did. And we can’t blame them. Over the years that’s the reputation we’ve gained. We’ve used the interruption marketing (and lots of “marketers” still do) to spam and scam people. So that’s their reaction to marketers.
Nevertheless, marketing is not about that. And I think we should make a clear distinction between what manipulation really is and what marketing should be.
Manipulation is when the consumer buys from you, regretting the purchase afterwards. (And you know it.)
Good marketing is when you persuade somebody to buy from you, and, afterwards, she will be happy that they bought from you. She will be happy that they know you now.
Manipulation is a short-term strategy that sooner or later punches you in the face (always.) Please, don’t confuse that with marketing. Alas, there are still so many people that call themselves “marketers” that are actually manipulators.
Anyway, don’t expect everybody to accept that. The TV-Industrial complex and the interruption marketing have done so much harm to our professions. We can’t change the past. But we do have the power to change the future and the perception of marketing by doing great marketing.