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Monday, May 22, 2023

Has Marketing turned demographics into stereotypes or were they the same thing all along?

I blame one of the best shows ever, Madmen. 

Marketers have been given too much credit and now too much power.

I never agreed with the phrase, "demand generation".  In my mind, one does not create demand, one discovers demand; at the very best demand is attracted not targeted.  Idealistic, I know.

This Bud Light thing is dumb.  The Sports Illustrated thing is dumb.  The NFL thing is dumb.

Nobody is stopping anybody from buying Bud Light, there is no evil force that excludes folks from any planet from attending a football or basketball game.

Get it?  The World, at least here, includes EVERYONE.

There is something else here...below the surface and it is the age-old argument between "Marketing" and "Sales".  

The folks in Marketing have too much power.  The folks in Marketing slice and dice prospects and customers into data sets and drive messaging to each 'unique' demographic.

Has the time come to pivot into a different model?  Should we get those high-paid, Marketers out from behind their Macs and on a beer truck delivering to real-life people instead of pitching to the CMO?

Maybe the head of marketing should pre-game in the Lambo parking lot, or hang around after a hockey game at the Pond.  Maybe the editors of SI should get off their moral-high-horse and sling Coors behind the pine for a month and observe how many people ask to change the channel to women's soccer or the WNBA.  What are customers, beer drinkers, saying about the latest swimsuit edition, while chugging Miller Lite?

"The color blue sells better than yellow."  That may be true, but if your beer tastes like crap, nobody is going to buy it - and even that rule is broken because today, more people are purchasing beer that tastes worse than BudLight.

Marketers were NEVER customer facing and with the success of 'inbound'(order takers), and 'networking'(online chamber of commerce), they feel empowered to tell the rest of the world "how to sell".

Whatever happened to making something good and letting the product sell itself?  There is an even worse agenda going on here, isn't there?  This goes far deeper than beer, or swimsuits, doesn't it?  The Ex-campaign manager doesn't drink Bud and the guys over at SI have never put on a bikini - there's something lurking in the backrooms and late-night Zoom sessions that is bigger than all the marketing departments in the world.  

I'll simply ask this: Has Marketing turned demographics into stereotypes or were they the same thing all along?

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