Marketing: Art or Science?

Depending on who you ask, marketing is either an art or a science. I believe that marketing is much more of an art because of the fact that consumers act irrationally. For instance, last year the national savings rate was negative which means people are spending money they don’t have, even at ridiculous interest rates. While there are a select few who make decisions based on logical algorithms, a majority of people base buying decisions on emotion. Scientists have shown that the brain is wired to make decisions based on emotion rather than logic. And currently there is no artificial intelligence capable of comprehending the emotions of adolescent teenagers. Wouldn’t you rather have a creative strategist than an army of statistical masterminds to develop an effective strategy to reach and influence a complex human being?

However, it is also imperative that marketing efforts are quantified in order to measure the effectiveness of a given strategy. So the debate rages on. What do you think?

Study: Emotion rules brain’s decisions

My Purple Cow

After reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin I am trying to come up with my own purple cow, or the thing that makes me remarkable. It’s not easy. “Purple Cows do an outrageous job. They work on high profile projects. These people take risks, often resulting in big failures.”

The main thesis of the book is that traditional advertising is dead and that marketing must be built into the product for it to be successful. A product itself must be so remarkable that it gets people to talk about it. Having a “purple cow” is at the heart of successful products like the iPod, Toyota Prius, and Whole Food stores.

Seth proposes that marketing must therefore be involved in not only developing the brand, but involved in HR, R&D, and customer service. If it’s customer service that goes above and beyond and what people tell their friends about, then that is just as much a part of marketing as anything else. Seth suggests that although communicating a memorable message to consumers is becoming more difficult, the new environment creates opportunity for marketing to become more involved in different areas of the company. This makes marketers more valuable to an organization, and that is good news if you are a marketer.

7 Funny Product Warnings

On a hair dryer: Do not use when sleeping

On the package of a iron: Do not iron clothes on body

On a child Superman costume: Wearing this garment does not enable you to fly

On a Korean kitchen knife: Warning: keep out of children

On a bar of soap: Directions-use like regular soap

On a packet of nuts: Instructions-open packet, eat nuts

On a frozen dinner: Serving suggestion: defrost

“Consumer Behavior” by Hoyer and MacInnis

Is the World Flat for Marketers?

In Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat, he describes how the playing field in the world is flattening out. Experts now recognize the top rate talent graduating from India, which graduates a frightening number of engineers and MBAs each year. New graduates are highly sought after by international firms, receiving compensation packages of up to $200,000 a year, which is as much as some Harvard business school grads.

There is no doubt that international competition for prestigious jobs is becoming more intense. Even Radiologists who are highly demanded in the US can be replaced by essentially equally qualified physicians in India for a fraction of the price. Hospitals can easily send x-rays overseas in the middle of the night to India where it is the middle of the day.

Friedman points out that outsourcing has taken place repeatedly in history, and it has been very beneficial to the ones doing the outsourcing. It not only allows workers to place their efforts in more sophisticated endeavors, but greatly benefits consumers by reducing price. I definitely enjoy low cost electronic products. Competition encourages us to raise our own level of performance and accomplish great things, for example the space race. Furthermore, as people in China and India get more residual income from economic success, they can buy more US products.

Marketing is one of the most difficult occupations to replace because it requires creative abilities. If your job requires face to face selling, how do you outsource that? Ultimately the flattening of the world is a great thing, not only for the prosperity of our fellow world citizens, but for the prosperity of America. With countries like India and China wanting to dominate us, we will have no choice but to raise our level of innovation and productivity or face the consequences of becoming a second rate economy.

Source India’s B-School Grads Now Rake in the Big Rupees