what does marketing contribute to our society?

17 replies
Are marketers a bunch of spammers who destroy the internet
by promoting some product people don't need, driven by their
self interest or do they actually contribute to our society?
#contribute #marketing #society
  • Profile picture of the author Mitsakis
    Here is my view:
    The marketers are those who find people who have a specific need and
    lead them to a specific product. That way people get their need fulfilled
    and the product seller gets more sales. That's a two way benefit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    Here is my view on marketing. If you have a good product or service that helps people, it isn't just your right to do some marketing, it's your obligation and you may be hurting people who could benefit from your product if you don't reach out to them and market to them.

    If you love people and want to help them, marketing a product/service to them that will benefit and enrich their life is HUGE.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    I recall an old episode of the Rockford Files which featured a film in it where the voice over stated: "Nothing can happen in this world until a sale is made." (how's that for an obscure reference?)

    I don't believe that's true, but I do believe that people have been marketing since the dawn of civilization in one way or another. The very first thing you market in this world is yourself and it just goes on from there.

    Marketers are not by nature bad. Marketers who don't follow best practices or even the law of the land are.

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  • Profile picture of the author Wilton White
    I think that marketers are necessary to get some products and services noticed in an attention-deficit consumer market. Marketers can also help contribute to the establishment of a "brand" for a product or service that is not well known.

    I do not believe that well-established brands such as "Apple" need much marketing. They can simply announce a new product and let the social buzz surrounding that announcement do all the marketing for them. In order to compete with this, marketers bring attention to other products that the consumer may not be aware of that satisfies or surpasses the same needs fulfilled by the well-established brands. This is true for "services" as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    1. That's a very narrow use of the word "marketer" - if you refer only to those that destroy the internet

    2. Marketing existed way before the advent of the internet... the whole online world is just one additional medium to get through the message

    3. How do you define "contributing to our society"? (Not to mention: who is embodied in that "we" > ours? A country? A culture? you and me? The World?)

    4. Is a certain company manufacturing a completely useless sugar+water+herbs drink and promoting it worldwide contributing to "our society" while half of the world doesn't even have their daily drinking water? (rhetorical question in the same way as the OP's :rolleyes

    5. If anybody thinks that "well established" brands don't need marketing is the cause and not an effect of... err, marketing (brand promotion IS marketing; creating brand awareness IS marketing etc.) they they put the cart before the horses... In plain English: they became established by successful marketing activity.

    6. Why does anybody feel the need to "justify" their marketing activity? If you are ashamed of what you do... get out and do some "real contribution" to the society

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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      The marketers are those who find people who have a specific need and
      lead them to a specific product. That way people get their need fulfilled
      and the product seller gets more sales. That's a two way benefit.
      Pursued in that fashion, marketing is indeed quite harmless and even may produce good for society. However, not all marketers agree with the point of view expressed above.

      For my own guidelines on marketing that does good in the world, see my No-Harm Marketing Manifesto (it's free, no opt-in required):


      Marcia Yudkin
      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author carrot
    Marketing isnt sales, it isnt promotion. They are just aspects of it.
    If you have ever working in a marketing dep. for a business, most of the work is identifying needs and researching customer response, BEFORE the product is even made.

    The turn IM has obscured this some what.
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  • Profile picture of the author JGWF
    It's all relative in my opinion... I think depending on what our selling of course... Think about this- normal marketers are going to spam you my putting up advertisements on the tv or billboards... We just do it on the Internet. We are trying to reach a targeted audience just like the big guys. Also, you mention trying to sell people stuff they don't need... In many cases, if people didn't know certain products exist, they wouldn't find that little trinket that makes their life easier or more happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author theysawgold
    Marketing is good when it finds its target audience and adds value to their audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author ISavant
    From an economists perspective: Marketing is as important as markets are for society. Could you imagine if there were no market makers, how would you know what to buy? Better yet how would you know what to sale to have the money to have the need to buy? If you run your own business you have to have some sort of marketing strategy. So, I would argue without the markets(marketers who make them efficient) then we wouldn't have businesses and without businesses we would not have innovation and without innovation we would be stagnant.
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  • Profile picture of the author WishfulDoing
    It's puzzling that this question is even being asked.

    You just couldn't have a free market economy without the social science of Marketing. Although it's one cog in the wheel, marketing fuels demand. It assists consumers as well as the companies providing the goods or services. Without marketing efforts, most companies would cease to exist.

    If someone doesn't like marketers, they can go to some country where all the products are government issued - no brands, just one product per category and see how they like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayPeete
    I have spoken with a lot of people that don't know anything about IM and think that it is all a big scam. What they don't know is that what we do is all around us.

    Most people don't even know how their favorite TV shows stay on the air and why they get canceled. Hello, advertising. AKA - marketing! We just do it over the Internet.

    We contribute to society because people haven't caught on yet that the Internet could correct the world economy. Don't believe me? In the U.S. we have over 30 million small businesses. If Internet marketers could help each business hire just one more person per business, the recession would be over here and the rest of the world would feel the impact as well.
    What Misunderstood Traffic Source SUCKS In
    3 Million Visitors Daily and Spits Out
    $560.81 Per Day In Commissions?
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  • Profile picture of the author rileyb
    they are going to buy anyway. You probably need to pay your bills
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  • Profile picture of the author totalhomeguy
    I'm a newbie but really appreciate your question. I've been in and out of marketing for the past 15 years in one form or another. Mostly brick and mortar companies. Most people wouldn't believe me when I said that I felt guilty at first taking someones money for the products or services my companies provided. To me the home services I provided came second nature but to my clients it was exactly what they needed but did not have the expertise or skills to accomplish themselves.

    My marketing simply connected my skills with the people who needed my skills. This is a huge contribution to society in the eyes of my clients as it will be with your clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Warriors
    Marketers play a crucial role in the economy.

    Have you ever read about business cycles?

    Basically, any capitalist system goes through these boom and bust cycles where a period of expansion is followed by a period of recession.

    In the recession periods, people are very scared, and unwilling to open their wallets.

    Persuasive marketers play a crucial role in getting the economic ball rolling during a recession, by convincing people to open their wallets and start spending. As these sales generate earnings for the marketer and his clients/customers, these people start buying houses, cars, clothes, etc, and voila, the economic engine starts revving again.
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    • Profile picture of the author MacS09
      Basic economic activity consists of Production - Distribution - Consumption.

      In today's society, production meets consumption in the market place. That's where distribution is located. The markets are far to vast to be able to match consumer with producer. For this to happen, we need marketers.

      There is nothing honorable or dishonorable about this activity. It's necessary.

      Another question is the bad name marketing has been given by shady / dishonest practices. And by the fact, that the marketer is a middle man who does not produce the goods we need (or want) for cosumption. OK, we can go into cultural and social history here and uncover where the standards by which all this is measured come from. The bottom line is that the marketer's contribution is through matching producer with consumer, or supply with demand. The rest is embellishment.
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