Marketing – Fact, Fantasy or Fallacy?

May 6, 2012 Blog 2 comments

Too bad marketers don’t have growing noses like Pinnochio! (source of image)

In the world of marketing, there are three schools of thought.

The first is the school of facts. Proponents of this idea hinge much of their marketing on bread and butter issues, focusing on very tangible aspects of their products or services such as cost, value, features, utility, convenience and savings.
Subscribers of “factual” marketing deploy discounts, sales and “one-for-one” deals in an almost unabashed fashion, aided by channels such as Groupon, eBay, Amazon, and other price-oriented retailers. Here, total transparency is valued and you’re even dared to ask for a refund if you can find the item being sold cheaper anywhere else.

The second is the school of fantasy. Unlike the first, the main drivers here are often more aspirational, escapist, sensorial and emotional. The main draw of your product or service is the experience that you’ll enjoy, the prestige that you’ll be cloaked with, or the triggering of your imagination.

Subscribers of “fantasy” marketing create perfect utopian settings that are often a far cry from the humdrum of reality. Picture yourself all masculine/feminine and oozing sexuality, flashing a brilliant set of pearlies, and driving that red hot Ferrari into a beachfront villa. Or perhaps you’re a dark elf carrying a potion of unfathomable might, waiting to unleash your final fatal blow on a nightmarish foe.

The third, and perhaps the most insidious, is the school of fallacy. Believers of this ideal (can it be called that?) have little ethics or morals, choosing to spin untruths, half-lies, and deceptive marketing messages in a bid to sell, sell, sell. Fine-print terms and conditions, and overtly clever headlines (and copy) are the tools of this trade.

Subscribers of “fallacy” marketing spend a lot of time on the web, prancing and prowling for unwitting victims. They are the sellers of social media snake oil, who promise you that you need not work another day in your life in you create this godawesome website which will earn you a million bucks a year. Oh, and while you’re at it, you should also recommend another 10/100/1000 friends to earn “bonus” bucks.

Can all marketers be honest and truthful or will there always be an element of spin woven into every marketing message?  Which school do you belong to and why?

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


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