Marketing and the Consumer

Consumers and Humans: Not to be confused.

“I read the marketing trends report for 2016, and I didn’t understand a thing” said Robert to me. “Yeah, there was a lot of bullshit in there” I said “…but it wasn’t for you”

“Look, this thing is written from the standpoint of assuming that you are a consumer, that you will behave like the consumer you have been trained to be… but you are NOT a consumer are you? You are a human being!”

Deep breath.

“You are fed up to the back teeth at being told that only if you aspire to buying this that you are a worthy consumer, because you know *if* you buy this thing… well the satisfaction is pretty short lived, particularly if that purchase was pressured.”

Quite why marketers keep hammering away at sentient human beings as if they are subservient consumers is beyond me. You’ve got to be asleep to think that shit is gonna work much longer, people are wise to it. They do indeed have needs,wants and desires… but your sweatshop crap is not gonna cut it for long. You are going to have to really think way smarter and way longer if you want to stay in a job. Your social media engagement strategy is so dead, your aspirational vacuous adverts so yawnsome, and your discounting strategy transparent. Try some real value in 2016. How about really differentiating with benefits that you customers actually WANT? How about communicating at eye-level with honest copy that engages? How about trying to sell LESS but doing so more profitably? I mean really… we have ENOUGH stuff, we don’t need more, but we might need better.

We might need to know that what we are buying is from a sustainable source, that the workers making the stuff are fairly treated, that the materials used don’t create a ton of pollution — who knows… we might even pay MORE for that? How about something that is durable? something that will last longer? I look at the things that I have bought over the last few years and I am pleased that they have done a few seasons. My North Face Goretex winter boots are three years old going strong… my Patagonia 800 Fill down jacket is 2 seasons old and just wonderful. My iPad Air is a couple of years old with a few scrapes, but it’s still great. Apple can sod off crippling my 4 year old iphone 4s with horrid updates, but guess what? I WON’T REWARD THAT Sony is waiting for me. We humans can analyse stuff for ourselves, the things we buy cost a lot of money (time at the mill) and we deserve to get quality, so marketers… watch out, the consumer is dying a slow death and is being replaced by humans that give a damn. We care about fair trade, sustainability, the environment, durability and usability. There are some companies out there that really get that, and they will go from strength to strength whilst the traders just fall by the wayside. Pay attention.

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