Marketing R.I.P.? Consumer R.I.P.?
August 4, 2007 4 Comments
A post over at Brandflakes for Breakfast linked to a provocative article at This blog sits at the… site, with the slightly self-important title of Death of Marketing? The issue being addressed is whether the term Marketing is truly relevant and accurate anymore. Should it be replaced? The discussion in the comments is lively and thoughtful.
A couple of the comments resurrected one of my pet peeves – not so much regarding the term Marketing, but the far more offensive (to me, anyway) term Consumer. I’ve posted on that in the past – including the difficulty of finding a substitute.
Maybe there’s hope, however. Here’s a summary of my comments on the Death of Marketing post:
- I, too, have despised the term “consumer” (finding it to be demeaning, and lacking in the crucial emphasis on choice) for quite a while, and wracked my brain for a suitable substitute…with little success. However, revisiting the challenge today, how about the word ADOPTER – which emphasizes two important truths:
- 1. it contains the word “opt” – and all promotion must recognize that the potential customer is one who opts, or makes choices.
- 2. it implies the ongoing relationship to a brand/offering – if I, as a customer, adopt an offering, that means I may well be a continual user, and an influencer of others.
- As for marketing – I agree that that term has to be driven by a change of view regarding the first term. If my efforts are targeting a potential “adopter,” not a “consumer,” does that change how I view my role and the nature of my work?
What are your thoughts on these terms? Are they still useful? Should we “adopt” new ones?
(The idea of the customized tombstone I shamelessly ripped off from the Brandflakes folks. You can have lots of fun making custom-generated signs here.)