Marketers Must Look Deep Into New Consumer’s Soul


A Marketing Opinion

By: Chris Moerdyk

Quite some time ago, in his book The Future of Advertising, Joe Cappo, the publisher of Advertising Age in the US, wrote about a world of increasingly cynical consumers ignoring more and more the increasing clutter of conventional advertising and simply not accepting or reacting to the same old tired claptrap, gimmicks and shallow come-ons. He was spot on because, that’s happening right now.Of course, the marketing industry can look at this with an enormous amount of trepidation and the prospect of busting its buns trying to come up with shrewd and devious new ways of getting the attention of the consumer and manipulating it long enough to flog products and services.

Single-minded materialism

Or, it can look deeper into what is happening and pander to the new way in which more and more consumers are thinking. A philosophy that is beginning to oust that of single-minded materialism that saw consumers “wanting something because they want it” and consumers beginning to put their lives into some sort of more meaningful perspective.

I got an email from my daughter a while back – she was in the advertising business before she found that it was not challenging enough so she became a mother. I’m not sure she had the ad business in mind when she found this piece of sage reflection and sent it on to me.

The right road

I believe it reflects the way more and more middle and upper class people are looking at life and in it are clues perhaps that will lead marketers to the right road in terms of communicating with this important sector of the market.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

Simpler, worse, faster

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

Throwaway morality

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable nappies, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time whenthere is much in the showroom window and nothing in the store-room.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?



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