Why this debate matters

Posted on 22/04/2011

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When ever I think about problems like these, I am reminded of my friend the boiling frog. The theory with the frog is that it cannot sense gradual increases in temperature, and thus if you place it in water and slowly turn up the heat, it will not jump out. This is due to the fact that it can only sense relative differences in temperature through its skin rather than absolute. Now if you put it in boiling water from the start it will jump out right away.

I think we have a similar problem here; we have gradually turned up the heat on marketing efforts to a point where we are selling items or ‘stuff’ that we no longer really need. We have become addicted to the machine that we have built, and it has gone off the rails a bit and it needs to be brought back in-line with providing us a better future. We should not stop marketing or even question its purpose; we should re-direct it to teach us to make better choices.

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. –Henry David Thoreau”

We have already started to make this happen, we are eating more organic and healthier food, and we are starting to reject oil & gas and opting for better methods of travel. Is it enough or happening fast enough? Probably not, and that is why I believe this debate is important. All great movements have come from the ground up, and I think this debate will raise the awareness another notch and push us to really question where we have directed this marketing engine and refocus it in another.

One of the ways to accelerate the change is to get more talent involved and at all levels of organisations. Lots of the solutions will be initiated by the social entrepreneurs but then they need to be adopted by the larger organisations; this is where a lot of the today’s talent is currently stored. Today’s youth, and those of in our ‘mid-life questioning’ are aching to do something more for society, this can be the medium, this can be the time.

So, what will marketing do in all of this? It will do what it has always been best at, changing the consumer mindset and this time towards things that we value and are really important to us in our life. And frankly doing what it has done already to get you to read these blogs and this space, marketing is what got you here in the first place…

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Posted in: Life, Social