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The Darker Side of Marketing

“Out of a thousand men who are remarkable, some for mind, others for boldness or strength of will, perhaps not one will combine in himself all those qualities which are required to raise a man above mediocrity in the career of a general.” ( Marketing Warfare by Jack Trout and Al Ries).

Materialism and fierce competition have transformed marketing managers in multinational corporations (MNCs) from simple strategists to war generals! Popular marketing wisdom has included terms like defensive warfare, guerilla tactics, flanking strategies, first-mover advantage, marketing intelligence, market domination, and the most popular notion of a price WAR, among others.

Famous marketers and consultants, such as Jack Trout and Al Ries in their two famous books Marketing Warfare (1986) and Positioning: The BATTLE for Your Mind (2001), have capitalized on insights from famous war generals such as Karl von Clausewitz. The over-crowdedness of the market place, or the market 'space' with the advent of the internet, has strongly emphasized the fight for a small space in the confused mind, heart, and wallet of both the current and potential customer. MNCs now calculate the lifetime value (LTV) of the customer together with possible switching costs and switching BARRIERS. The famous high-turnover book entitled The Art of War (2005) by SunTzu is about to be a compulsory course on the curriculum of marketing schools worldwide and pretty soon the ARMY will be recruiting marketing graduates!

Marketing In Practice

In the broad sense, marketing can be defined as a two-way exchange, communication, and promotion of a product, a service, an institution, an idea, a person, a club, an activity, or anything else for that matter. A good presentation in an interview is marketing. Promotion of a certain belief or idea is marketing. A non-governmental organization calling for donations is actually marketing. A university club carrying out fundraising techniques to attract sponsors is also utilizing the marketing tool. An educational institution offering full scholarships to attract its student customers is marketing for itself. A church, mosque, or synagogue calling for internal liberation is marketing for its services and ideas. A governor engaging in social activity before the upcoming elections is actually conducting a political marketing campaign. Preserving ethical integrity in all those aspects is our definition of ethical marketing . In this website, we challenge our readers to mitigate media effects, think out of the box, and transcend the borders of narrowing the scope of marketing to fast moving consumer goods and services per se.

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