Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How to Spot a Hack Marketer

The marketing person is often the natural antagonist of the creative person. They're always pushing to make the product blander, more accessible, more widely and broadly commercial. They nag you to water it down, smooth the edges, and, ideally, imitate other products with proven track records.

This is because most marketing people completely suck. Their job is to market things. If they can't market a product as-is, that's on them, not you or your product.

Nearly anything can be successfully marketed. Even plain old rocks once made someone millions. It's the marketer's job to take what you've created - whatever it is! - and find clever ways to make it enticing to the largest possible market. People who are good at this (such people do exist!) don't need you to retrofit your product to their tired, rote formulas - the strategies they learned in school. Such expectation is the ultimate dog wagging, like a cab driver pressuring you to see a different film because he's unsure how to get to your theater.

Marketers who try to make the product fit the marketing, rather than vice-versa, are wretched hacks who should be immediately fired. Such a thing would never occur to anyone with the least skill in their profession. Talented marketers don't angle for products that "sell themselves" any more than taxi drivers relish the idea of autonomous cars.

Alas, there are vanishingly few talented marketers. That's why so many products are so blanded out. If more marketers knew how to market, greatness would prosper and treasure would much more frequently ignite into popular sensation. Creative people would work unfettered, and whimsy and diversity would rule the day. It would be the world many of us appreciative, chowhoundish types would love to see.

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