The problem with marketing and consumers

Disclaimer: don’t take me seriously, it’s not like I’ve been studying marketing for the past 3 years

There is this phrase every marketing student in Bucharest’s’ School of Economics knows by heart “Marketing is the fulfillment of consumer’s needs while making profits” by Kotker (the American god of marketing in the Balcanic lands). I won’t argue if it is true or not but rather I will talk about what does it really mean “to fulfill the consumer’s needs”, or more precisely what are genuine those drivings.

As far as I am concerned, we never buy things, we purchase ideas and hopes, we invest in promises. When you acquire a new dress for example (even if you already don’t have enough space in your closet), you don’t buy it because you need something to cover you up so you won’t walk naked on the streets, you purchase it because you like it, because it is beautiful, because that model in the display window looked sexy and passionate and maybe you will look the same in that garment. Be honest now, you never thought this way. Shall we talk about cars? Or food? Or… it doesn’t matter, the principle is the same. You buy a German car made in China so it’s not about its objective characteristics or the place it is made but rather by the values you associate with it. Those are influenced by both the personal experience and the cultural/ social elements.

germnan= good quality

A lot can be said about the consumer’s behavior, but I don’t want to waste your time with divagations.

I am vexed by the fact that more than 80% of the products and the way they are designed do not truly meet buyers true desires. Taking into account Maslow’s theory, all humans strive for self-actualization, for a higher state of being and make that one of your operational hypothesis, the way companies act is distorted. What marketing does nowadays through its campaigns is to activate needs at the bottom of the pyramid, like you are not beautiful enough (buy this makeup), you don’t have enough fun (you should go in this expensive holiday) etc. As a consequence, their offer (their magical products) is the only way to satisfy your artificial desires.

In contrast to that, I hope in the future, brands will assume the position of the mentor in the relationship with the consumer, helping them achieve their goals and fulfill their real dreams. Nike for example in its commercials does that, it presents how tough and hard sport is but makes you want to do it, it activates your inner hero and sets you on your journey. Their ads are not focused on the products but rather on you and your greatness.

The future of marketing will be more about you that the products I’m trying to sell you.

Writer with the soul of a poet. I'm trying not to take myself too serious. Deeply grateful that I can share my thoughts & emotions with you.