Bill Hicks on Societal Marketing

The last coffee break was so enjoyable, I have to add one more. Marketing… it’s not *all* bad. Some of it is… maybe most of it is.

The concept of creating a need, or unnecessary want, to encourage a mindless consumer to buy a product is dehumanizing. To make someone feel “less” without a certain product is not only¬†disingenuous¬†&; manipulative, it’s somewhat disturbing. It’s a big problem – it is creating a cycle of mindless consumers that bolster evil marketing which creates even more mindless consumers which create .. ad naseoum. The majority of us act like complete morons when it comes to trusting these people? Is that politically incorrect to say? It scares me how stupid most of us are. As Joe Rogan says, “I know I’m stupid, and I’m smarter than almost everyone I meet.”

What we do in hospitality and travel isn’t supposed to be that kind of marketing… at least for people who are proud of their product and imbued with brand loyalty, etc. When someone loves their hotel and job…. I think it’s more about connecting people with what you have to offer. It’s less about creating need, and more about finding the people with a legitimate connection or potential bond to what you have, and introducing yourselves. This is when it isn’t marketing, and it’s just community… which is why I think the word marketing has been chewed up and spit out by the skeptical Generation X’ers. It doesn’t exist in a positive way, anymore.

Community Manager, Communications, Brand Manager… all of this will cover community and old world marketing. I can’t wait until we move past that archaic word and talk more about the overarching responsibilities of a brand to operate ethically and have a dynamic conversation with their guests… something that involves every employee and every advocate of your brand. It’s not just a print ad anymore. There’s so much more to it. People are so distrusting of the marketers’ burnt bridges, they have to make fun of themselves in ad campaigns (like Chipotle’s new billboard presence, where one reads “We wanted to talk about how great meat is without hormones or antibiotics, but the ad agency said to keep it short). Isn’t that neat? They are listening.

It’s complex, and I get down on the concept quite a lot. I know it isn’t meant to be negative, but the old world of force pushed “impression” model marketing is, in a word, depressing. That’s changing… and it’s exciting to see how targeting and relevancy will increase with technology.

This was meant to be a coffee break, and I am already rambling. So without further ado… Bill Hicks.

“Oh he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar… that’s very smart.”

“Ooooh… the anger market. Anger does great in times of recession. That’s a great market.”

He was, in a world of overusing the word, *brilliant*.

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