Marketing: Are you my Mother?

If you think marketing is a collection of print ads, TV spots, brochures, packaging and carefully crafted messages-well, you’d be right.

But marketing is also a lot more than that. It’s visceral. It’s about making a connection in less than a nanosecond, and there’s something primal about that kind of closeness. Once that connection is made, it doesn’t matter whether it was crafted by New York City geeks in wire-rimmed glasses or whether it was grounded in years of psychological tests about word connotations and color. Good marketing creates a highly emotional link, and P&G help you if you try to replace it with New Coke.

Yes, in today’s 24-hour world of on-the-go info-tainment, marketing is more than product placement or savvy PR. It’s instinctual. Collectively speaking, marketing is our mother. Now, I’m not saying you should stop sending cards to your mom on the second Sunday in May. Even if she was June Cleaver, your mother had a little help raising you “or she at least let you tune in the see the glowing love of the Beav’s mom. The truth is, our daily exposure to the media frames our concept of life and shapes our experiences with a tidy little bow of advertising. Can we see through it? Of course. But do we choose to? With all the current demands on our time, we need some guidance to alleviate the tiny decisions and make us feel better about the major ones. Imagine what a trip to Publix would entail if you had to make a rational decision about each purchase. We need to know that Colgate whitens teeth so we can grab a tube and get on with our day!

As we increasingly rely on marketing to hold our hands for daily decisions, marketing is also striving to become more nurturing. According to Catherine Bartholow’s Business Week article “Brand Loyalty: The Mother’s Milk of Future Marketing,” more companies are exploring brand relationship marketing in an effort to truly “know” their clients and build an ongoing dialogue with them. Sounds like a good parent to me! Mama Marketing is a caretaker, really “simplifying our choices, giving the OK to splurge on an occasional Oreo and making us feel better about choosing Lexington Medical Center. She may be a permissive parent, but we can always count on her to be around and lavish us with unwavering attention!

Please share your thoughts or story about the how the surrogate mother of marketing has affected your life!

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