I’ve recently published an article on Medium addressing the common attitude that advertising and marketing are inherently scummy, deceptive, harmful, etc.
This is common among ordinary people with no business ambition, but also among entrepreneurs plagued with self-doubt that what they’re doing is wrong.
To help show why this attitude is extremely misguided, I’ve created a little article telling a hypothetical story about what it’d be like if we lived in a world with literally no advertising.
Check the whole thing out here. I’ve put in an excerpt below.
You work in a general goods store. It doesn’t get a lot of customers, and relies on the natural flow of people going their own way. The store is set on a popular crossroads, so business is good enough that your boss can afford to pay you. Other businesses often interfere, though, to try and pressure your boss to switch places with their location.
If you had some fancy job on the internet, or one that involved creating anything for companies, or anything that helps anyone get sales or serve customers, that’s gone, because that mostly goes into a business’s branding efforts, and there are no brands anymore. The world is now simply full of people bartering whatever they can get for themselves.
So there you are, mopping the floors and stocking shelves, when a customer comes up to you, a young man. He’s trying to buy strawberries for his girlfriend (they’re her favorite), but there weren’t any in stock from the supplier this time. You know the store won’t get another order for a week. The young man asks where he might be able to buy some strawberries, and you tell him you don’t know. You’re not lying. You have no idea what general stores competing with yours choose to put on their shelves. You describe how to get to a few other stores, just to be nice, but make no promises. Disappointed, the customer leaves.
Your boss isn’t happy with you, and reprimands you for telling that customer about a different store. In this world, people don’t tell people what to buy or where to shop.
And if you like it, do me a favor and give it a clap or a share. 🙂