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Archive for the ‘introduction’ Category

treadmill 2

To many people these days, marketing is inseparable from society’s ills: it powers the big hedonic treadmill upon which we trot, exhausted, unable to get off. Marketing (and marketers) do nothing but prey on our worst, most basic urges and propel us, ever onward, toward a materially-bloated, spiritually-starved oblivion.

This view is understandable (and not, actually, entirely underserved), though it does taste a little bit of the self-righteous. Jeremy Bullmore knows where it comes from, but points out that it is not a pragmatic outlook: “The human ingenuity that inadvertently created the mess we’re in will have to get us out of it. And proper marketing will be essential both in creating the demand and spreading the word.” He adds, “It may seem perverse; but despite the fact that the great gods of growth and consumption are about to be challenged as never before, we’re also going to need marketing as never before. It will just demand a greatly improved understanding of what marketing is and what marketing can do.”

For a new and naive (green?) student of these dark arts, Jeremy’s are soothing words. They ring true, but they also speak of problems of incredible scale and of much to be done, much to be learnt. They insist on more digging. This blog is intended to be my way of getting stuck in, of learning. It is my way of taking on this knotty, tough subject honestly, from any-which-way I can.

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//A note on the scope of this self-serving endeavour:

When George Washington and friends sat down to write the constitution of America they made four committees: that of the whole, that of detail; that on style and that on postponed matters. I feel entirely justified and not at all ludicrous in thinking of this poky online project in the same terms.

And so:

I hope to write wordily ‘of the whole’, asking ‘what role can communications and marketing play in tackling these biggest of problems?’and ‘what are their limitations?’. Yet I don’t want to descend entirely into wankery, so I will also try to roll up my sleeves and obsess ‘of detail’, getting beneath the surface of individual topics and issues and trends in the real world. Then, when writing ‘on style’, I will try to plumb techniques and methods and tricks of the trade; looking for best practice, if you like.

And of course, there will be more. Back in 1787, the committee ‘on postponed matters’ tackled all the most meaty, important stuff when it overflowed from the other categories. It will also surely be the best bits that I have overlooked: the unknown unknowns.//

The photo in the masthead is a cropped version of a piece by Andreas Gursky, the German artist.

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