What's Wrong?

So I spent a lot of time doing mindless chores this weekend, thus I've had a lot of time to think. And the subject I'm pondering is what's wrong with marketing today.

If you're like me, you're seeing a distinct uptick in the marketing business. Clients still need marketing services and the demand has been mcuh stronger since the U.S. economy started to climb out of its recession. We see encouraging statistics every day, like increased marketing and advertising spends, but there's still something very wrong.

I'm not going to launch into a rant about how clients don't spend enough time and money paying attention to the new two-way marketing channels. The Cluetrain Manifesto did a passable job of that, and it doesn't make sense to re-hash all of the salient points of that treatise. The underlying evil is much more insidious and much more simple to understand. The worst part of it is that it's fixable, but not until someone defines it and starts a frank conversation about it. I plan to do just that.

Unfortunately, I think this is one of those instances where what needs to be discussed can't be adequately addressed by a 500-800 word column in The Online Spin. What I'm putting together requires a lot more space to say. So it will appear here, not in Mediapost, and it will likely appear as a series of distinct posts over the next few days.

At the root of the vast majority of our problems in marketing is dishonesty. Sure, there's plenty of dishonesty inherent in many business dealings in marketing today, but the damage done by, say, a bum ad deal pales in comparison to the effects of the instances in which we are dishonest with ourselves. It's this type of dishonesty I want to explore in depth. Stay tuned.