Marketing Is Dead; Long Live Anthropology

I’ve had a little case of writer’s block this week, so I started with the basics: I read the definition of “marketing” in Wikipedia.

The impetus of this was a comment I wrote on a recent Brazen Careerist article
in which I boiled down marketing to selling stuff. Really? That’s the
business I’m in? I get up at 5am to write because I love making crap
fly off the shelves?

Listen to Wikipedia’s definition: “Essentially, marketing is the
process of creating or directing an organization to be successful in
selling a product or service that people not only desire, but are
willing to buy.”

Bleh! Sure, there’s creation and desire (positive), but there is
also directing and willingness to consume (negative). It’s almost like
it’s not enough for them to buy it; you gotta make them want to buy it. Make ‘em beg.

Frankly, this doesn’t sound like the business I’m in at all. I find
marketing these days to be customer based – where are they and what do
they want? – and less, well, skeezy.
Ideally, marketing these days isn’t invasive or worthless or annoying.
In fact, marketing these days sounds a lot more like anthropology than

What do you think? Are web 2.0 marketers really anthropologists of the present time? Don’t we study why certain people behave a certain way (and how to influence that behavior)?

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