You know, as a kid I always admired empires. Great big empires. Full of grandeur, majesty and power. That is to say, I admired the great, huge and the powerful. Anyway, a kid grows up and so did I.
I now have a completely different view of this world. My definition of grandness, majesty and power have changed. I now find that the idea of _Empires_ contradicts all that I admired as a kid.
Not wishing to go into a lot of specifics about my changed perceptions and the reasoning behind it, I’ll go straight to the intended point.
This article is to give my views about _advertising_ as the most powerful marketing tool.
There are many reasons I’m uncomfortable with the idea of advertising.
1. It _forces_ itself on us.
2. It undermines the principle of _freedom-of-choice_.
3. It’s worse than the government taxes. [I'll explain why, a bit later.]
A month or two ago I was arguing these points with my friends and all were up against me saying,
“Advertising is the best proved tool.”
“There can’t be anything better.”
“How else would you make ur product known in this huge market place?”
“Customer is lazy. He needs to be shaken up and told, ‘look here!!’”
“Everyone is happy about it, why r u whining?”
“Look at Google’s business model. Can anything better this?”
“Tell us one alternative thing that has a potential to beat this.”
Am not an economist nor do I understand much of the dynamics involved. I don’t have any alternatives. Whatever. I know things can be better.
Now explaining why it’s worse than the government taxes:
Coke, Pepsi, et all, along with Beverage companies, invest a lot on sponsoring our favorite matches. They literally feed us our TV programs (never mind the nauseating commercials.) They put lots and lots of money making this _free_ for us.
With so much of free goodies one must obviously be happy. But I’m not. Where does all this money come from? From where do all the companies advertising with Google, get that money from? The _paying_ customer who buys products from these companies _pays_ for all this. We all know this. But whats wrong with this?
As a paying customer, I expect to get equal value for my money. I don’t care about how many matches they sponsor or how much they pay to Google. I don’t want to pay $10 for a 1 cent product. The more and more a person _spends_, more does he _sponsor_ things he wouldn’t even care about.
Government charges tax on the pretext of development and national security.
But companies charge much much much _extra_ money hideously for cheap entertainment of the masses and of course for some great _free_ services. More _free_ stuff u consume, lesser u pay. What a _buyer_ pays for, includes not just my _needs_ but also puts on my shoulders the _needs_ of those who consume for free.
The cost of advertising exceeds, in some cases, the total cost of manufacturing itself.
The cost does not cover the actual _worth_ of the _product_ and the _producer_.
Here goes a few more of my ires against advertising:
They treat consumers are guinea pigs with peanut brains. Customers are _told_ and forced to believe what their needs are, when it should be the other way round: Customers know what they want. But as of now, customer needs are decided by the companies.
I believe in commodity-isation of products + the cost of the value added to it. (creativity + producers resource worth + quality, etc.,)
Every body gets as much as they pay up. There is no such thing called _free-food_.
Roughly these were the thoughts I was brewing upon and was not sure if such an alternative could actually exist and _work_. I was looking for business models, which respect _freedom-of-choice_ and give user the value for his money.
I was thinking that bettering upon the _Cataloging_ models would be the solution. Here the companies, put up their product’s profile, which is _one-time_ and any customer would find his way out based on his _needs_ and the reviews and recommendations posted by other similar customers. Which would be much like Amazon’s current model. This way, the process of letting people know of my product gets much simpler and much much much more economical. But those who know for sure, their products will sink in such a ship, will of course continue their attention grabbing spree.
However, a few days later, I saw the silver lining. Obviously, I’m not the only one irritated by the endless commercials that keep popping up in every conceivable place. And I found that people _are_ thinking and working towards alternative models.
Advertising is about _Attention Economy_, while the alternative is about _Intention Economy_.
Although in nascent stage, the blueprints for such an economy are being laid out.
Do read this follow up article too.
Finally….. it’s becoming possible to “Break free of Empires.”