Apologies to those of you expecting another lyrical masterpiece on page 3 of your friendly quarterly issue of benchmark. I toyed with penning a freestyle rap on the topic of this issue, but I’m afraid my rhymes were just too fly to fit the space we have here. Next time, perhaps. Next time.
I’m a marketing guy. I don’t speak about that on these pages very often, as I've come to the conclusion over the past 16 years at NAFEMS that you engineery types don't give that much credence. But, well, you’re all still making money, so marketing is doing something right. Let us know if you still doubt us, and we can quickly change that...
Anyway, I digress. The point I’m making is that, as a marketing guy, I can smell BSat 100 paces. Primarily because I’ve probably created it, but still – it’s a finely-tuned skill, and one of which I’m pretty proud of. The trouble is that it’s everywhere. One of my favourite responses to the question “what does marketing actually do” is simply “we tell you what to think”. And I stand by that. That reaction when you think you've seen through a particular piece of advertising or branding (you know, that smug look you get when your internal dialogue is saying “I see you – I know what you're doing”)? Nine times out of ten, that’s exactly the response the marketing team has tried to solicit.
Trouble is – we’re all becoming weary of it. Most of us now go through life with a low-level “hum” in the back of our brain telling us we’re being played, conned, or (gasp) lied to. We don’t know by whom, or for what ends, but we’re pretty sure it’s happening. And, whilst that’s almost certainly true (open any news site right now and tell me there isn’t a story on the front page about trust issues), the fact is that aside from all of this skulduggery (ALWAYS wanted to use that word in print!), there are still the same truths, the same innovators, the same agents of change that have always been there. It’s just that, because everyone is fighting for everyone else's weary attention, they get more buried each day.
So – The Hype. Don’t believe it, or believe it – it’s up to you. But at NAFEMS, as you'll read in this issue, we’re taking up the mantle of trying to look beyond it. And see through it. There’s something there, we know that. But what is it? And is it all it's cracked up to be?
Skulduggery, I tell you.
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