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Marketing Vs integrity

Now that is an interesting topic, isn’t it? Let me give you a definition of marketing – getting the product/service out to market. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

What about bad products/services? The service providers, or product designers and manufacturers need to take their bad p/s (too close to BS – don’t you think?) to market as well, don’t they.

Suppose you had the best intentions at heart, really, and you thought you have the breakthrough, and your P/S will change the life of millions of people, for the better. Suppose you have someone to back you financially, and together you’ve invested a Million, no – a Billion dollars in research and development, and you’ve made a great prototype, and ready to go to market.

Sounds exciting – doesn’t it?? Now imagine you could revolutionize one of the biggest industries in the world, let’s say – the car industry. All enthused, you come up with a great plan to tell the world all about it. You get celebrity endorsers, political leaders to promote it, 1000’s of people believe in your product and breakthrough, and act as evangelists. Fantastic, ey?

Deep down though, whilst everyone is excited about the breakthrough, you discover that something went horribly wrong. You do your due diligence, and you find that you didn’t take one factor into consideration (after all, you’re human, and can make a mistake). That one factor, if found, will take the whole project off the production line – no breakthrough, and a Billion dollars down the drain…

What do you do?  Do you do the “right thing” or think of clever marketing tactics to hide the truth, and glorify the wrong?

I know what Toyota did – and the Prius is on our roads today. Too many of them. Hybrid – how appropriate – it is the combination of great intentions, and crap implementation. Hybrid.

It didn’t make commercial sense to stop the production line, and go back to the drawing board. That’s a pity, because they lead many people to believe they are helping the environment, while they actually causing more damage. Tax payers around the world fund these expensive “green” cars, which cause more damage to the environment than, let’s say – the Yaris (a truly great product from Toyota).

What about the Lexus V8 hybrid  4  wheel drive – used by moms to take the little ones comfortably to school and back, and to line up to get into the local shopping centre – V8 hybrid – you must be joking!

This is when marketing went horribly wrong. Taking a product, creating a perception (and perception is reality, isn’t it?), and selling the product to unsuspecting clients, thinking they are leading the world of environmentally friendly transportation. Or maybe this isn’t the real reason people buy these cars?

Could it just be that these people want to make a statement? “Hey, look at me – I’m green, and IN”. ‘cause that would explain why the Honda Civic hybrid was such a flop – it looked exactly like the other Civics. No statement there.

How about some integrity in marketing – when something is not right, you have options:

  1. You could admit you were wrong, and stop doing it.
  2. You could ignore it, and hope nobody will notice.
  3. You can cover it up with clever marketing, and create a movement of wrong. Toyota did it! Why can’t you?

I know what I’m doing, and have never claimed to be Greener than thou: I’m riding my bike. A motorcycle. Why is it green? I don’t take much space. I don’t stand in traffic, blowing up smoke for hours on end. I don’t cause accidents by being distracted by a phone, the radio, or a cigarette butt falling between my legs when I’m riding. I go quickly and efficiently between A & B.

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