Interlude: Kill the Argument ~ Sounds + Food 'n' Retail

Interlude: Kill the Argument

death of internet marketing.jpgThis week, I seem to be taking somewhat of a personal angle, where I express my own views, rather than report and analyse those of others. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but, after reading Fred Wilson's view on it, I think it's sometimes necessary to instil some personality into a blog.

One thing in life that I am very sceptical about is marketing, and there is one particular kind that annoys me the most. I call this argumentative marketing, and I define arguments as:

Constructing a logical set of information, meant to replace the logic present in the mind of the audience.
In other words, arguments often serve the purpose of distracting or confusing the person or group they are targeted at.

That it is not meant as arguments not containing any information! No, I think knowing that a knife can cut through a metal can of food is quite interesting! But if I were a chef and all I wanted to do is chop vegetables, and I already had a perfectly good knife, this information could also be considered distracting.

Arguments are very prevalent in our global society. Not only is advertising the number one business-model in on- and off-line media, but there are quite a number of jobs centered around constructing arguments. Take students, lawyers, politicians, consultants, marketeers, sales-people, a certain type of manager, etc. And let's not forget bloggers!

And I think the market for arguments, people, is quite saturated with them also, meaning that the value of arguments is constantly decreasing.

As always, this means that other opportunities open up, which some marketeers are already exploiting. Let's not market at all!

One way to do that would be to simplify the argument to the essentials. Have the product or service itself tell the story, by illustrating clear and simple values, which customers can grasp and share with the rest of the world.

Examples are:
  • Google-search: just search
  • iPod: 1 button-play
  • Fast-food: colourful, good-smelling food and drinks, easily accessible (there does seem to be a trend towards more info, but I'm seriously doubting that it will last, or that it matters to 98% of customers)
  • Amazon's Kindle (still sceptical): one click shopping anywhere (in the US)
  • And, last but not least, the lack of title-sequences in the series "Lost," and pretty much any movie or series afterwards!
For my own business-plans, I'm much more leaning in this direction. Have the product speak its own tale. Give customers optional information, if they so desire. But ultimately it's all about building trust, a reputation based on that, and designing your business-processes to support that.

The picture is courtesy of


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