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Good Marketers Understand What Makes the World Tick December 21, 2007

Posted by Celso in Advertising, Books.
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An excerpt from Joshua Ferris’ novelThen We Came to the End” about a troubled group of co-workers employed at a once prominent advertising agency, now facing the economic struggles of the dot-com era. I have yet to see a better written account of the essence of being a marketer.

But it wasn’t just our jobs at stake, was it? When we had trouble nailing an ad, our reputations were on the line. A good deal of our self-esteem was predicated on the belief that we were good marketers, that we understood what made the world tick – that in fact, we told the world how to tick. We got it, we got it better than others, we got it so well we could teach it to them. Using a wide variety of media, we could demonstrate for our fellow Americans their anxieties, desires, insufficiencies, and frustrations – and how to assuage them all. We informed you in six seconds that you needed something you didn’t know you lacked. We made you want anything that anyone willing to pay us wanted you to want. We were hired guns of the human soul. We pulled the strings on the people across the land and by god they got to their feet and they danced for us.

This is an amazing book about the daily grind of office co-existence which, is at times nurtured by our desire to belong to an established institution, a human tendency eloquently condemned by Ralph Emerson’s writing and central to Ferris’ novel.