I recently had a chat with Flatt Sales who is a giant in the media and marketing world. We were waiting for the next train and had roughly 5hours to kill. I am interested in media and marketing and how it works so I asked him a few beginners questions regarding the industry. His responses were quite insightful. Fortunately, I was able to record the entire conversation on my cell phone and am able to report the high points here after paying Flatt a small fee of three thousand pounds for the privledge of using his intellectual property.
Me: So what is marketing then?
Flatt: Well it's all about taking an organisations product that is already on the market and selling well and putting it on the market and getting it to sell well.
Me: But, if it's in the market why does it need to me marketed?
Flatt: There you show your stupidity. If you market your product you probably will do very well indeed without the services of a marketing firm. But, you will not appear in the marketing world because you will not use any of the marketing terms that are currently in vogue. So, to the marketing world you will be invisible.
Me: Does that matter? I mean I will be selling my product won't I?
Flatt: Yes, but you will be doing it without marketing. You need marketing to tell other marketeers that you are selling a product quite well. They can then take your ideas and reuse them to market their products.
Me: Ok. What about products that don't sell well. Does marketing help there?
Flatt: Of course. We can take a product that doesn't sell well and through careful planning (it's not cheap) run the product into the ground. If we're careful enough we can actually take down the whole business by marketing in the right areas.
Me: Do you market other things? Like people?
Flatt: Marketing is always expanding and consuming. Marketing people is old hat. We market many things: people, animals, the weather. We're currently looking at a new hush-hush product that's being pushed by the utility companies.
Me: Do tell. What is it?
Flatt: Well, I think it's ok to say since the devils in the details and if people know the product they won't know the correct marketing terms to use to market the product so I think I'm safe. The product is air.
Me: Air?? The utility companies want to sell air??
Flatt: Yes, well not any old air, but air that we can breathe. Air that's harmful to us is of course free, but you will have to buy from the utility companies a special filter that will magically transform the air into breathable air.
Me: Will that work? I mean air is free isn't it?
Flatt: Technically yes. But, breathable air needs to be processed which is not free. Just look at what we did with water. 30 years ago people would have thought you mad if you brought bottled water, but through careful marketing we've managed to convince people that the water they pay for from their utility company is no better than sewage and they need to buy bottled water to survive. And, they need to drink lots of it. Typically 10-20pounds worth per week.
Me: I see your point. Well, thank you. I see that our train's arriving. Ah. No. It's going backwards. Well, it's getting late now and I'd better get home. It's been very interested Flatt.