Embedded in Mark Ritson’s take on the 90-year-old influencer who took on AT&T, is this gem about the two meanings of the word “marketing.” Preach:
Like dusting or winding up, marketing is a contronym. It means two contradictory things at the same time. Yes, marketing is about communicating and persuading and influencing. But all too often we forget the other, equally important side of our discipline. Marketing is also about listening and learning and understanding and – sometimes – responding. Giving people what they want.
Yes, we have a message we want to get across. But first, we had better understand the needs of the audience we are trying to get our message across to. Therefore, remembering marketing is a contronym, with two meanings and at least two active participants, can be a great reminder before we push our campaigns out and into the world.
Listen, learn, and understand. Then communicate, persuade, and influence.