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Graham Hill


I am not so sure that I entirely agree with Weinberger.

If the purpose of marketing is to influence somebody to do something different, then having a conversation with friends or family is indeed peer-to-peer marketing.

Of course, marketers do not have any control over these conversations, (just as they don't typically have all that much control over the experience of using the products that are being talked about).

I suspect that it is the perceived level of control that ultimately should separate in-control marketing from out-of-control conversations.

He is right about the implications for marketers trying to influence conversations though.

Graham Hill
Independent Marketing Consultant
Interim Marketing Manager

James Cherkoff

Fair point Graham, it's a sensitive area however and easy to create problems if handled too blatantly.


"We need to help marketers resist their deeply bred urges."
Ha-ha. Good one!

Is it marketing if you aren't getting paid to talk?
Is it marketing if you don't have a product to sell? Is it marketing if you are 'selling' an idea, like anti-consumerism for example?
Is anti-marketing marketing? (Ex. you have a blog promoting the idea that people should avoid 'product X' because it's terrible. Is that marketing?)
Or alternatively, are fans of a product really unpaid marketers?

Some of those questions seem more fundamental than whether a conversation is marketing.

In the future, everything everywhere will be marketing and everyone will be a marketer -- except professional marketers. (They will get squeezed out by user-generated marketing. Incidentally, what do you think about the inclusion of one-click Google AdSense in iWeb, Apple's application for creating a personal web presence?)

James Cherkoff

Thanks Brad, insightful as ever. I'll take a looksy at iWeb...sounds like click-fraud heaven to me!


interesting post and comments!

isn't there a distinction between the desire to influence/affect the other party in the conversation, compared to the desire for a specific outcome to happen?

surely marketing is more about the latter (ultimately, a specific outcome vis a vis the brand/product)?

ergo, markets may be conversations ... but conversations are not marketing!

James Cherkoff

Thanks Kevin, as marketeers we are all trying to set the new boundaries correctly but as consumers we are immediately aware when they are wrong...

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