MORPHED TO MARKETING:
LONG TRAIL TO A MARKET-DRIVEN SOCIETY?
By: Joan E. Battey
American generations have all had their special linking-to-each-other customs and
interests, in addition to their familial traditions and national shared beliefs and
traditions.. Up until now, that is! United we stood; Divided we are falling. Accidentally
or deliberately, the results are the same. Until we understand how we got here, we can't
hope to become "one nation" again,. In past years, we were mostly all on the
same page on any big issues. For the most part, we disagreed only on smaller issues, but
were a unified front against large issues which would affect more people..
Maybe we should start the "understanding quest" by working backward to see
how we got off-track. (Kind of like carefully unraveling snarls to make sure we don't make
them worse.) All shifts in focus and culture were marketed steadily, almost slyly, in many
ways -- often with music as one of the main crossover interchanges. The result, intended
or not, was steadily achieved. Way back, lyrics of one old upbeat song illustrated the fun
route to what was to be a fun and happy lifestyle: "...we don't know where we're
going, and we don't know where we've been, but, hubba, hubba, hubba... jump right
Wind-up victrolas had shifted steadily to RADIOS! Families focused together on radio
programs first, then were steadily shifting to smaller sound devices that were portable.
Then, swiftly came TV with all its ability to rivet focus by gathering families together
in rapt attention to the few programs on less than a handful of channels.
Along the way, music subdivided into youth "ownership" vs. old stuff on
devices that didn't cater to the emerging youth audience. Youth wanted to listen or watch
alone, or with others their age. New outlets catered to expanding and differing
age-markets. Same with entertainment, as with music. Each expansion to a new target
audience brought a market for new and different product sponsors to suit the differing
audiences. Audiences came for the programs; but were captive audiences for sponsors and
their products. Making profits while expanding, soon became the way of life in
marketplaces of all kinds. It was no longer possible to just list business names, a few
products with current prices, and a single place for customers to buy what they needed.
"Needed" was the sticking point for great expansion of sales of increased
varieties of products, for increased kinds of "markets." "Needed" had
to be changed to "wanted."
Advertising and marketing cleverly jumped the gulf between "needed" and
"wanted." It took off and never looked back. it's now almost THE dominant
industry in the U.S.
What reaches "markets"? Pushing the message out to more people, while not
losing current customers! The "message" is carried by "Advertising."
Those selling products need ways to reach as many kinds of customers as possible, while
not losing current Customers. Advertising must cleverly and constantly change its thrust
in approach, to appeal to "diverse" audiences, in diverse ways. We now have so
many diverse ways and so many diverse audiences, that we also need those diverse ways of
convincing each audience to accept portions of what they weren't interested in to begin
with. Need has to be changed to Want, regardless of price.
One of the most effective "advertising" techniques is to
gradually insert desired change into eyes and ears that wouldn't accept it all at once. It
works with products, but even more so, also with ideas. It works by changing disinterested
resistance, to thinking that a specific product or change will move them up into the ranks
of discerning and forward-moving groups. Change wears many faces, and the need for
"change" involves many products, as well as ideas.
It works with products and it works by changing thinking and belief systems. It aims to
have many things of all kinds accepted by those who can be made to think that THEY are
among those discerning enough to change from old to new. However, each segment of
potential markets is "marketed to" differently, using different references and
different styles. The aim is market dominance over all other products, belief systems and
governance procedures. The last item , while still aiming toward market dominance over all
other products, belief systems and governance is itself a contrived approach to convincing
people that it is better than dominance/dominating by old governing systems..
Changing thinking came with changing ways in which people were taught. Reinforcing
changes came in how the changes were marketed to people. Markets were originally the open
places where things were displayed for sale. Markets gradually changed from physical
places where things were displayed and sold. Even the early changes in marketplace venues
are primitive by comparison to today's multiple and fast-changing ways of
marketing/advertising both visible and invisible products. Added to it has been the
marketing to visible and more often invisible audiences..
Those who produced the first sales pitches, in primitive ways compared to today's
myriad of electronics and staging, had to self-finance the costs, primitive as they were.
They did so by selling time for a manufacturer to convince viewers or listeners that they
needed a product shown or described to people watching or hearing the entertainment .
That long ago changed. Vastly increased audiences led to vastly different tastes, wants
and needs. Thus came the illusive marriage of need and want, to ADVERTISING and MARKETING.
It is now well on-track to be the dominant, if not the last industry in the U.S.
(To be continued.)
E. Battey is a freelance political writer from Apalachin, NY. Her
love of logical dot connecting and writing developed over many years of typesetting
and proof reading in small daily newspapers; ad agency and manufacturing office
secretarial work, and volunteer work in libraries, animal welfare, political campaigns,
and networks of people keeping abreast of the steady "reforms" in education. She
is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
Joan E. Battey can be reached at:
the August 23, 2012 issue of
Copyright © 1997 - 2012 Ether Zone.
We invite your
comments on this article in our forum!