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Marketing to the affluent or capitalizing on sin?

I started reading Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent yesterday on my lunch. I’ve only  made it 40 pages in, but I’m rather uneasy about his approach so far. It strikes me as slimy and the language he uses to describe his findings reads like an excerpt from a “Get Rich Quick!” seminar.

In the first 30 pages, the author cites a worldwide competition for status and power as the underlying motivation for behavior of the world’s affluent population. While I agree that this is a fact of society, albeit a sad one, I find the suggestion that marketeers should design their campaigns to feed into this behavior deplorable.

When did it become socially acceptable to capitalize on the sin of others? The thought makes me feel sick to my stomach. Measuring oneself over/against others in regards to money, power, status, etc. doesn’t just violate a sin that gets a mere mention in the Bible. It goes against one of the Ten Commandments!

QUESTION: Is it possible to successfully market to the affluent without employing such tactics? Without encouraging greed? If not, where does that leave me?

To be fair to the author, I’m going to finish reading the book. I’m only 40 pages in, and I know that his position could evolve over the next 350+ pages. I’ll let you know if it gets any better. I’ve read some positive reviews, so I’m really hoping it shapes up.

One Comment

  1. Mark Mark

    Your moral judgments will lead you down the right path, and no matter what anyone says or advises you know in your heart that just because it may make you (or your company) more wealthy, if it leaves you feeling uneasy or immoral, then it is the wrong thing.

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