Marketing in Wonderland
A great man of our time, comedian, writer and columnist Steven Fry had a thought which could both invoke curiosity and inspire, ‘’Technology is like a mirror. If an idiot looks at himself in the mirror, its not likely that he’ll see a genius in his reflection’’
Marketing is a technology. What to make, where to sell, how much that costs and how it communicates; technology is getting more evolved and complex by the day; and with each day it becomes more in tune with other complementary technologies in the before mentioned fields.
When one is to look in the mirror of technology, or the technological mirror, one must bear in mind who it is that is in front of the mirror, and in what environment such a thing is taking place. Fry’s analogy doesn’t only concern the actual subject/reflection in the mirror, but also the environment in which this reflection is taking place. A mirror in Versailles and a mirror in a public toilet in Belgrade’s Zeleni venac district give two different reflections of the same person. An idiot doesn’t necessarily need to be reflected; an idiotic situation or environment is enough to warn or show a person that the reflection they will see may not be one of great quality.
In a country, where the majority of the population’s spending power will be decreased by 10%, not to mention increases in prices and inflation; the situation cannot exactly be described as that of a mirror in Versailles. It is in fact quite the opposite. The distance from the Versailles mirror situation is greater furthered when you realize that, other than the above mentioned factors, there are other factors such as an army of the unemployed , economic recession and the state of public communications which create fear; fear that is adequate enough to decrease consumer spending within the majority of the population.
In such a country, wonders occur on a daily basis. The fact that a market exists is wonder enough. The wonder of the survival of a fledgling economy. The wonder of the current social situation/peace state. The wonder of political weakness. The wonder regarding the fact that there are still those who buy things other than the bare necessities at supermarkets. The wonder of the colourful state of the media, which consists of a myriad of other smaller, tabloid wonders. The actual length of the list of wonders which come to ones mind when thinking of ending this paragraph, is the wonder with which we will end it.
Marketing in such environments, much like thinking about its future is a wonder of its own, and such a wonder is taking place in a country which has 400.000 less people employed than the American company Wallmart; and the same amount of employed people as a Chinese national oil company. In that sense, a look in the mirror would be very useful. It could perhaps bring an important conclusion, for example, one which states that successful marketing isn’t likely to exist in a country, which lacks successful marketing of its own self. No matter how successful marketing is, it isn’t likely to succeed, because the situation is such, that it can be described as trying to make a great white shark survive in fresh water.
A mirror is a useful invention. Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” used this contraption to go to another dimension. A look in a mirror doesn’t have to take us to far and foreign lands, but it can tell us a lot about ourselves. Steven Fry is right, technology exists, meaning something which can provide us with a reflection. One just needs to have enough bravery to look in the mirror and see what reflects; what is the environment which we will see, in which we reflect, and what and who we really are. The longer we hesitate, the greater the chance of us not liking what we see.
Hopefully, we’re not idiots to such an extent.
Author: Voja Žanetić