Do you think of yourself as more of a right or left-wing marketer?
Let’s explain that idea a bit.
In politics, we talk about right or left-wing ideological bias.
If you believe the laws of natural selection and are more prone to side with the idea that the free market economy is the best system to order social differences; then you would consider your beliefs and philosophies to be leaning towards the right.
On the other hand, if your viewpoint is in opposition to social hierarchy and social inequality and are concerned for those in society who are perceived as disadvantaged relative to others, then you would consider yourself to have a left-wing political bias.
In reality, most normal people wouldn’t necessarily find their political beliefs to be radically on either one- or the other side of this polar spectrum, but rather having a bias somewhere in-between.
Considering this example of right and left-wing tendencies, why is it that in marketing terms we do not actively consider a similar bias then when it comes to our core beliefs and intentions?
Much like politics, marketing is a profession that relies heavily on a combination of social and economic sciences. And in a very similar way, it produces social engineering, which can be viewed as having a bias towards either a social elite, or for the good of all of humankind.
What’s lacking, however, is a recognition of these biases and ultimately an awareness of self, towards which one you feel more comfortable contributing. You’re either going to be happy working for Goldman Sachs and drooling over your annual $1 million bonus; or building the Patagonia brand while hiking sustainably through the Andes.
Right-wing marketers are trying to extract as much profit as possible from an asset, while left-wing marketers are trying to affect as much positive social impact as possible from an opportunity.
Once again, it’s not that you as a marketer will find yourself necessarily on the bleeding edge of the spectrum, (you’ll most probably fall somewhere either side of the line). But the fact is; you can save yourself a hellava lot of time and stress by just acknowledging, that at your core, you are either mad about making a maximum profit at just about any cost; or you believe that you can save the world with your skill…and that is just about payment enough.
So – do you consider yourself a right or left-wing marketer?