Josh Pitzalis

Empowered citizens make better customers

There is nothing more important in life than consumption.

To be a good citizen you must be a good consumer.

This is the moral of every story told today. On every screen. On constant repeat.

Traditional marketing is based on identifying a wound, pouring salt all over it to amplify the pain, and then stepping in with a product or service to solve all of your problems.

Inadequacy marketing has deeply ingrained in us the assumption that people prize ease and convenience and want to avoid making sacrifices at any cost.

This is a destructive and flawed assumption.

I learned all this from reading Story Wars, a book by Johan Sachs, where he points out that human beings are more than selfish machines seeking status, sex, comfort, and convenience. People also need to grow, they value difficult challenges and seek meaning and connection with others.

Imagine if all the messages we received every day told us how much potential and sufficiency we have. Rather than telling us how incomplete and pathetic we are.

Imagine if 'marketing' implied making people feel better about themselves and helping them envision the world as a better place.

Marketing could just as easily cast our customers as the heroes of the stories we tell.

As marketers, we are allowed to tell the truth. The truth that we are all heroes in the making. And we can help people connect with their deeper values and guide them towards contributing something of value to the world. The businesses, products, and services we build can enable the kinds of transformations that people want to make.

Empowered citizens make better customers than depressed, helpless consumers.



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