Originally uploaded by stesitula

I love a good discussion about marketers and agencies and the way they interact with the great mass of people who consume their work, and there have been a couple of really good posts recently. First up, there is this neat post from my buddy Cam Beck which looks at the concept of "targeted reach" as a form of deep engagement (see the visual and you will see what I mean).

Mark, on the other hand, has a great post about the way that ethics play out in the decision making process. He nicely shows how our personal ethics connect to an emotional brand linkage. So what does this mean for marketers, planners and agency types?

It means [we] will have to start being better at understanding human beings – not just communications.

It is one thing to have ethics and quite another thing to activate these. What I guess we are looking for is a form of ethicette … where there is a closer correlation between our brand/life ideas and the ways in which we put these into practice in our personal and professional lives. Now THAT sounds like a work-life balance with real challenges!

2 thoughts on “(Ethic)ette

  1. Gav – From my perspective, ethics without activation are functionally useless. When the two don’t meet, it results in a cognitive dissonance that demands resolution. Either the ethics or the activity must change to reach an equilibrium.
    About five years ago when I was still working in the commercial printing industry, I was put on a project I had serious moral problems with. I was terrified. The company I worked for wasn’t doing too well financially and was taking every job it could get. I was about to get married and knew I’d have a family to support.
    I basically drew a line in the sand. I acquiesced to working for the company, but I refused to work for any project involving that client. To their credit, my company didn’t fire me, but when it eventually did merge with another company a year later, I was not invited to come along.
    All the better for me. I moved on to bigger things. But I always wondered… Was I right for continuing my employment there in the interim? The matter in question was, and still is, a hotly contested subject, with both sides feeling quite strongly for their position – myself included.
    I am still quite good friends with people who have a different position than me. Holding a belief – even fanatically – does not absolve me from my responsibilities as a citizen to try to respectfully find commonalities with the people whose live I affect (and whose lives affect me).
    I still don’t know whether I was right or wrong, but I am glad I no longer have to deal with the question.

  2. Cam, from what you’ve written, it sounds like you did the right thing, all the way. One can’t change the world living in a tent and eating crackers – or raise a family either.
    Gavin, the marketing companies that figure out a way to assist us consumers in activating the ethics we espouse will be rich beyond their wildest dreams.

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