Un-Marketing Your Mind

Do not conform to the ways of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

     I’m a writer by vocation and have done some marketing. The thing I am first and foremost is a Christian. I might not understand all of the scripture and I certainly don’t have all of it memorized yet. But I am learning and trying to stay on the path.

    I am also prone to making mistakes. I am not a perfect creature. I need a lot of polishing, but it’ll come as God needs it to.

    I do, however, know a lot about marketing, good and bad. Unfortunately, most of it is BAD. It seems to be getting worse. Which is why I usually try to steer clear of any of it and write more positive articles. If you have ethics and are a Christian, it’s hard to find work in marketing. I have to turn down a lot of jobs because they violate my faith. So, I am not one of the rich guys. I won't ever be one, unless God blesses me with an abundance of money.

    I pray he does not do this. I’m pretty sure that’s not what he called me for, thankfully.

    He called me to write about what I know: The outdoors, writing, marketing, and learning. 

     It would have been nice if it was only for my fishing and camping stories, but I do have serious things to write as well. I try to do what he asks of me. 

    As Christians we need to open our eyes to what is going on around us. We need to have blinders on when we see anything, or read anything, or hear anything. Marketing isn’t just trying to sell you things, they also want you to feel and think a certain way too. 

Conflict

   One of the tools that is used in marketing is called conflict. They create a problem to get an emotional connection from you. They want you to feel a certain way about a problem that may, or may not exist, in your life. Then they offer a solution to that problem.

    Unfortunately, it works. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t have used it for so long.

  You won’t belong, unless you have this, your life won’t be as good unless you have this, we offer the solution you have been looking for. Usually, it won’t change anything for you, unless you believe it will. Usually, it will just lead to more conflict they can use to sell you other things you don’t really need or keep you thinking a way that is not based on the scripture.

We are the Same

     "We are just alike", is one of the ways marketers use conflict to motivate you to do something or feel the way they want you to. They show pictures of people doing things you do, wearing clothes you wear, eating the same foods as you, or at least like who they think you want to be. It can also be the same trauma you went through. 

    It’s a trap. None of that will make your life better. It will make their lives better because a lot of them get percentages of sales. 

    A really great example of this is the diamond engagement ring and wedding ring. This whole institution was created by Marketers in the 40’s with one slogan. A diamond lasts forever. Like your marriage will, or love will, or your happiness will. 

    It worked. It is still working, every time someone gets engaged in the US, they go look for a diamond ring because it’s what you are supposed to do, it’s what we as a people do. If you are one of us, you will do as we do.

 The people who came up with this notion didn’t care about your wedding or happiness; they just wanted their ads to sell more diamond rings. Brilliant for the diamond industry and Jewelers, bad for everyone else. 

    Marriage is a Holy gift. To God when man and woman are married, they become one. No mention of a diamond has ever been found in the bible. But off they go to the church with a diamond wedding ring like it’s a commandment.

    Then there is the car industry, while some of them are, for the most part, accurate others are trying to sell a lifestyle.

     If you are a farmer, you probably do need a tractor, it's just a matter of which one. Most farmers don’t care about advertising as much as word of mouth. So, you don’t see a lot of tractor commercials. There’s no money in it.

    Sports and luxury cars are another story. So are SUV’s. If you have a family you have to have an SUV, at least that’s what they wanted you to think. If you want to know how well this marketing worked just go to a school in the morning or afternoon and see what kind of vehicle the kids get out of. It’s an SUV line. 

    Are SUVs safer than other cars for families? No. Will you be more like a family in an SUV? NO Is an SUV better on gas mileage than other family vehicles? NO. Is mom going to look cooler driving an SUV? You would have to ask mom that. There was some point that hit home with the moms who make that industry so profitable. 

    None of it will do anything for the betterment of your family unless you believe it will. The only thing that will do anything for your family is you. Set an example not by buying this or that but by living smarter and being a better example. This goes for all of us, not just families.

    Then we have the really big boys of bad marketing. Pharmaceutical companies. 

    I know you have seen the ads: 30 seconds of product info on the “medicine” and then 5 minutes of the side effects. It might do one good thing, and they emphasize that one thing with people looking like they have such an amazing life now that they have taken this chemical. Then in a completely different voice you get to hear what it really might do. My favorite line is “May cause death, which is serious.”

    The tone changes on the two because all they want you to remember or pay attention to is how good your life will be after you take our new wonder drug, even if it kills you.

     Luckily most people are waking up to these types of ads, and hopefully pharmaceutical companies in general.

Who profits?

    What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul? Mark 8"36

     Un-marketing what you see is not going to be easy. It is almost everywhere. There are a few areas that don’t get marketed and a few companies that actually do have honest advertising. It’s just been so saturated by bad marketing that you hardly even notice it anymore.

     So, you need to have blinders on when you see things. Not just advertising that you can recognize. Marketers now are pretty savvy and a lot of what you read and hear and see is marketing hidden as NEWS, or entertainment, or company policy. All those little things they use to make you think a certain way. Their way. Technically it’s all a form of control. The government is some of the best marketers in the world.

     How do you tell what the marketing is or the good from the bad. Figure out who is really profiting from it, or at least who's gaining more from it; You or Them, or occasionally both, but that is really rare.

    Does buying the diamond ring make your wedding vows any stronger? NO. Did it put money in their pockets? Yes. 

    Does an SUV improve your family? NO. Did it improve that company’s profit margin? YES.

     Will this new drug make my life look like that commercial? Probably not, but it might kill you.

    Good marketing and good companies do want to improve something, they usually don’t make as much money though, so there aren’t as many around.

 You have to do research on the companies you plan on buying from. You also have to ask that simple question before you even begin to think about buying anything. Who is really going to profit from this, me or them?

    I wish it was as simple as saying this is good and this is bad but it’s not. Some things change directions on us halfway through. Some companies and marketing start out with a really good idea and ends up going all wrong because they get the wrong people involved or the situation changes.

    It gets complicated.

     Plus, marketers are inventing new ways all the time to get you to think or feel or buy whatever. It’s what 90% of them do, and they do it without conscience or consequence. Money is their number one motivator.

     Money is not in itself bad. It’s a tool that can be used to do a lot of good, if the right people have it and are in charge of it.

     Love of money is the root of all evil, not just money. Most marketers are employed by people, and who are themselves people, who do not care about you or anything else as long as it makes them money.

   Most of those people are either miserable or soulless. Some might be both. I try not to spend too much time focused on our enemy and their ways. I try to stay positive and keep an unformed opinion until I know enough to make one. I put faith in faith.

    It’s not an easy world to be a Christian in. It never has been. It will be one day but none of us know when that day will be here.

 

Do not conform to the ways of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

 

     So, we have to keep our blinders on. We have to un-market our brains and ask some basic questions before falling to the ways of the world. We have to remain faithful and in the word. That’s one of the ways we can see through their agenda: If it goes against scripture, it’s not for us.

     We also need to spend time in fellowship with other Christians and act like the family we are supposed to be. Sharing ideas, asking questions, looking out for each other. The world is not looking out for us, God is, and we look out for each other.

    So, start looking for who is going to profit from this when you see, hear, and read anything except the scripture. We can all work together to keep each other un-marketed and on the path. If we continue to act as a family like God has directed us, we can help each other to stay clear of the traps the world has set for us. 

Live by faith.

written by Benjamin Evans