unmarketing : release the pressure

Friday, June 03, 2005 at 11:55:00 AM

roots of unmarketing

Following is a brainstorming piece that I wrote some time ago, while trying to come to terms with the current state of marketing. In some ways, it is one of the components that led me to unmarketing. I've spent a long time looking for alternative ways of marketing that are not intrusive, and have had a hard time finding those ways. So I continue to wrestle, and continue to look for new ways and new techniques that are conscionable.

I love marketing. You may have the impression that I hate it, or that I think it is wrong. This is not true. I have always been fascinated with marketing, have chosen to find a life in marketing.

Yet I also have limits. I cannot accept anything-goes, zero-accountability, invasive marketing tactics. I cannot accept marketing targeted at children. I believe that marketing is a useful tool - but I also believe that consumers have a right to avoid marketing if they wish. And when we cannot disengage from marketing, our culture has gone too far.

And so unmarketing is about finding alternatives.


do it all. do it differently.
neologik is about defining the edge. whether it's the edge of reason or the edge your company needs to gain. it's about personalities - the friction that generates vital new ideas by disparate viewpoints rubbing togeether.
neologik is about rejecting the mundane in favor of the exciting. it's about thinking beyond the box, not outside the box. zen design - there is no box.


can a functioning philosophy, infusing every particle of being, be distilled into a single bland mission statement?
i hope not.
a living philosophy must be flexible, adaptive to any given situation... and adaptive to any possible situation. in order to breathe, a philosophy must encounter the really real world. or it dissolves into so much smoke.
yet a philosophy must be articulated as well. an un-articulated philosophy will never develop, never grow.
here, then, is the


redefine reality on your own terms.
neologik is more than a selling house (it's that, too). neologik is more than production. neologik is more than one man.
if neologik were boiled down, two elements would remain:

what if?
what'll it take?

at heart, neologik exists to speculate, to wonder and to attempt. neologik is absolutely unique, a specialized niche in itself. neologik is not for everyone.


everything is marketing.
escape is impossible, but at the same time attention is drifting. and the innundation of marketing escalates in an attempt to compensate for that same drifting attention that it causes. and on and on.
something has to give. either marketers or customers will shut down completely.
the same old, same old cannot survive.
which means there has to be a better way. neologik exists to discover that better way.
it all falls to two questions:
what if?
what'll it take?
you've never heard of speculative marketing. and neither have i. it's something i've had to invent, to cope with what i see in the world every waking moment. born of frustration, forged in outright anger at the status quo mentality of staid companies unwilling or unable to explore the possibility of innovative marketing techniques that will not add to the noise.
birthed by two questions i asked myself:
what if traditional marketing didn't work?
what'll it take to build a market?
what if?
what'll it take?
neologik exists to explore those questions. neologik exists to create the answers.
redefine reality.

a philosophy must function in the really real world, or it's just smoke (usually blown from someone's ass). and to function, there has to be a "how".
(i'll be the first to admit that proving a speculation is a sucky, crappy deal. really. being innovative means challenging, being aggressive, being polemical. people - especially people in corporations - don't necessarily like that, no matter how much lip service is paid to the idea of 'creativity' and 'originality'.)
so how does marketing work in a post-marketing environment? how does marketing succeed when marketing no longer has the ability to attract?
1) accept the foundations of marketing, whether they're called the Principles, the Immutable Laws, the Basic Tennants or whichever phrase is au courant.
2) absorb existing techniques, whether they're viral, guerrilla, b2b, b2c, p2p, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.
3) start twisting.


writers know that stories come from the collision of ideas. the ideas themselves are easy to find; they exist everywhere, ready for plucking by the attentive author. stories arise when ideas are mashed together, juxtaposed, combined and recombined until a spark unites them, creating energy and vitality - newness.
here's a secret: marketing is about stories
and when it comes to stories, you can choose the tried-and-true plots we've read a million times before, or you can choose the road less written. you can choose shakespeare, or you can choose pynchon.
most companies choose shakespeare, which is not surprising. shakespeare has history, scholarship, staying power. shakespeare has been analyzed, Cliff-noted, institutionalized. shakespeare isn't dangerous. shakespeare is sanitized.
i've always preferred pynchon.
end interlude.

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