If everyone can agree to be honest for a second, I think we need to have an candid discussion about marketing as a profession. There have always been services that the public dislikes, but being in marketing, media, and advertising, I tend to hear all about it. Meeting new people usually comes with the standard icebreakers, "What do you do for a living?" or "What do you study in school?" I like to say that responding is like getting sushi from a gas station: I'm not positive it's going to go poorly, but I'm not optimistic.
In almost all developed countries, as well as several underdeveloped ones, entertainment and its publicity are things that regularly touch people's lives, usually multiple times a day. Simply being bitter about something so prevalent is a waste of both marketers' and the public's time. Instead, as marketing professionals our time would be better spent striving to make the industry something that's worth respecting. People already like entertainment; it allows them to pay for things to make them happy. It shouldn't be so unbelievable that we could bring people around to respecting the entertainment marketing profession as well.
Because of its expansive reach and almost impossibly wide scope, entertainment has the capacity to have a powerful and extremely positive impact on the world. When you approach media and advertising from a place of optimism and positivity, it creates better work and can make unfamiliar territory a little more sympathetic for the average person. Not to imply sympathy is a goal in itself, but no one wants to feel manipulated or used after paying for an experience. People do, however, want to be part of something bigger than themselves, be it a movement, culture, or experience. By marketing to the human side of people and showing them how entertainment makes the world a better place, we can reverse the stigma associated with marketing and advertising and create respect where there hasn't been any for a long time. I truly believe it's worth making the effort. I know I can't be the only one who doesn't want to justify what I do for a living for the rest of my life.
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Marketing and statistics student at the University of Central Florida, Orlando.