Seth Godin issued a call recently for marketers to take stock of their trade and embrace the moral aspects of their industry: “You’re responsible for what you sell. When you choose to sell it, more of it gets sold.”
I particularly like how Godin emphasizes personal responsibility. This is something that is not unique to a particular profession, of course, and is therefore a reality that constantly needs to be reiterated. “As marketers, we have the power to change things, and the way we use that power is our responsibility–not the market’s, not our boss’s. Ours,” he writes.
Indeed, the logic of the marketplace is not enough by itself. That’s true for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the powerful and dominating attraction of sin.
“We’re responsible for what we sell and how we sell it. We’re responsible for the effects (and the side effects) of our actions, ” Godin states. “It is our decision. Whatever the decision is, you need to own it. If you can’t look that decision in the mirror, market something else.”
Godin’s analysis may not in itself be sufficient to arrive at a comprehensive and full-blown morality of the marketplace, but I think it’s a pretty darn good start, especially considering it comes as a call from within the profession.
Dr. Grabill can take heart…recognition of the natural law isn’t dead.