My friend once sarcastically made a jab at consulting as a job anyone can do. He said that all that consultants are are people who take your company’s information and statistics and put it into a nice, visually pleasing powerpoint presentation. When I saw my early twenties, fresh-out-of-college friends take consulting jobs of well established companies, I couldn’t help but laugh in agreement to my friend’s satirical comment. I had a similar disrespect for marketing jobs as well. I used to think, “How hard can it be to come up with some catchy slogan and put it up on some billboard or air it on a television commercial?” Well, now I know it’s hard. Not because coming up with a slogan is hard but because the business of changing an image, which is what marketing essentially is, is very difficult.
For the past four years and a half, I have lived in a house with, at one point, six roommates. All guys, all bachelors. The house, over the years, have collected numerous nicknames, some being “Scary house”, “Bachelor’s pad” and “Ice box”. The adjectives that perennially describe the four-story abode are no better: “dirty”, “freezing”, “sauna”. The residents have on occasion had desires to propose our house up for the show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Because we’ve found that such an image is not conducive to the decisions of prospective tenets, we have since tried to change the image of the house by instituting a cleaning schedule and fixing up parts of the house to be more guest friendly. But such an image change has been quite difficult, thus, the growing respect for workers in the marketing industry. One of the most difficult things to change about the image of the house is the drastic temperatures of cold in the winters and hot in the summers. My former housemate recently sent me a link to a NY Times article titled, “Chilled by Choice” accompanied with the email subject line, “Other people live like you!” Apparently, the image elicited in his mind after reading about these ridiculous people who live in frigid habitats was sadly, the house I currently reside. Fail. To our attempt to change the houses image. Conclusion. Marketing is hard.
So with my newfound respect for people who work in marketing, I can understand why so much money is poured into advertisements and commercials. Hmmm… maybe we should hire a consultant to put together a fancy powerpoint telling us what we’ve been doing wrong…. Nah.