Ultimate Urban Legends – Marketing Edition

Boss of a firm is sitting in a meeting room with his subordinates. Boss is concerned about company’s performance which has been very bad. 

Boss says – “We can’t compete on price. We also can’t compete on quality, features or service. That leaves us with fraud, which I would like you to call Marketing” 

(Courtesy: Dilbert)

This is probably one of the many marketing jokes that come as forwards to us every day. After HR, Marketing is probably second best department to poke fun at, I know you’d never do that to Finance (Else who’ll approve all your bills).

What comes to your mind when you hear marketing? PPT presentation, Exaggerated claims in an advertisement, irritating spam calls and emails that you get every day, or people in Tie and prospectus ready to jump at you?

Positioning product with a positive is the objective of Marketing, sadly it couldn’t so for itself.

I’m an MBA graduate from IMT G with Marketing as my Majors. I’ve come across Marketing Whatsapp forwards from acquaintances almost every day. Although taking a shot at 100-year old pop culture jokes is difficult but let me try with a few urban legends:

4 Myths About Marketing

#1 Marketing is only about meeting those ad-agencies and making ads:

If every marketer had only one job, to meet Amitabh Bachchan for shooting ads; Job satisfaction in the industry would be ‘Everest’ high.

My dear friend, the function talked above is just a part of Marketing, which is called Brand-Management (*On a broader level, multiple teams are involved just as Creatives, Strategic Communication etc).

Marketing is an umbrella term which includes functions like Market Research, Brand Management, Sales, After Sales Service, Social Media Management etc. All these areas require a considerable amount of hard work on the ground.


#2 Marketing people talk crap all the time:

Myth – Marketing folks don’t know what they are talking about, all they do is bullshit! To be a Marketer, all you need is confidence and ability to talk crap.

My friend, in this age of information and options, would someone put their money on just crap? If you going to sell a complex industrial machine and you do bullshit in front of a panel with high domain knowledge; what are the odds of getting your company blacklisted (and yourself fired)?


#3 Marketing is all about flashy PPTs: 

Myth – You know what, all these marketing guys do is make those flashy powerpoint presentations to the management.

My dear friends, google about Management Trainee program of top companies in India. Marketing grads from Top campuses are put into Sales for initial (at least) 2-3 years of their careers. They work in the field for 6-day a week, many times into rural and remote districts, in gruelling heat or continuous downpour or bone-chilling weather. I heard this somewhere “ITC cigarettes in India reach places where Government hasn’t yet”. So next time you get Bisleri bottle in mountains or Parle-G biscuit in remote regions; Think about flashy PPT statement again.


#4 Marketing grads don’t possess technical knowledge:

Name top 3 tech companies in this world, easy one? Google, Apple, Microsoft. But what are similarities between them? All 3 of them have MBA CEOs. Even Facebook COO, Cisco CEO are MBAs. All of them must have studied Marketing subjects in their MBA. Amazon is one of the major MBA recruiters in India, so is Paytm, Google and so on..

Any MBA batch in India (which has a considerable number of Marketing aspirants) has a good chunk of people with previous work-ex or education background in Tech. Many of them pursue management in order to complement Tech knowledge.


Ending Note:

This article isn’t meant to hurt anybody’s sentiment. With this, I wanted to clear the air regarding Marketing with people who have a limited interaction with marketers. I hope one day, this article become as popular as those Marketing Whatsapp forwards (Pun intended)

Sachin Mandot

Sachin Mandot is an IMT-G Alum (Batch of 2018). With an aim to help MBA aspirants, he has been writing on InsideIIM platform since March 2017.