Rory Sutherland: Marketing as the Science of Exceptions — 42courses.com

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Marketing is a branch of economics.

— Philip Kotler

Why do so many people view marketing as a cost, as opposed to a source of value creation?

Mainstream economics assumes that human behaviour occurs on prompt of perfect information, stable preferences and perfect trust, independent of context or circumstances.

Unfortunately, this assumption is not only incorrect, but it creates a parallel world in which marketing does not need to exist. If only it were as easy as to make a product, sit back and wait. ⏯

As that isn’t the world we live in, marketing is still necessary, even if the economists view it as a ‘necessary evil’ rather than a necessary opportunity.

Since economics and engineering dominate the modern business sphere (and they tend to have an inherent dislike for marketing), marketeers are starting at a disadvantage. Economists want to minimize the cost and engineers want to ‘win’ business through the merit of the product, not the marketing.

What is needed is not an interpretation of the utility created by marketing, but a marketing interpretation of the whole process of creating utility.

— Wroe Alderson

Marketing is the science of knowing what economists are wrong about.

Subtracting what they’re right about is the basis of marketing.

Let’s, for a moment, compare marketing to biology 🧬and economics to physics. 🥼

Physics is defined by certainties. The laws of thermodynamics, elastic limits, Newton’s absolute space and time. It’s a science of getting what it says on the tin.

Biology, however, is the science of exceptions. Biologists don’t look for the universal laws but the exceptions, the oddities. (Have you ever looked at a platypus?) 🤯

The same can be said for marketing. Embracing the exceptions and oddities allows for magic to take place.

Think about it, why does Guinness taste better in Dublin, Pernod in France? Context shifting creates magic in terms of value in a way that economics alone couldn’t achieve.

Finding a different where your brand wins and emphasising it is alchemic magic — turning a weakness into a strength.

Think about it, why does Guinness taste better in Dublin, Pernod in France? Context shifting creates magic in terms of value in a way that economics alone couldn’t achieve.

Finding a different where your brand wins and emphasising it is alchemic magic — turning a weakness into a strength.

Emotional efficiency, in generating maximum feeling at the lowest cost, outweighs mechanical efficiency.

An emotional source of value can be missed by a more rational competitor. Emotional value should logically trump rational metrics.

There is no sensible distinction to be made in a restaurant between the value created by the man who cooks the food and the value created by the man who sweeps the floor.

— Ludwig von Mises

(The material in this post is taken from Rory Sutherland’s talk on ‘Make Marketing Great Again’ for DCMC 2020.)

Learn more from Rory Sutherland with our behavioural economics course!

Originally published at https://blog.42courses.com on October 8, 2020.

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Learn about life the universe and everything from a bunch of people at a fun edtech company. www.42courses.com

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