Jordan Ogren

December 6, 2021

Most marketing is bullshit 🤭

At its core, most marketing is shallow signaling and gaslighting.

(Exceptions are companies like Patagonian, who truly stand for what they market)

But who better to prove my point than Mr. Zucks.

As you're probably aware, Facebook did a complete facelift. They are now calling themselves Meta.

As a student of the game, I'm willing to put my beliefs in the backseat to study and congratulate great marketing when I see it. But, sadly, Meta ain't it.

What they did was change their name while doing nothing to address the more prominent objections people have (i.e., tracking, controlling the media).

They are trying to be the category leader for virtual reality. But changing your name is only 2.7% of category creation. To truly define and dominate a category, you need to go to the roots and address uncomfortable elements.

Zucks attempted to do that when he announced the name change. But he fell short.

"The metaverse announcement comes as the company is facing another scandal, this time related to thousands of internal documents that formed the basis of a series of stories from The Wall Street Journal called 'The Facebook Files.'" — Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

"The series shows among other things, that Facebook was aware of many problems with its apps, including how Instagram harms some teenage girls and the company's algorithms promote social discord." — WSJ.

"Mr. Zuckerberg didn't discuss the documents at the event." — WSJ.

Rather than address the issues everyone wants to talk about, he did what much marketing does, which is talk about what he wants to talk about:

"We're a company that focuses on connecting people. While most other tech companies focus on how people interact with technology, we focus on building technology so people can interact with each other," he said. "Today, we're seen as a social media company. But in our DNA, we're a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier."

"In our DNA…" 😂

Am I the only one who sees through this mirror of lies? 
Am I the only one who wants them to stop sidestepping the significant issues and address them with real action?

The lesson here is that marketing cannot change the roots. Great messaging and strategic marketing help, but it will eventually fall when the base is off.

I'm not suggesting Meta will fail. I'm saying the marketing around it would fail if this were a class (maybe a D-).

Marketeer Insights ⚔️
  • Marketing can amplify but cannot change the foundation of a company
  • Marketing needs to be involved with laying and altering the foundation as that is what truly makes marketing effective (messaging and positioning all stem from the roots)
  • To do great marketing requires radical transparency, and looking at the giants (Meta, Google) is not a good playbook for how to great marketing

🧠 + ❤️ // JO