Education and Marketing

    January 19, 2008

The smallest remarks can sometimes spur the greatest conversations.

Digital Ethnography - Kansas State University
Case in point, yesterday on a blog by Professor Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University made a very simple interaction with his students that many of us might remember during our time in college, regarding school and learning, and posted it on the Digital Ethnography blog:

First day of class …

I took an informal “raise your hand” survey of my 200 Intro students.

Me: “How many of you do not actually *like* school?”
just over half(!) raise their hands

Me: “How many of you do not like learning?”
no hands

You may remember their video post Digital R/evolution.

I left a comment regarding the post citing similarities with educators and marketers:

As a professional marketer, it is my job to reach an audience and make a lasting impression regarding a product or service. In that same respect, as an educator you are trying to reach your audience and make a lasting impression regarding a topic.

Marketing is changing, as is education, in that we have (because of technology) gained the ability to interact on new levels to reach and make an impression on our audience.

To which, a scathing response to my remark:

Marketing’s goal isn’t to empower consumers. In fact, it’s goal is usually to “dupe” consumers.

I know that it is not my intent to dupe consumers, but I can see that there are those that believe that we (marketers) are focused on a sale rather than a relationship. I have been a marketer for over 10 years now and have been an online marketer for half that time. I love the online space, it gives me the ability to engage and educate the user, I really do enjoy this.

I know that there are many that regard SEO in that same respect, which is something that I (and I am sure you) battle in our online communities around marketing and web development.

Are there many online marketers out there that are not trying to engage their users and build a relationship?

I know that there are a lot of SEOs that do the same. They are usually classified as black hats, but are there any SEOs that consider themselves white hats but are not concerned with building relationships with their users?

Yes. No. I would like to hear from you!