If we analyze the physical world, there’s one principle that all famous, wealthy, or powerful individuals have to deal with in order to establish or maintain their wealth or social position. This is the principle of marketing.
In a social world, marketing is always the main force behind success. To promote the success of the individual, skills in marketing are more important than skills in any other field.
Let me clarify the last statement with an example. Suppose you are a skilled researcher who has just discovered the cure for aids. In order for this cure to do any good, the world has to know about it and believe in its effectiveness. No matter how important your product, idea, or accomplishment, it is of no value unless people know about it and use it.
Marketing was used throughout history to promote public personalities.
Even religion has its roots in marketing. During the time of Christ, Israel was full of prophets. Some of them even claimed to have risen from the dead. Why do so many people worship Christ today and no one has ever heard of any other prophet from that time period?
Many Christians would like to attribute Christ’s popularity to Divine Will. But in this case, God used the marketing ads written by Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John and the skills of St. Paul and other holy apostles to turn Christ into Europe’s most popular prophet and his Church into a world power.
If you think about it, all religious institutions are actually the ad agencies of the gods or prophets that they serve.
Effective marketing does not need to necessarily market the best product. Sometimes you don’t even need a product.
Thirty years ago IBM had one of the greatest marketing teams in the world. In 1980 they decided to create a personal computer. They needed an operating system for their PC. There were two companies that were possible suppliers. They were Digital Research headed by Gary Kindall and Microsoft headed by Bill Gates. Kindall was a brilliant engineer and programmer. He had designed the first operating system used by personal computers. It was called CP/M. Bill Gates was a college drop out, whose company was working on the Basic programming language and did not know how to create an operating system.
Kindall being a technical person, never fully appreciated IBM’s marketing power. When IBM came to possibly license his CP/M software, he went flying and let his wife Dorothy handle the negotiations. She treated IBM as a big “corporate alien” and could not reach an agreement with its representatives. She felt IBM’s non-disclosure agreements were too harsh, and demanded more money to license the CP/M operating system.
The first time IBM’s people contacted Bill Gates, he sent them to Kindall, since he had no operating system. After encountering “corporate alien abuse” from Dorothy Kindall they went back to Gates. This time Gates bought an operating system for $50,000 and hired its developer to fix bugs and add improvements. Gates also signed IBM’s non-disclosure agreements, and licensed the system for a suitable fee. Even though it was inferior to CP/M, IBM’s marketing power soon made Gates’ operating system, PC-DOS, very popular.
IBM made a major mistake by just licensing the software, instead of buying it. Because Microsoft retained the rights to it, Gates was able to sell it to the manufacturers of IBM clones under the name MS-DOS. That’s why Microsoft became a powerful corporation, and Bill Gates became extremely rich.
We can see how powerful marketing can be. When IBM started marketing its coming PC, they lacked a critical component to make their computer work, the operating system. Instead of getting the best they settled for a very buggy imitation. Yet in the end the IBM PC became the most popular architecture for PCs in the world and Microsoft’s operating system became the world’s best selling pre-windows operating system.
The marketers with the least real-world skills run the world.
There is a group of marketers that can discuss practically any subject, but they understand very few. The one thing that they’re really good at is marketing themselves. We call these marketers politicians.
If you follow most politicians, you see that from the day they take office, they are doing everything they can to make themselves look good. Every day in office is really a preparation for the next election.
Unfortunately, they serve as our lawmakers. They usually have little knowledge of the issues and favor the most influential lobby. Since the majority of the world’s lawmakers are politicians, they exert the strongest influence over world affairs. In other words, they effectively run the world.
A marketing campaign doesn’t have to be truthful to be successful.
The Internet is full of all kinds of MLM and Ponzi marketing schemes that are making millions for the marketers perpetuating them. People want to believe in things that will give them health, wealth and happiness.
A currently active con-artist marketer is Kevin Trudeau. If you Google his name, you will see references to his books and some of his other fantastic products.
This skilled marketer mainly uses television infomercials to hype his miracles. Many of his products are phony and his books mix real research with ridiculous assertions.
Even after having many of his claims discredited and doing a couple years in prison, it seems that nothing can stop a determined marketer like Kevin. He’s still going strong and raking in the cash.
Self-help is another form of marketing that claims to teach you the principles of success.
W. Clement Stone was a successful salesman who made a fortune selling insurance and started the Combined Insurance Company(now Aon, Inc). He believed that the secret to his success was his positive attitude. He wrote books that preached the value of having pma(positive mental attitude).
Proponents of the self-help movement always use pma as a starting point in their attempts to market the secrets of success.
It’s always good to maintain a positive attitude, but usually this is not a significant factor leading to success. W. Clement Stone had a highly intense personality. He was the type of salesman that refused to take no for an answer. He was an extremely pushy workaholic that became a leader in his field. The personalities of most people lack the “boldness” and “determination” of Stone. It’s easy to make daily positive affirmations, but very difficult to change your personality into one that mimics W. Clement Stone.
That’s why many self-help customers are repeat customers. There will always be a market for books, lectures, tapes, and DVDs that help point people in the direction of their unattainable dreams.
In a Corporate Alien run world, the rich remain rich because they use their wealth to effectively market themselves and their projects.
If Paris Hilton got tired of partying and decided to start a software company, she would be more successful than if a poor, but expert programmer tried to start the same type of business. Paris doesn’t have to know anything about software, she could hire all the experts she wants. The next day after informing the media of her plans, every TV announcer around the world would be shouting the news: “Paris Hilton reforms and goes into business.”
Even if she didn’t have celebrity status, her wealth would be able to market her company better than someone with a limited budget no matter how smart he was.
To be financially independent you must put marketing first and real-world skills second.
I know now that if you go to school and learn a practical skill like engineering, medicine, or computer science you are preparing yourself to work for someone else. If you learn marketing, even if you know nothing else, you are preparing to be financially independent.
I never liked marketing. I thought that if I could be good at something practical I could become financially independent. I’ve had plenty of ideas, but I never knew how to market them, nor did any of my close friends. So I had to work for others most of my life.
If you are born into a poor or middle class family, you have to be excellent at marketing, unusually bold, and not always entirely honest to force your way into the upper class. A lot of us just lack the personalities required to make such a transition. That’s why financial independence continues to elude us.