President Obama called on Americans to confront “our collective failure to make hard choices.”
How does this apply to us?
This country could change quite fundamentally with the new administration. The President called the Americans to action. Many people that enthusiastically supported his election took on a liability and won’t pull back now from their end of the deal.
His election came with a little homework for all of us: Increased focus on the common good.
We went through a phase of selfishness unlike anything we have seen in recent history. Many of us (Investors, CEO’s, government + plenty others), chose to ignore the signs at the wall and rather took our piece from a poisoned cake.
The big underlying theme was to serve your own interests first.
The new administration tells us (and will tell us again and again) to shift focus on the common good. As a consequence, some of us will begin to look out for each other in new ways.
Some of our core values might begin to change; Self restraint, volunteering, sacrificing, trying to set examples, being more humble, etc. might move more into the spotlight.
How does marketing fit in?
As marketers we are shapers of influence. We develop messages that can reach large audiences. We need to hold ourselves to higher ethical standards. Almost in a sense as doctors or CPA’s are bound to certain professional standards.
- Do you believe that promoting a greasy burger or sugar loaded soda when a big part of our population is suffering from obesity is the right thing?
- Do you believe that marketing a 6000 lb Pickup Truck is in line with our efforts to conserve energy?
- Do you support services that clearly aim to get people further into debt?
- How do you feel about that real violent video game marketed to kids?
- Have you ever thought about the environmental aspects of some of the products we are marketing?
- Will you take on a project if you know it will put people out of their jobs?
This list could be continued. You might answer “Yes” to some of the above and go ahead with it. Fine.
But if your answer is no, you should do the right thing and stay away from the project. You might also face more questions and concerns in the future and might not get the credit you have gotten in the past. Things that are not brilliant shouldn’t be called brilliant.
How about suggesting a cause marketing campaign to your clients that can help raise some money for people that are struggling?
As leaders and influencers we should aim to help others reach their full potential. As a social media expert you could offer training to your community. Many people could benefit from your knowledge but can’t really afford to pay you for consulting.
I think many of us know what Mr. Obama expects from each of us. We know what to do.
Let’s do it. “I can’t” has just been removed from the dictionary ;-)