It’s the new catch-word in online marketing, whether in corporate circles or among the entrepreneurs who can make the most of it.
But what does it mean?
Let’s cut our losses and forget the clueless corporate crowd. It’s much more interesting to focus on the micro-businesses that are cropping up everywhere (with more coming due to the blessing-in-disguise layoffs this recession is fueling).
Many well-intended souls are all about authenticity. After all, this means you don’t have to care about that phony marketing and sales stuff… you know, like understanding human psychology and engaging human emotion.
How’s that working out for you?
My guess is that, like me, a lot of these “anti-marketing” marketers are big fans of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The story’s “anti-hero,” Holden Caulfield, was as authentic as they come, and he railed against all things “phony.”
But is Holden worth listening to when it comes to online marketing? I’d say we’d have to take a closer look at “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger to answer that question.
J.D. Salinger on Human Psychology and Emotion
Make no mistake… The Catcher in the Rye is an authentic piece of art. It’s so authentic in its examination of teenage sexuality and angst (mixed in with a healthy dose of profanity) that it made 1951 heads swim.
The first teacher to get fired for assigning the novel in class got canned in 1960 (she was later reinstated). By 1981, “The Catcher in the Rye” was both the most censored book and the second most taught book in public schools in the United States.
What in the world caused this divisive uproar?
Was it the authenticity of Holden Caulfield? Yes, but that’s not the whole story.
The rest of the story… was the story itself.
I’m not saying J.D. Salinger wrote “The Catcher in the Rye” for fame and fortune. I think it’s pretty clear at this point the man wanted neither.
But did J.D. Salinger purposefully craft a story that would connect with the emotions and psychological hot buttons of his audience? Did he strategically tap into the hearts and minds of an entire generation, and every generation since?
Yes, he did. And that’s what all you “anti-marketers” need to understand.
The “Great American Novel” tends to make the Great American Author filthy rich and terribly famous.
Why do you think that is?
Put Some Art into Your Marketing
People who think art is sacred and marketing is dirty tend to be terrible marketers and marginal artists.
People who think art is irrelevant and marketing is about tricking people into buying shit they don’t need tend to be terrible marketers and worse human beings.
But put some art into your marketing.
Touch people’s emotions and mess with their minds (you know… in a good way).
It’s what they want.