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Discussion on: Do Software Developers Hate Marketing?

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ghost profile image
Ghost

I'm talking for myself, but in general I don'0t dislike marketing, I don't trust marketing.

When something is good I just need the facts about it, is still marketing if you just give information?, maybe I'm just used to go to the "product", I don't care about flashy things, most of the tools I use are in the terminal, I used Linux looking for a Windows alternative, the heavily marketed Windows. I think marketing as gotten too good and we don't like to be manipulated. Also marketing has made collecting personal data something "desirable". Is just making a good readme and documentation marketing?, is to clearly list features en github marketing? because that's how I look for my tools, if I want a watch I look for it, I research, I don't like brands pushing them to me. When I see a TV spot about beer they are not telling me about its attributes, they are trying to insert some idea into my subconscious , we can debate about how that moves the economy and maybe is true, maybe not, but in the end I don't like it.

I think marketing went from, make products/services visible and share it attributes and tell consumers why it's better than the alternatives; to manipulate, to abuse our primitive brains, to take advantage of our weaknesses. Why would I like that?. Every day is more about some psychological exploit and less about the product/service. You care about features?, you don't need a fancy website, models with tiny skirts in conventions or some other sort of manipulation, just plain B&W text and screenshots are enough. I think marketing has made a very poor marketing for itself and made its own reputation.

But that's just me...

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radiomorillo profile image
Stephanie Morillo Author

In answer to some of your questions:

“Is just making a good README and documentation marketing? Is it still marketing if you just give information.” The answer is yes, in the same way that good documentation and READMEs are good UX. Community engagement is marketing. The lines between certain disciplines blur upon further inspection. It’s marketing because these are touch points between you and a brand or company; it’s how you become aware of the company and what it does. At a very foundational level, that’s what marketing is: awareness.

I agree and hear you on many of your points. None of us like to feel we are being manipulated. Not to defend this behavior, but as a means of explanation, the crux of the problem is this: marketing teams at every company, including companies that make products you like and use, are tasked with making money for the business. They are often under immense pressure to hit high numbers, and these numbers are also tied to sales goals. Marketing teams at tech companies face a lot of pressure; if a company doesn’t hit their revenue targets, marketing and sales leaders are put in the hot seat. Marketing teams are also given large budgets in order to hit these numbers; there must be an ROÍ for the business. Thus, facing these pressures, marketers might adopt tactics that are questionable but might generate quick “wins”. This is not the case for EVERY tech company but it is a pattern I have observed having worked in this space for years.

And you’re right: a company doesn’t need gimmicks in order to attract your attention! A good product that is well positioned to solve a real need and a company that listens to the problems of its users. As I argue in my piece, developers are doing amazing at this. I subscribe to newsletters by individual developers and follow developers on social media. These are forms of marketing and yet they don’t feel forced, sleazy, or irrelevant. When marketing is done right, it doesn’t feel sleazy. :)