is conscious marketing bullshit? discuss . . .

I’ve been thinking about a question lately.

The question is this: “is conscious marketing bullshit?”

Seems to be a big trend lately: people talking about ‘conscious marketing’ and ‘heart selling’ and ‘selling with integrity’ and ‘spiritual marketing’ etc.  But are we just trying to find a way to rationalize our need to market ourselves so we can pay the bills? Or is there really something different?

At one of my last workshops in Toronto someone asked me, ‘what exactly does ‘marketing for hippies’ mean? and how is it different from regular marketing?’

I was mortified to realize i didn’t have a clear answer. nuts.

Throughout the workshop, I would flag things here and there saying, ‘aha! this is a way it’s different!’ but i found myself wishing i had a ‘top ten principles’ sort of thing.

After all – people still need a brand, they need to articulate how they’re different, find ways to reduce the risk of taking the first step, get people’s attention, craft irresistible offers and get them to take action, identify their hubs, make it ‘talkable’ . . . yada yada – so what is it that makes ‘conscious marketing’ so different? what is the perspective or set of principles that set it apart from plain old ‘effective‘ marketing?

Do you feel me?

So I thought i’d ask all of you your opinions on the matter while I sort out my thoughts into something really clear and coherent.

What do YOU think is most important in conscious marketing? what are the principles that should govern it? what are the guidelines and understandings that underlie it.

Please leave your brilliant thoughts below! can’t wait to see what we come up with . . .


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About Tad

  • Hi Tad,

    I hope this email finds you well. Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in on the question ‘Is conscious marketing bullshit’?

    I’m not sure it is the ‘marketing’ part of the equation that is ‘bullshit’. Your question is a little like asking ‘What is the most conscientious way to be a slave owner’? or ‘what is the kindest way to shoot people’? In my not-so-humble opinion, the ‘bullshit’ does not reflect the virtue of the people standing under the umbrella, but comments on the umbrella itself.

    My problem with the question is that the umbrella (under which we are all standing) is an assumption that everything should have a price tag, that there are no such things as human rights, only commodities, things to be bought and sold. Is there anything we would want to make available without a price tag to all of humankind, to really make it a “Human Right”? How about our health? Spiritual development? Clean drinking water for all. Education… nutritious food… a roof over one’s head…?

    Can you imagine a world where everyone had access to safe drinking water, to nutritious food, education… to the best of anything one wanted… you get the picture – the concept is “Universal Access within a Resource-based Economy”. I refer you to Jacques Fresco and the Venus Project – Resource-based Economy

    Of course ‘conscious marketing’ isn’t bullshit if we must sell, sell, sell and buy, buy, buy in order to exist in our current consumer culture. It is the culture itself that must change. Can you imagine what this world would be like if we didn’t live by the principle of “Planned Obsolescence”, if things were made as well as possible, to last and last and last, and when we finally did want a new one, we simply went out a picked one up, no charge?

    And how does one apply ‘conscious marketing’ to such things as the Alberta Tar Sands? How is it relevant to such services, products, projects that are, at best, questionable and, at worst, a travesty and a bloody blow to the integrity, moral values and sensibility of honest and principled people, not to speak of being a disaster to our disappearing, fragile environment?

    Oh my, I have blethered on and written far more than I had planned and I hope you check out the Venus Project and see what Jacques Fresco has to say about it all… a ver-r-r-r-ry interesting read!

    Best regards,
    Sheila Smith (North Vancouver)
    PS Wishing you a successful, prosperous and peaceful 2011. I look forward to receiving your blogs and updates next year!

  • What’s different for me is where we’re coming from inside of ourselves. 

    From a desire to help, or a desire to manipulate? A desire to give, or to take? So although the strategies may LOOK the same, they are different energetically.And maybe that’s why it’s hard to explain… because we’re not so used to talking about ‘energy’ or ‘come from places’. It feels woo-woo or naff or touchy feely. (Which by the way, here in the UK, is sometimes synonymous with *Urgh, so American!*)I wrote a blog kind of about this myself today: 

  • yes! that’s the blog that inspired me to reach out to you.

  • A friend just sent me this blog post.  Thought I might be interested in the discussion.  In 1999 I founded the company Conscious Marketing, Inc.  This was way before the word ‘conscious’ was so trendy.  My take on it is from an ‘inside out’ perspective.  A more spiritual, inner alignment kinda thing.  Get clear inside, translate it to our marketing and you will attract what you want.  My clients find their authentic marketing voice.  This removes self-doubt and releases them to get out there in the big way they have been called. 

    Nice to meet cha!

    Lisa Cherney

  • love it!

  • Sometimes it’s not entirely the what, but the how of our actions that matter. How we understand what we do effects what we do. As marketers what is our number one KPI? Conversion rate. Words are powerful. Maybe this word conversion actually expresses the core error in how we operate. In reality you can’t convert anyone to anything. It only appears that way on the surface. Ultimately, I am going to choose your product over your competitors product because it resonates on a deeper level with who it is that I believe myself to be. Even if the differentiating factor is price. I choose the cheaper option because that resonates with informed bargain hunter that I believe myself to be, no? Maybe we need to replace the term conversation rate with “resonance rate”. All I know is that doing so has dramatically shifted my relationship and understanding of my work. I certainly enjoy the sound of my alarm clock these days. :)