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How greed ruins good marketing

By Cal Sorensen-Karklis

In the 1987 film, Wall Street the fictional infamous Wall Street insider Gordon Gekko professed that greed is good, a mentality that sums up the 1980s boom period which saw the entrenched rise of neoliberalism. But old habits die hard despite the early 1990s recession and GFC in 2008. This line of thinking is what I believe kills it for many people long-term in the field of marketing.

I worked in various roles in unions briefly in market research roles, and for a media chain conducting polling research. I also volunteered my time assisting several ALP campaigns on the phones, including among a team of callers that helped Don Brown MP for Capalaba get elected in 2015. I became very good at telemarketing and customer service also in part due to all the years I worked in retail. This, in turn, led me on the path of assisting businesses in digital marketing and PR. In the almost 2 years I’ve worked in this field I’ve worked as a freelance sales consultant, as a contractor and manager for small – medium-sized businesses and corporate IT, media based groups.

Here’s what I’ve learnt; if you don’t respect your clientele they won’t do business with you, if you don’t respect your staff and listen to their advice as well they won’t stay long. If you don’t plan ahead for a rainy day your business will come crashing down despite what sort of business you run. And most importantly if you can’t convey a key message about what you represent or how you can achieve your end goals that can help you and your base, you will almost certainly fail. The same applies if you can’t commit to assisting your base locally and accessibly. This is why it is important to inspire and motivate your staff and create an atmosphere for creativity which can lead to healthy growth, forced growth can almost certainly lead to stress and less amounts of productivity.

Locals like locals; they want a familiar voice and want to be contributing a dollar that goes back into contributing to the local economy. They don’t like the thought of somebody moving away overseas or relocating not long after transactions and they sure as hell don’t like the idea of local jobs going offshore. Locals want to see skill sets looked at growing more locally with the local workforce which can go back into the economy. Many small businesses sadly simply can’t afford this while the bigger companies can but set it aside anyway which is feeding into an unending perpetual cycle. This is why we are so used to overseas callers at odd hours of the night which in turn has fed into the perception of dodgy sales tactics that so many are prone to use now. Trump’s organisation connections to the ACN group are one example of how far wide these ethical breaches are nowadays.

Greed and the perception of fast wealth has created groups that have a get rich quick scheme feeding into a culture of burning people out this has been the norm now for several decades but it has accelerated with the introduction of social media, cryptocurrencies and digital marketing. This, in turn, has led to a do it yourself culture that has created a culture free from scrutiny. Technological cryptocurrencies and social media platforms can work if they are ethically monitored and regulated by independent bodies and follow government legislation.

Digital marketing can work if businesses do their homework and look thinking long term rather than just short-term and set out enough research and time to build it over time rather than just seeing it as a means to quick cash flows.

If a business wishes to succeed in a marketing campaign:

  • Build trust
  • Invest on returns
  • Research their base
  • Build time for your customers/clients
  • Inspire staff to think big and long-term
  • Build a team of locals – avoid outsourcing
  • Train staff in the subject matter and mentor them
  • Stick to your key message – don’t change it constantly
  • Train staff ethically how to conduct B2B and customer service

Businesses and corporates are not the only ones making these mistakes as well it has spilled over into how we culturally help those in need of society and everyday people trying to climb the ladder, hurting the fair go. The political parties are not immune either whether it is minor or major have to take it on board to reform their campaigning tactics to inspire once more and build on key messaging that looks at the long term, not just the short-term issues that win votes based on fear. Maybe if our business leaders and politicians thought about the day after tomorrow more, and the world we want to live in 50 – 100 years time perhaps we can find a way forward.

Callen is an active member of the Australian Fabians Society and is a Quandamooka Noonucle Indigenous person with a strong commitment to community. Callen has been in the ALP, worked in the retail, media, and market research sectors and is currently a student at Griffith University and works in IT. He also has a Diploma of Business.



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  1. Keitha Granville

    Think globally act locally I believe is the mantra that fits your piece. I am sure no-one minds governments spending money and having debt if it is good for the society – we all have a home loan debt, but it’s good debt to have. Nowadays many at the bottom don’t have enough to even survive, let alone have good debt.

    “maybe if our leaders thought more about the day after tomorrow . . . . ” EXACTLY. In recent years the only time-frame anyone considers is the one to the next election and even that is unpredictable as they go with the popular polls. You would think this was bleedin’ obvious, and that astute MPs with more than 3 brain cells could work that out. It seems that there are far fewer of them and far too many of the “what’s in it for me “camp.

    Do we need a socialist revolution to rid ourselves of the greed, corruption and cronyism ? And even then, we would just replace it with another kind of greed, corruption and cronyism.

  2. townsvilleblog

    Keitha speaking from the bottom, along with more than 3 million others or in excess of 13% of Australians, those of us who are working really need to join their union and active. This government began with Abbott slicing billions out of health and education for we poor people, while giving increased quantities to the already well off. We all must take these evil people on and their greed if we don’t want to end up like the yanks.

    Australia has always professed the “fair go for all” philosophy, but these tory bast@#$s (L’NP) have screwed us stupid in the past 5 years, we need to build a movement to make sure that our failure to oust them in 2016 is not repeated, please all working Aussies it is the “fight or flight” response that is now needed or we will end up like the USA living in poverty!

  3. jimhaz


    “Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes all have connections to multilevel marketing companies”

    Can’t be long before Sean Reyes gets a Trump appointment. The current occupant has been acting in the job since Jan 2017.

    “In late January 2017, Reyes was named as a top candidate for the chairmanship of the Federal Trade Commission by officials in the Trump administration”

  4. New England Cocky

    An excellent thoughtful article, thank you.

  5. etnorb

    Well said Cal! We definitely need ALL our call center staff to be here in Australia, if for no other reason than they can understand what we are talking about! As well as providing much needed jobs,much needed here in OZ. The inept, lying, flat earth so-called “liberal party” has started in the right direction by employing 1000 more in the Centerlink call center, so maybe, this is the start?

  6. king1394

    Meanwhile Serco is given the job of managing the NDIS. Our most trusted refugee incarceration and prison managers

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