For a commercial organization, marketing is the ultimate life source; however, some marketing professionals suffer from an element of contradiction in their personal lives. Vis-à-vis professional objectives, are we selling things to people that they don’t need?
Sameer, the question is a little complex – complex because in a way you are selling people what they need…but whether their need is sick or healthy is a totally different matter.
You are fulfilling people’s sick needs. And that should be felt as a responsibility. Needs have to be fulfilled, but you have to learn a great discrimination: what are the sick needs, and what are the healthy needs?
For example, pornography is a need. And millions of people are providing pornographic literature, photography, all kinds of pornographic films, blue films. They certainly are fulfilling a need – people have been so repressed sexually for centuries that they are hungry to see the naked woman. Certainly your business prospers, but you are depending on a very ugly exploitation of people.
The responsibility of the journalist is great: he has to make people aware – why do they need pornography? In an aboriginal tribe, nobody is interested in pornographic literature because people are almost naked; they don’t have any clothes. From the very childhood, the boys and the girls become aware of each other’s bodies, it is a natural acquaintance. They never become peeping Toms. And they will not be interested in magazines like Playboy. But in our so-called civilized society, people are hiding Playboys in the Shrimad Bhagavadgita, in the Holy Bible, because that is the safest place to hide anything; nobody opens it. Who bothers to look into the Holy Bible, or the Shrimad Bhagavadgita?
I have heard about a man who was a salesman of encyclopedias, a door-to-door salesman. He knocked at the door, a woman opened it and as he started his sales talk the woman said, “We already have a good encyclopedia; we don’t need any. You can see: there in the corner on the table is the encyclopedia. So please forgive me, I am not interested.”
The man said, “I can say definitely, that is not an encyclopedia; it is a Bible.”
The woman said, “You seem to be a strange man – how can you say that so categorically?”
He said, “Because so much dust has gathered on it, nobody opens it.” Encyclopedias are opened, people look into them, but who looks into Bibles? And he said, “I am ready to bet.”