Now that the 2012 campaign is over, we’re all probably feeling weary of politics and politicians. Maybe we don’t even respect politicians!
But there’s a profession that earns even less respect than politicians — and bankers. It’s marketers. According to a new study covered in AdAge, what politicians and bankers do for a living is more desirable and valuable than what marketing and ad execs do!
Overwhelmingly, the survey respondents agreed that marketing is essential to business — and they agreed that it works. When asked to consider the value of marketing, more than 90% of consumers and marketing professionals responded that it’s a field that’s “strategic to business” and 90% said that marketing is “paramount” to driving sales.
But when asked if marketing benefits society, only 13% of consumers agreed. And compared to other professions, the results were grim. Teachers — despite how little they are often compensated — were valued at the top of the list, followed by scientists and engineers. That’s somewhat to be expected. But what was more surprising was that advertising and marketing ranked below nearly every other profession, including bankers (32%), lawyers (34%) and even politicians (18%). Marketing and advertising was tied with the job of an actor or actress in terms of its value.
There was only one profession that ranked lower in the survey, and even that one is just a part of the marketing ecosystem: PR professionals. Only 11% said PR is a valuable job. Meanwhile, the results weren’t much better among marketers; only 35% of people who were marketers themselves deemed it a valuable profession in responding to the survey.
Worse, many surveys show trust in marketers is at all-time low. As non-profit marketers, we are more likely to be trusted (and respected), but we are not entirely off the hook! (See the below chart for evidence of that!)
To me, the bottom line is you need to think long and hard about yourself as a messenger. You may not inspire the most trust, because you are viewed with skepticism as a paid promoter of your organization. As I’ve said before, you want three kinds of messengers:
– People on the front lines of your work (front lines staff, volunteers, beneficiaries) who can speak authentically about the change they see
– Fans who will champion your work within their circles of influence
– People with credibility and authority who can attest to the quality of you and your work (experts, authorities, ratings agencies, thought leaders who offer endorsement)
Any of those beat marketers:) And politicians!