Relationship & Service Marketing Advice From The 16th Century

Way back in the 1500s Michel de Montaigne wrote a series of fascinating essays on life, the universe, and everything.

This passage caught my eye:

I have been present when, whilst they at the upper end of the chamber have been only commenting the beauty of the arras, or the flavour of the wine, many things that have been very finely said at the lower end of the table have been lost and thrown away. Let him examine every man’s talent; a peasant, a bricklayer, a passenger: one may learn something from every one of these in their several capacities, and something will be picked out of their discourse whereof some use may be made at one time or another”

I reckon this is sage advice for any of us who consider ourselves to be marketing ‘experts’, and a reminder of the value and importance of the insights co-workers can have no matter where they work in the organisation.

Hubris is a danger faced by anyone who finds themselves in a position of authority and power.

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Marketing Orientation?

I have to say I really enjoyed the first three episodes of the BBC’s Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. From a social research perspective we are told that Sherlock uses ‘deduction’ , although it seems that the great detective creates his theory of ‘who dunnit’ from evidence so isn’t this inductive reasoning? If we dig a little deeper it seems more probable that he does a bit of both. He speculates and accumulates. He uses abduction, or what Charles Sanders Pierce called ‘guessing’ based on likely correlations of the facts, but saying that Sherlock was a great ‘abducter’ probably wouldn’t go down well for a character who is meant to be on the side of the Law!

The tv series seems to have captured the Zeitgeist by tapping into a detective approach that moves away from the scientific rationalism that dominates C.S.I, Waking The Dead and the like by appealing to the creative pattern spotters in all of us. Is it stretching it too far to say that is echoes the difference between Plato and Aristotle? The Platonic appeal or Sherlock versus the Aristotelian appeal of Horatio Caine and his colleagues. If Sherlock was in Marketing he’d certainly be a rule breaker than a rule taker, he’d kick back against fromulae, he get frustrated with prescription. As for the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle he seems to have had interesting take on Marketing and maybe this seeps into his characterisation of Sherlock Holmes.

A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem.
Arthur Conan Doyle

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