The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It


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When the second and third installments came out in the years that followed, more bits of the story seemed borrowed from other religions: Buddhism, Gnosticism and Hinduism. Since the Wachowski brothers, who wrote and directed the films, have become the Wachowski sisters, you also can find, in retrospect, plenty of transgender takes on the series. Then there's the philosophical stuff. Prisoners in the Matrix believe the world they inhabit is real, much as prisoners in Plato's Allegory of the Cave believe the shadows they see on a wall are real, because they can't tell the source of light is a fire behind them.

In Plato's story, one prisoner is set free to visit the real world. In The Matrix , that one prisoner is Neo, his name an anagram for "The One" whose job is to rescue everybody or at least save Zion. Spoiler: he does.

But I didn't buy any of that, because already I saw marketing working to turn the free and open online world into a commercial habitat where—as in the fictional Matrix—human beings were reduced to batteries for giant robotic machines that harvested human attention, which they then processed and fed back to humans again.

This was the base design of the world marketing wanted to make for us in the digital age: one where each of us were "targets", "captured", "acquired", "controlled", "managed" and "locked in", so personalized "content" and "experiences" could be "delivered" to our ears and eyeballs. Marketers talked like that long before the internet showed up, but with every eyeball suddenly addressable, personally , the urge to jack us into marketing's Matrix became irresistible.

In fact, one reason four of us posted The Cluetrain Manifesto on the web that very same month was that we wanted to make clear that the internet was for everybody, not just marketing. But, popular as Cluetrain was especially with marketers , marketing got engineering—including plenty of Linux wizards—to build a Matrix for us.

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32 of the BEST Value Propositions (Plus How to Write Your Own)

We live there now. Unless you have your hardware and software rigged for absolute privacy while roaming about the online world and can you really be sure? Much more of it is provisioned by names you never heard of. To see what they're up to, equip your browser with a form of tracking protection that names sources of tracking files. Then point your browser to the website of a publisher whose business side has been assimilated by the Agent Smith called "adtech"— The Los Angeles Times , for example. Then, check your tracking-protection tool's list of all the entities trying to spy on you.

Many of those appear more than once, with different prefixes. I've also left off variants of google, doubleclick, facebook, twitter and other familiars.

Interesting: when I look a second, third or fourth time, the list is different—I suppose because third-party ad servers are busy trying to shove trackers into my browser afresh, as long as a given page is open. When I looked up one of those trackers, "moatads", which I chose at random, most of the 1,, search results were about how moatads is bad stuff. In order, this is the first page of search results:.

The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power - And How We Can Reclaim It

The fourth item says the company behind moatads, moat. And that's just one Matrix-builder. Clearly there is no Architect or Oracle building this Matrix, or it wouldn't suck so bad. That's to our advantage, but we're still stuck in an online world where spying is the norm rather than the exception, and personal autonomy is mostly contained within the castles of giant service providers, "social networks" and makers of highly proprietary gear. Way back in , Shoshana Zuboff called on us to "be the friction" against "the New Lords of the Ring".

In later essays, she labeled the whole spying-fed advertising system both surveillance capitalism and The Big Other.

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Here's the Amazon link. People are already fighting back, whether they know it or not. Statista says the number of mobile-phone users in the world would reach 4. Combine those last two numbers, and you get more than 1. The rise of modern science generated a problem: if the world is universally obedient to natural laws, what does it mean to be human?

Is a human being simply an object in the world, like any other? There appears to be no way to assimilate the subjective, interior human experience into nature as science conceives it — as something objective whose rules we discover by observation. Everything about the postwar political culture lay in favour of John Maynard Keynes, and an expanded role for the state in managing the economy. Before the war, even the most rightwing economist thought of the market as a means to a limited end, to the efficient allocation of scarce resources.


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From the time of Adam Smith in the mids, and up to that of the founding members of the Chicago school in the postwar years, it was commonplace to believe that the ultimate ends of society and of life, were established in the non-economic sphere. On this view, questions of value are resolved politically and democratically, not economically — through moral reflection and public deliberation.

The classic modern expression of this belief is found in a essay called Ethics and the Economic Interpretation by Frank Knight, who arrived at Chicago two decades before Hayek. Economists had struggled for years with the question of how to place the values on which an otherwise commercial society is organised beyond mere self-interest and calculation. Knight, along with his colleagues Henry Simons and Jacob Viner, were holdouts against Franklin D Roosevelt and the market interventions of the New Deal, and they established the University of Chicago as the intellectually rigorous home of free-market economics that it remains to this day.

They did not worship equations or models, and they worried about non-scientific questions. Most explicitly, they worried about questions of value, where value was absolutely distinct from price. It is not just that Simons, Viner and Knight were less dogmatic than Hayek, or more willing to pardon the state for taxing and spending. It is not the case that Hayek was their intellectual superior. But they acknowledged as a first principle that society was not the same thing as the market, and that price was not the same thing as value.

This set them up to be swallowed whole by history. It was Hayek who showed us how to get from the hopeless condition of human partiality to the majestic objectivity of science. In so doing, it puts any value that cannot be expressed as a price — as the verdict of a market — on an equally unsure footing, as nothing more than opinion, preference, folklore or superstition.

There is the market, in other words, and there is relativism.

Volkswagen unveils new brand design and logo | Volkswagen Newsroom

M arkets may be human facsimiles of natural systems, and like the universe itself, they may be authorless and valueless. That is, it assigns what is most human about human beings — our minds and our volition — to algorithms and markets, leaving us to mimic, zombie-like, the shrunken idealisations of economic models. As a result, the public sphere — the space where we offer up reasons, and contest the reasons of others — ceases to be a space for deliberation, and becomes a market in clicks, likes and retweets.

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The internet is personal preference magnified by algorithm; a pseudo-public space that echoes the voice already inside our head. What looks like something public and lucid is only an extension of our own pre-existing opinions, prejudices and beliefs, while the authority of institutions and experts has been displaced by the aggregative logic of big data.

The awesome utilities of digital technology aside, an earlier and more humanist tradition, which was dominant for centuries, had always distinguished between our tastes and preferences — the desires that find expression in the market — and our capacity for reflection on those preferences, which allows us to form and express values.

We fashion our selves and identities on the basis of this capacity for reflection. When we provide reasons for our actions and beliefs, we bring ourselves into being: individually and collectively, we decide who and what we are. When the only objective truth is determined by the market, all other values have the status of mere opinions; everything else is relativist hot air.

When our debates are no longer resolved by deliberation over reasons, then the whimsies of power will determine the outcome. This is where the triumph of neoliberalism meets the political nightmare we are living through now. But the Big Idea was always this abomination waiting to happen. It was, from the beginning, pregnant with the thing it was said to protect against.

Society reconceived as a giant market leads to a public life lost to bickering over mere opinions; until the public turns, finally, in frustration to a strongman as a last resort for solving its otherwise intractable problems. He was living in Freiburg, West Germany, in a third-floor apartment in a stucco house on Urachstrasse. The two men sat in a sunroom whose windows looked out on the mountains, and Hayek, who was recovering from pneumonia, pulled a blanket over his legs as they spoke. This was no longer the man who had once wallowed in his own defeat at the hands of Keynes.

Thatcher had just written to Hayek in a tone of millennial triumph. Hayek was now cheerful on his own account, and optimistic about the future of capitalism. Today unemployed youth in Algiers and Rangoon riot not for centrally planned welfare state but for opportunity: the freedom to buy and sell — jeans, cars, whatever — at whatever prices the market will bear. We live in a paradise built by his Big Idea.

marketing 101, understanding marketing basics, and fundamentals

Every day we ourselves — no one has to tell us to anymore! What began as a new form of intellectual authority, rooted in a devoutly apolitical worldview, nudged easily into an ultra-reactionary politics. When we abandoned, for its embarrassing residue of subjectivity, reason as a form of truth, and made science the sole arbiter of both the real and the true, we created a void that pseudo-science was happy to fill. Internal lead referral schemes, strategic partnership activity; the performance of other direct sales activities such as sales agencies, distributorships, export activities, licensing, etc.

These performance factors won't normally appear on a business plan spreadsheet, but a separate plan should be made for them, otherwise they won't happen. Your marketing plan is actually a statement, supported by relevant financial data, of how you are going to develop your business. Plans should be based on actions, not masses of historical data.


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  • The historical and market information should be sufficient just to explain and justify the opportunities, direction, strategy, and most importantly, the marketing actions, methods and measures - not to tell the story of the past 20 years of your particular industry. As stated above it is easiest and best to assemble all of this data onto a spreadsheet, which then allows data to be manipulated through the planning process, and then changed and re-projected when the trading year is under way. The spreadsheet then becomes the basis of your sales and marketing forecasting and results reporting tool.

    As well as sales and marketing data, in most types of businesses it is also useful to include measurable aims concerning customer service and satisfaction. The marketing plan will have costs that relate to a marketing budget in the overall business plan. This data is essentially numerical, and so needs also some supporting narrative as to how the numbers will be achieved - the actions - but keep the narrative concise; if it extends to more than a half-dozen sheets make sure you put a succinct executive summary on the front.

    The marketing plan narrative could if appropriate also refer to indirect activities such as product development, customer service, quality assurance, training etc. Be pragmatic - marketing plans vary enormously depending on the type, size and maturity of business. Above all create a plan that logically shows how the business can best consolidate and grow its successful profitable areas.

    The marketing plan should be a working and truly useful tool - if it is, then it's probably a good one.

    The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It
    The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It
    The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It
    The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It
    The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It The Marketing Matrix: How the Corporation Gets Its Power – And How We Can Reclaim It

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