What if psychopathy is the main cause of bad marketing?

First of all, let’s clear a bit about what psychopathy actually is: 

psychopathy is the opposite of altruism: it’s the wish to hurt and take advantage of people. “Disregard of their wellbeing” is not an accurate description: that would imply being neutral. Having psychopathic tendencies, instead, means to be interested in hurting. So, we’d be talking about envy, narcissism, malice… Or, in technical terms: dark triad behaviours.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll skip the reasons why people end up being like so (that is a really lengthy topic – and quite interesting too!).

Now that that’s clear enough,

you can’t do marketing well if you have psychopathic tendencies: you’ll lack the motivation to spend energy understanding what your audience needs. 

You’ll just want to take their money or admiration. Regardless of what is it that they actually need.

Not only you won’t care about their needs: you’ll be upset about them having prerequisites – as in their actual needs and tastes, for a purchase. Because that’ll put obstacles between you and their money/admiration. Between you and the exploitation of their resources.

So: rather than creating a genuine connection with your audience/clientele, so to get to know them and understand how to help them, and have a part of their resources so as to merely be a reward rather than a booty, you’ll just want to ram your product down their throats – maybe using social engineering or power to help you do so (e.g. Fame, fake altruism, guilt tripping, hard selling, blank slateist theories, etc…).

And if they don’t comply…? Wrath. Because they *dared* to not comply with your bidding. “My clientele is too ignorant to understand what I’m offering”, “I’m being treated unfairly by the market!” and so on…

Can the market be unfair?

Free market economy means people are free to choose what they like. If they don’t find so in you, they can choose not to purchase your offer. Which means that your product is not market fit. In that case, you can do 3 things:

  1. Find what is it that it’s not working and fix your offer (business development).
  2. If 1 doesn’t work, pivot (change your offer – still a business development practice, by the way. A “heavy handed one”, let’s say).
  3. If 2 doesn’t work, accept failure – and move on!

If you don’t want to follow these steps, but you still want people to buy what you do, we’re leaving free economy and we’re entering controlled economy: an economy in which individual transactions are not anymore under the individual’s control. Google “Holodomor” or “Great leap forward death toll” as per how controlled economies tend to go.

Maybe it’s just lack of experience?

No: it’d be like saying that an inexperienced entrepreneur would resort to bank robbery to fund his projects, out of inexperience with more refined funding systems.

Tactics like hard selling, spam or emotional blackmail are born out of dishonesty: they’re the birth of minds who disregard who they are talking to. Who sees them merely as ambulant ATMs – hence, not deserving to be treated like humans. Taking one case: spam. Spam means you haven’t spent time analysing your prospect, and are sending him marcoms regardless of being fairly sure they need them – hence, leaving to them the prospecting (analysing businesses to understand if they can be prospects) that you should’ve done. Meaning you’re commanding them to do work for you, for no other reason than your greed.

Maybe it’s inadequate tools?

Let’s take Mailchimp as an example: has Mailchimp commanded you what to write in those eMails, who to send them to and how many? No.

There’s your answer. Also because:

Humans are born to be communicators

Humans are born to be communicative AND collaborative. It’s written in our DNAs: our eyebrows, our eyes (both eyelids and pupils), noses, mouths, vocal chords… A great deal of who we are is about communicating in an effective way. So, if someone truly is interested in communication, he’ll find a way to do so.

If instead they don’t? Then, there must be something off right at the beginning of the process. For instance: they genuinely don’t care, because they just want to prey upon their brothers.

Haven’t you just said that humans are born to be communicative and collaborative? How can there be some who’d want to prey on other people?

Because psychopathy is a deviant behavioural pattern. And, being so, it won’t deny our nature – quite the opposite: he who has those traits will not have a happy life. Because, deep down, their conscience will punish them for going against such important principles. Giving them phenomena like depression, cognitive dissonance and all those things we get to know when we do something out of what’s good – the good old “feeling bad about having done something dishonest”. Nothing new.

Unless they get to Ted Bundy psychopathy levels: at that point, they’re just machines.

Don’t forget communication needs 2 parties

It’s not just a matter of who’s talking, but also about who’s listening: this same article can be written from the other perspective. So to cover what happens when he who listens to your offer has psychopathic tendencies. Even though I’ve already listed what to do in these cases:

  1. Find what is it that it’s not working and fix your offer (business development).
  2. If 1 doesn’t work, pivot (change your offer – still a business development practice, though).
  3. If 2 doesn’t work, accept failure and move on.

As in: if you find a way to deal with them, do so. Otherwise: accept failure and move on. Be tolerant about the others’ wishes, for bent they might be, and move on with your career: not every prospect ends up being a client, not every deal gets closed. If you take those failures as obstacles, they just become lessons – which which you’ll understand better and better where the road to success actually is. Just like an inventor making tests to find the perfect form for his work.

Further reading

This is a colossal topic, with lots of contradicting information – just like it usually is, for psychology and business development.

Take these books with a whole handful of salt: some theories are legit – some others are just their author’s wishes.







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