Death of trade travelers is marketer's fault

2 min read
Apr 29, 2024 2:52:17 PM

In 1949, Arthur Miller wrote the play "Death of a Salesman." It deals with a not too talented salesman, Willy Loman, who wants very much to be successful, is not, and therefore is not satisfied with what he has (beautiful wife, two children, house, car and a dog). This dissatisfaction is particularly fueled by the system in which he lives. A system that says that it is up to you if you are not super successful economically and that anyone can be. Live your dream, the American Dream. In short, the manufacturability of your own success in the capitalist system.

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The American Dream


The play, but more so the film, flawlessly demonstrates the discrepancy between that American Dream and reality. A reality that is fine for most of us, except if you are a believer of that American dream. Then everything disappoints because, of course, very quickly you belong to the 99% who will never realize that American dream. Not bad at all, but it is if you think that's what you have to strive for. Then it produces wonderful drama.

The marketer as the counterpart of sales

When I recently saw another piece of the movie starring Dustin Hofman, as Willy, I was strongly reminded of the sales person's counterpart, namely the marketer. The marketer of the American Dream has done a handsome job! He got half of America, and in the 18th. 19th and 20th centuries even half underprivileged Europe, to believe that America was the promised land.

Of course, in those days there was no marketing of a country, and certainly no one was responsible for it, but a belief, an ideology, arose that things were better elsewhere (read America). And that, once they became Americans, they actively propagated it themselves. Look how successful we are now. Perhaps that is where the origins of American marketing lie. After all, marketing is a typical American invention!

Authentic marketing

Let there be no misunderstanding. Marketing can also be very fantastic. Especially if you start from "good" products, services, ideas, and that you communicate them to the market in an authentic, proprietary way. That's what we call "Inbound Marketing." For Willy, inbound marketing has come too late. Fortunately, most marketers can still change course and save lives. It's not too late ;-)

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