X-Message-Number: 4431
Date: Sun, 21 May 1995 19:42:51 -0400
Subject: marketing

David Stodolsky (#4421) suggests that some aspects of psychology are
scientific--in particular, marketing. I suggest that the scientific aspects
of marketing are EXTREMELY limited. After all, most large companies
presumably do a lot of formal marketing research--yet they are frequently
surprised and disappointed by the outcomes. (The Edsel was extensively and
expensively researched, for one striking example.) If professionals could
really consistently predict what will sell and what will not, or how to
ensure salability, there would be a lot fewer bankruptcies and fewer
turnovers of management.

Also, we remember the old saw: "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach;
and those who can't teach, teach teachers." If marketing researchers by and
large were so wonderful, they wouldn't have to sell consulting services--they
could eliminate the middleman, identify the most marketable product or
service, and provide that, getting the big bucks for themselves.

Selling cryonics may be a little like selling political candidates--and we
know how dreary the record is for political advisers, the supposed marketing
experts in this area. By and large, if it's obvious, you don't need them; and
if it isn't obvious, they are just as likely to be wrong as right.

Dr. Stodolsky didn't actually recommend that cryonics organizations hire
marketing "experts" to work for them, but in the past we have tentatively
investigated such people, and found nothing encouraging. Typically--as I
recall--they just want to charge a lot of money to dress up our own ideas in
fancy clothes. Of course, if Dr. Stodolsky or anyone else has any specific
recommendations to make along these lines, we are always willing to listen.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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