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I like questions like these it shows how our brains work.

My first impression is why do we associate great marketers with business people and companies.

The most influential marketers are those who ideas/actions are now built into you in the way you think and behave. It's one thing to sell you a pair of runners that you put on your feet its another when a person uploads an "operating system" that informs your every decision in the background.

Think individuals in religions, art, literature, philosophy, science. Each was a marketer by nature if not name.

I'd argue these men and woman understood their audience ( to an unimaginable depth) and knew they would be judged by those who care not to think or consider their actions. Despite this, and with disregard for their audiences limitations, many suffered and even died to build "market share" or their share of mind in all those that followed even you and I.

Great marketers are great men and woman. The question may not be how to market but how to be "great".


What fascinates me is that all the great admen you mention were inspirational almost 50 years ago. And of course they were all men (although I'd point out that Resor's wife Helen was considered the creative genius of JWT ad campaigns).

I draw a blank at anyone other than graphic designers who made a mark in the '80s and '90s, when it became critical to have an MBA to rise in ad agency management.

As to great marketers, it may be no coincidence that the two more recent great ones I can think of are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who both quit school their freshman years of college. Listening to their intuition seems to be key to great marketing. Given how few women make the grade, I suspect mixing intuition with the confidence to put yourself out there in spite of the competition or challenges and not be afraid to make mistakes (i.e. ego) is critical. Women tend to promote their clients or brands and not themselves.

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