I've long thought this about politicians and bureaucrats: they waste huge amounts of other people's time. Their purpose, it seems, is to create rules, red tape, forms, regulations, hindrances, obstacles and barriers. Not because we need them, but because they can or because they are stupid, or both. In doing so, they are producing a billowing cloud of lethal poison that is killing hundreds of people every day.
Here's the logic behind that thinking.
How many hours have you personally wasted because of overcomplicated business paperwork? How many minutes lost consulting dense government websites or being put on hold by a helpline (the very definition of a misnomer)? How much time lost to dealing with the red tape of being in business—hell, the red tape of just being alive?
My guess is plenty.
That's time pinched from you.
Every minute taken from you by red tape is a minute you could have spent doing something better, something you wanted to do. Instead, it's lost.
Add up all the wasted minutes stolen from people by dunderhead bureaucracy annually and you end op with a vast amount of time. Several hundred lifetime's worth, I'm sure—even in a small country like Ireland, where I live. That's like murdering several hundred people.
Maybe you scoff at the idea. Or maybe, because you've lost so much time to rules and sloth-like bureaucracy yourself, you get what I'm driving at.
So, where do marketing people fit in?
Well, I think, as an industry, we're just as guilty. We produce an astonishing amount of time-wasting crap. Every time someone consumes another one of our inane, self-aggrandising, barefaced-lying bits of promotion, we're killing a little part of them. We've wasted their time and snatched a sliver of life from them.
That's right: we're as bad as the politicians and the bureaucrats. We're all time-sucking murdering bastards. Even the women.
So, let us make a pact, you and I. We honourable few agree that we'll never again produce a piece of marketing that wastes time. Instead, we'll make it valuable. We'll create marketing content that will shine out and bring goodness to our target audiences. We'll honour and enlighten them. We'll make them feel respected. And, most important of all, we'll let them live!