Remember: Marketing Is Art

Posted by

Are you inspired to create the work that you were meant to create? Is it your art? Is Marketing art?

There’s a video interview at the end of this Blog post that leads me to ask this question: is what you are doing the art you were meant to create? If not, why do it? Yes, it’s a tough question to answer and yes, the answer or negation of this thought/question will include countless uses of the word, "but." In the end, it is spot on: whatever it is that you are doing for the majority of your waking life better count, and it better be something that is your art. Your work (your art) must make a difference in the world and it must make you proud.

How much do you care about Marketing?

Do you care enough to think that it’s more than a job? More than the work you do? That it is important? That it changes lives? That it validates your very existence? The most successful musicians feel this way about what they do. We’re talking about everyone from U2 to Motorhead and from Slayer to the Rolling Stones, and it’s not because of the money (they like the money and they’ll take your money, but it’s not the reason they do what they do). They make music (or create art) because it is who they are. "It’s easy to be passionate about rock n’ roll, the sex, the drugs, the excess," you might be thinking, but dig a little deeper. There are those who are just as passionate about fixing things (some of us do it with our hands, and some of us do it with our brains) and are simply magnificent at it (true artists).

Design your passion.

Bob Lefsetz blogged about an amazing video where Jonathan Ive (the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple – the principle designer of the iMac, MacBook, iPod, iPhone, etc…) talks about how they designed the unibody of the MacBook (Jonathan Ive On Design). It’s a clip from a 2009 industrial design documentary titled, Objectified and it is inspiring. Forget that he works at Apple. Forget that he has a cool job, and just focus on what he’s trying to accomplish and the words/questions he asks himself (and of his team).

Industrial Design is his art. Is your work your art?


  1. Thanks, Mitch, for these quiet, yet powerful few minutes with an “obsessive” design mind. I had the great fortune recently of meeting some folks who are using design in its highest calling: to save lives. The Embrace infant warmer was developed by Stanford MBA students when they were tasked to solve the problem of millions of low-weight babies dying because they can’t get to an incubator. I am awed and humbled by everyone who considers form and function with such passion.

  2. Good questions and I think there is a movement growing in this direction in which people will start to realize that money isn’t the most important thing in life. I think once you get to a point where your hobby becomes your ‘job’ money will flow and marketing becomes natural. The hardest part in creating ‘art’ is actually getting there!
    I too studied Industrial Design like Ive but realized that many things that industrial designers create end up in the junk yard. As such, I developed a conscious and abandoned my hopes of becoming a designer. I’m more inclined to think that scientists will save us in terms of creating materials and technology that are sustainable in nature, not designers, only then can designers create their art.
    Having said this, one thing that I admire about apple is the fact that they are able to simplify things and make them easy to use as opposed to microsoft.
    Just my two cents….

  3. Excellent post! If one is not an artist in the typical sense, then their work should be their art. Innovation and marketing is art in my mind. More people need to think this way,

  4. Great post, Mitch.
    I’ve always believed in trying to marry my passion with my work. At times in my life, I’ve been an artist in the traditional sense of the word (singer/songwriter) and at other times I’ve tried to be an artist at whatever job I was doing. Hasn’t always worked out, but I know that when it does, it’s a beautiful thing.

  5. What a fascinating video, Mitch. There’s so much thinking and experimenting to develop the right design. We may not even notice without conscious effort.
    Before choosing my career in university, I was told that happiness comes from getting paid for something you’d willingly do for free. That simple idea has guided me ever since. With passion at the core, how can anything be work? How can you do less than your best? How can you go through life with the song inside you unsung?
    It doesn’t matter if you’re performing, designing computers or taming financial risks. We can make a difference if we truly care.

  6. Mitch- Great stuff… Success in Sales and Marketing is not “art” it is “science” when an established process is established, and tinkered, and tested, tested, tested…. All the successful people I know realize the “law” of averages….
    I would make the presumption that until you had a “list” of followers/fans, your “work” (art) was not recognized….
    Success in life is SCIENCE…
    Best, Brian-

  7. I would tend to disagree with you since marketing is constantly evolving your scientific methods would have to change with the times. Obviously you work from a foundation but it could not be a science for if it were, every company would be making money!

Comments are closed.