Like most people, I love reading articles and opinions on the internet. It’s a great way to do some fun sentiment analysis, and gives me something to turn over in my mind while I’m driving up to two hours a day to different workplaces.

My enlightening daily click-and-scroll time has a fair number of out of place ads, due partially to my present Korean IP address misleading ad servers. Imagine the Wizard of Oz, but if there were hundreds of specters sharing irrelevant messages.

Some messaging being a little wide of the mark is likely inevitable. Agencies and their clients rarely have all the data they’d like to have to answer marketing questions. However, there is a lot of room for improvement, and as messages are better targeted everyone will be better off.

A thought ‘driving’ me is that there are so many consumers who would benefit from products they don’t know about. In my own kitchen I’m enamored with my Garlic Card, for instance - a simple, Swedish, and to my eyes perfectly designed product which makes pureeing garlic a snap. Yet, I’ve never seen it for sale in Korea even though garlic is a main staple in cooking here.

Or, maybe there are health services providers who could provide the same care or medications people need now for less out-of-pocket. For example, Costco and similar wholesalers have prescription services, and their supply chains make it possible to offer many generics at much cheaper rates than other providers. Also, there is a site and app called GoodRx which can match people with reduced prices on drugs at locations that accept their coupons. How many people know about these? I suspect that many more of us could benefit.

However, sometimes something that initially sounds good shouldn’t be taken at face value. A recent thing in the news concerns a drug company, Pfizer, which has made an offer to donate 1,000,000 doses of a vaccine to treat pneumonia to Doctors Without Borders. They refused. This is because the non-profit believes that Pfizer’s pricing is generally far too high, and accepting this donation would have a negative long-term effect by sort of offsetting and justifying this practice. You can read more here.

If marketing could introduce people to things that really improve their lives, I think that would be a noble endeavor and the chance to do that in some capacity is one of the primary reasons I have an interest in the field. Good targeting is an essential ingredient in an effective marketing mix, and coupled with a wholesome product it may even make people's lives a little bit better.