Mythbuster: Missionary position

Les Binet and Sarah Carter


Les Binet and Sarah Carter of DDB get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the idea that marketing ‘converts’ people

'Conversion’ is all around us these days. Whether running a brand campaign, sending targeted direct marketing, or managing a website, the aim seems always to be to ‘convert’ people – from believing x to believing y, from rejectors to prospects, or from customers into loyalists. You'd think we were missionaries, not marketers.

But this religious conversion language is dangerous when applied to marketing. The word ‘conversion’ implicitly assumes a world where people have clear beliefs, which lead to stable, well-defined patterns of behaviour. You are a customer or a non-customer, promiscuous or a loyalist, a Pepsi buyer or a Coke buyer.