Looking for Marketers, Fast?

Cemil Ozyurt
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The best apricots of the world grow in Turkey. We also have one of the world’s richest cuisines. The best coasts in the world, places that are revered as holy by the three main monotheistic religions, the best view of a strait, hand woven regional carpets, each more valuable than the next, and the tastiest baklavas are all to be found in Turkey. 
We always complain about the public opinion misunderstanding us on issues in which we are convinced of being right. Such as in the so-called Armenian genocide issue, the war against the PKK, the EU negotiations process, in Cyprus…

Why do you think that we are unable to show the “real Turkey” when we have so many positive values and when we see ourselves as right on so many issues in the international arena? 

If the whole world still thinks that doner and baklava are Greek foods, if sea, sand and nature make the whole world think of Italy in the Mediterranean region, if the Cyprus issue is still not understood by the public opinion in the world for the last 30 years and if the terrorist PKK organization, directly responsible for the deaths of 30,000 people, is known as freedom fighters, then that shows that Turkey has a hard time telling the world about itself.

It is not enough to say “I am the best,” or “I am right.” You need to put in effort in order to make your point. If this logic is not followed in explaining our points to the international public opinion for the apricots grown in Malatya or the Cyprus issue, we will keep on encountering the same problems. We will keep on having the best products but we will be the only ones to know this. We would be correct in our quest but no one else would see our point of view.

According to the National Center for Education statistics, 1514 schools in the US provide master’s degrees. 898 of these prepare students for professional life with an MBA. For the year 2005 alone, the number of students holding an MBA degree was 125,785.

That many students looking for jobs in the marketplace every year results in new ideas and new strategies being developed. And these new ideas make sure that many products such as third-rate Hollywood movies, the so-so beaches of Miami, low-quality clothes, and fast food chains come to be marketed to the whole world.

When you type the word “marketing” in Google and look at the results, you encounter 102 million different links. When you type the word “marketing” in Turkish, the total number of results you get are just 4 million 20 thousand. Even this disparity between these results shows us the extent of the difference in importance that is accorded to marketing.

Seeing the full product gamut of Abercrombie & Fitch on the young people of Istanbul when they have no stores outside of US and Canada and tourists making sure that they get a picture taken with a NY policeman or a police car while visiting New York are all results of different marketing strategies.

The products or the policies that you develop are almost never taken up as you would predict. You need to mobilize and you need to market your product or idea. Otherwise your Malatya apricots gets sold in the supermarkets in US under the local Pathmark brand and your country’s olive oil is branded under Italian names.    

My advice to the young people in Turkey looking for a career in the new century would be to study marketing. Because Turkey truly needs them in order to promote its ideas, products, tourist areas, and culture.

(January 2007, 23rd Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07