The Government is the Nanny of the State

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The Government is the Nanny of the State

It could have been the worst teaching night of my experience, talking for 2.5 hours about the role of government in business to first year Under-Grad Business students. (okay, we took a five minute break). It ended up not quite so bad after I hit on the metaphor of the Government being the Nanny of the State.

When the children play nice, Nanny gets on with her knitting. Catch a boo-boo? Run to Nanny. Misbehave? Watch out for Nanny. Playing the bully? Nanny takes the bully down. Best case scenario, Nanny stays away until it’s time for treats.

The consensus of the class was: “Keep Government out of business as much as possible.” “Only as a last resort.” “Well, if the economy is completely failing, then of course we do need Government to step in.” I will not rant politics because the general consensus is “Right now we need Nanny”.

One part of my presentation to take home for the customer-centric marketer was ‘The reason why some industries self-regulate: to avoid the imposition of external regulation’. The ad industry is a good example in many countries, where advertising standards are self-adopted, rather than deal with the government as the ombudsman of integrity in advertising. Financial markets were also self-regulating (:o(.

The key point to be made is that, when an industry regulates itself, it generally does so with the goal of protecting itself from the consequences of being regulated from elsewhere. Regulation that is seen to be done, is not designed to protect the average Joe. It protects the industry it serves from a greater imposition of authority. Kids playing by the rules to keep Nanny out, rather than to be really, really fair. Did I mention that Financial markets were self-regulating (:o(

I believe increasingly, that the standards by which all commercial activity will become judged is through the regulatory lens of the CUSTOMER. The customer represents the primary moral imperative to ensure business continuity, customer frequency and loyalty. I wonder how the class would have reacted if I had inserted the word CUSTOMER in place of government throughout the entire presentation? We are not so resistant to the actions of our customers within private enterprise as we are to the Nanny of the State..

The Nanny of the State certainly has the customer in mind in times of crisis. Stimulation of retail activity, Keynesian economics to prime the pump of consumer spending et al. When will the penny truly drop that, by applying the right integrity and values within our business and our marketing, we can bypass the Government and do very nicely?

Written By   Jon|Advertising Truths, Marketing Strategy, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Government is the Nanny of the State
Written By   Jon|Advertising Truths, Marketing Strategy, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Government is the Nanny of the State

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Jon Sherrington

Owner, Strategist, Writer – Hydrogen Creative Inc.

May 1996 – Present

My role is to provide strategic marketing guidance to clients to ensure their objectives are attainable, remain in focus and the communications solutions work.

My expertise is in how to realign goals-oriented brands, products, services or businesses to customer values to build loyalty, frequency and continuity.