I Don’t Know What that Costs

No, really, I don’t. I work in Marketing. Marketing tells people why they want things. We know why you need it, why you crave it, why your life simply is not complete without it.

But I don’t handle the pricing.

I have no idea what three hours of a developer’s time is worth. If you asked me, I’d say “Mountain Dew and a box of Reese’ Pieces.” But for all I know, it’s actually a 2-liter of coke and five Slim Jims. I don’t know what it costs The Company to dedicate a project manager to an assignment. I don’t even know what junk food they eat.*
*It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that I work with them less.

I don't understand.

Is this not how people are quantified?

It’s a little bleak, but I like to think of Marketing as working a long con. It’s my job to get to know you.** It’s my job to find out what your needs are, so The Company can anticipate them. We’re here for the greater good***, to make sure you get find the right products and services that will make your life better.
**The royal “you.” The one that means everyone, and doesn’t mean I specifically spend my time stalking you. I definitely don’t do that. Because I’m not a weirdo. And I have no idea where you live. Why are you closing your blinds?
***Consumerist Evil.

It's possible I don't know how jobs work

“Women who wear boots and fluffy skirts like things that can be carried in bags.”
– Factual Marketing Observation

And get paid. I have college loan debt. I am really, really interested in getting paid.

But there is an inherent problem with working in the Marketing Industry. That problem is Sales. Sales does not care what you want, or what you need. Sales cares about what you think you want to buy. Sales cares how we can bend your needs to match The Company’s products. Sales really, really, really wants you to buy what we have to sell.****
****Ok, ok, I do too. But I really want to make sure you want it, too. I have to do research and stuff. That’s why it’s called “market research.” Duh.*****
*****This is not why it’s called “market research.”

And here at The Company, Marketing has almost nothing to do with the prices of what we sell. Sales handles that. Because they’re selling it.****** It’s an obvious assignment of responsibilities.
******And because Marketing is a rabble of adorable, creative-minded individuals who probably can’t be trusted with math.


You never know just what might happen when you give Marketing numbers.

But this never stops anyone in Sales from asking our department complex questions about how prices are determined and issued. In essence, when tasked to determine the price of a good or service provided by The Company, Sales comes running up to Marketing and asks “How much does this cost?”

Marketing does not know. 

More importantly, not only do I not know, I cannot be trusted not to make up an answer.

Vortex eyes of doom!

Nothing The Company sells costs $7. Unless you ask me. Then absolutely everything The Company sells is sold for $7. Because math.

So, by all that’s good and right in the world, can everyone please stop asking Marketing how much things cost? We don’t know, and we don’t care. We only care if you want it, if you’ll buy it, and if you’ll Tweet about it.

I should probably just start pointing out the comic on my desk


From The Oatmeal. Go show him all the love, because he’s brilliant, and this makes me happy.
Click this and cheat to the comic in question.

One thought on “I Don’t Know What that Costs

  1. Pingback: Public Service Announcement #33: Do Not Ignore Headphones in the Workplace | Perpetual Plot Hole

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