In our lifetime we meet with many different people having different characters. It is obvious that although people have much in common, they also have very different characters shaped according to their culture, tradition, political views, environment etc. Those different characters are mainly categorized into four stereotypes by Eric Fromm. Those stereotypes are the receptive, the exploitative, the hoarding and the market oriented people. Although marketing orientation stereotype is widespread in today’s world, marketing orientation has many deficiencies and causes several problems in people’s lives which will be explained in this assignment. I should clarify that by marketing orientation stereotype; I mean people’s conformity to the laws of free market economics in other words laws of supply and demand and barter. The aim of this paper is to show the deficiencies of marketing orientation stereotype in people’s lives and its huge effect in the formation of people’s characters.
Marketing orientation stereotype is mainly based on capitalist free market economic system. Capitalism was firstly developed in the late 17th century in Britain and spread around the world in the following centuries. Capitalism basically means “An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market”. Capitalism made a huge effect in people’s lives as well as the nature and the type of the political system. Although capitalism was developed as an economic model in the late 17th century, it takes its roots from traditional barter system. Barter system refers to the exchange of goods without using money. In barter system, individual contact has been very important and it is also an integral part of the capitalist system. At this point, I want to give special emphasis on individual contact because capitalist system inherited this aspect from the barter system. Barter and trade activities has always been very influential in the formation of people’s characters. Gradually, people’s characters have begun to be shaped by the market orientation which is based on individualism and the self-profit. While people contacted with each other, they became informed about the value of different goods and services in the market.
Marketing orientation system and capitalism is based on the laws of supply and demand. The value of a good or a service is determined according to the laws of supply and demand without the interference of the state. This has made important change in the socioeconomic lives of people which was an important factor in the formation of people’s characters. The high demand of people to a certain good will automatically increase this good’s price. Unless no changes occur on the supply side, this would lead to the inflation caused by the sustained increase in this good’s price. This has been the bad and cruel side of the capitalist economy because many people, who have not got much money, had been deprived of certain goods and services. Another problem can be caused because of the high supply and low demand. Overproduction leads to the economic crises like the famous Great Depression of 1929. Excessive supply and low demand can cause the collapse of economies and people can be deprived from having certain goods and services again.
Problems such as inflation and deflation in capitalist system direct people to pursue their own interests which is an expected characteristic in market oriented economy. People, who used to live in large communities and to fulfill their needs communally, have begun to act individually in a more self-profit seeking way because of the presence of probable extra-profit in a market system. Individualism has been heavily strengthened in the capitalist system and people have begun to live in a more lonely way. In a capitalist system, all people try to sell their labor, their skills to get material success. This also creates high competition among people. Although there are thousand people who want to work in the company X, company X can only employ ten people. At this point, personality factor plays a decisive role for success in the market. According to market oriented system, a person is concerned with becoming more salable. In other words, one has to be in fashion in the personality market. This leads to the imitation of the desired personality of an average man. People try to imitate the fashionable personality and give up being themselves. This situation creates a type of a person who pretends to be very different than his original character. This is the basic affect of market orientation system on people’s character.
How should we save people and our world from Marketing Orientation? This question seeks for appropriate answers. The answer is simple; we have to teach people that there are more valuable things in life than money. Education starts at family. In this sense, families have crucial role in the education of their children. By the way, although today’s marketing economy orientation system has affected our education system as well, families should give more non-material things i.e. spirituals than material things such as money, toys etc. Although they have become the victims of marketing orientation system they should not allow their children to be like them. Money should be not the sole purpose of people’s life. Of course, people need money in order to maintain their lives. People should be more concentrated on different things such as friendship, love for other human beings, helping the poor and homeless people etc. Despite of continuous competition among people even for getting a small job we should not forget our humane feelings which will become the real success in our lives if we can realize that we are capable of accomplishing those.
To sum up, there is no doubt that today’s market orientation system has immense effects on people’s characteristics. This is a deniable fact of our lives that capitalism and market orientation system has become wilder and wilder day by day. It is in the people and especially in family’s responsibility to overcome the deficiencies in their children’s character caused by existing world system. A good education and promoting the humane feelings will overcome those deficiencies and people become able to form characteristics of their own.
 Erich Fromm (1900-1980) was a German-American Jewish social psychologist, psychoanalyst, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory.
 Definition taken from www.dictionary.com