The syndrome of “Engineer Mamon” in marketing

Why shouldn’t a marketer ask for an opinion?

How often does an accountant ask you if something is properly accounted for? Does an HR employee come to you to ask how well you care about workers? Or maybe someone from the health and safety department asks whether you tightened screws or poured powder into bags?

No one has ever come?

That’s why you ask others about whether your work is well done. Maybe you’re not sure about your competencies? Do you count on the good word from them? A little support? Acceptance? Or maybe you just want to cover your own behind?

If for any reason you are doing this – please stop. It’s vital to respect the skills and competencies of people on your team.

Surprise and change define life.

Marketing is about building experiences.

You like to drink the same tea, in the same place, at the same time from the same cup consistently for 15 years, laugh at the comedy that you saw 50 times and enjoy the immutability of the world, but if your 2-year child does that…

That’s when there will be „shock and disbelief” that there comes a point when you appreciate these moments. Moments that divest you of monotony and habits. Change, surprise, getting to know new things – this defines your life. Your favorite tea and movie were also new once for the first time.

This is what I mean by building experiences.

People do not like change

People do not like to be surprised, even though they often declare to the contrary. People like small progress. Then they feel safe while experiencing new, small surprises.

However, the larger the „oh” and „ah!” the greater the energy that is born, and thus change has a greater impact on us. This energy is used by marketers to build relationships with customers.

A marketer is not interested in relationships. The marketer wants to evoke attraction, infatuation and love in the target group. On the other hand, because there is a thin line between love and hate it’s very easy to go from a small “oh” to a big “ouch!”

Fear is the source of care 

Marketers fear crossing the border between infatuation and rejection, so they often castrate good ideas, churn bold graphics, uncritically accept target group answers, and for additional assurance run through the halls with graphics and ideas asking „What do you think?”

 The key competence marketer

One of the most basic yet difficult to master competencies in marketing is the ability to evaluate the boundary between „oh!” and „ouch!” In my opinion it is not easy to reach this limit and the difference is not so subtle as it might seem.

Engineer Mamon syndrome

„I like the melodies, which I have already heard.”

(turn English subtitles)

When asking people for opinions and uncritically accepting them, you often do not get further than a little „ah!” People reject everything new, and accept what they have already seen until they are shown better technology or new channels.

The problem is that the competition can also do this, and marketing is not about doing the same, but trying to do everything bolder and better.


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The only remedy to Syndrome Engineer Mamon marketing is a mix of three ingredients – experience, knowledge and courage. While experience and knowledge are relatively easy, courage is the hardest. Nature is not something you can buy, but it largely defines a good marketer.

 The less courage in a marketer, the greater the margin of safety. The greater the margin of safety, the weaker the marketer.

Courage * 3 + experience *2 + knowledge * 1 = effect of marketing activities.


Marketing is a business tool. Business is finance. Finance loves peace. The financial world does not expect anything but stable growth, predictability, and silence. They do not like surprises and changes.

Seen from this point of view, marketing should be 100% satisfied with tiny steps and progress.

 If Apple did not learn to be bold again, it would not exist today. The company had financiers who thought that the source of business was money – while the source of the business is people, their needs and emotions. Money is only the result. It is the wrong fuel into the flue gas.

Technology is just a tool

I write about technology and its uses in marketing. I think it one of the most exciting areas in the industry. But in my opinion, in 10-20 years when everything will be extremely automated, the marketer’s job will be to surprise people with a very precise experience. Then again, they will count on only three things: creativity, courage and knowledge. The rest will be done by moderately competent employees, using very friendly technologies.

 It would seem that automation marketing will stress reaching out directly between the boundary between the great „oh” and the big „ouch!” – even if it means using neuromarketing. But it will not happen. Since the competition will effortlessly achieve the same thing, you will need to go further.


 Before you start asking everyone what they think about your work, your team, or your department, make sure that you have enough strength and determination to say „Thank you for your feedback” and do what you think is right. After all, it’s you who is accountable for results.