You may not know it but marketing is one of the closes things you can get to real-life mind reading. See, it may seem like you don’t know what a person is thinking. But when that person can be a likely customer, how much have marketers invested to get inside their heads?

It’s not that different even in B2B business. The needs are more complex but the goal of getting inside the heads of executives and managers doesn’t differ from getting inside the head of a soccer mom. And given the work put in analytics, data, and tracking, you can bet that marketers will know at least one or two things to make you buy something they’ve got. (Case in point: Google and the whole SEO marketing sector).

All that power though comes at a price and it’s not necessarily just the investment marketers make in the skills and technology.

Remember the whole genie gig?

That’s right. At their peak, marketers have all the capacity to pretty much know everything you want. But with that knowledge, they have a responsibility to show something that will grant you that wish.

That’s all.

They can’t use it to turn you over to the government. They can’t use it for blackmail. They can’t use it to erase all records of your existence. They can only use it so that they’ll sell you the right stuff. That’s a far cry from the common accusations of privacy advocates and anti-corporate activists.

A similar price on the other hand is being paid by the prospects. Sure, there are plenty of ways to go under the radar so you can free yourself from the constant bombardment of marketing calls and emails. In essence though, it’s also the same as adopting the Buddhist philosophy of “desire is evil.” If you don’t want something, then there’s no reason for marketers to bother you. They can’t read something when your mind is empty.

What’s the reality though? You’ll always want something. In business, there’s no shortage of demand for solutions, better work environments, expertise, resources etc. Denying those demands is only going to send your company down under. And no, not everyone will be called to join a monastery.

So in the end, yes, marketers like to be mind-readers. They like to know everything about you. But unlike the malevolent psychic aliens of science-fiction, they’re closer to genies only looking get you your wish.