I’m starting to think there is a very dark side to marketing. My whole job is basically manipulating people into spending money, often money they can’t afford. I’m really starting to question my career.

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You're not wrong.

I also think every skill can be applied ethically and unethically.

It sounds like being ethical is one of your values, so I would look for a job with a business in an industry that aligns with it (by doing your research & asking the right questions during interviews).

While you're at it, may I suggest diving deeper into figuring out what your other values are. This will help you have a more fulfilling career sooner.

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I think you made a mistake in your career, marketing since before being digital its intention was to manipulate the masses but it was much more difficult, now it is much, much easier to control the masses.

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Developing a marketing strategy usually has objectives such as improving traffic on the website or in the different digital profiles, additionally, traffic is accompanied by sales, so the best way to do this is to use the data that banks like Facebook sell you to manipulate the masses, so I don't see why you start realizing this, it's something you learn from the university.

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But it is that the objective of marketing is to promote images, and the objective of promoting an image is to sell a product or service, it is not a dark side, it is the objective side and if you achieve it, it is partly because people want it to be that way.

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You make a point but there's a "dark side" to almost every industry/profession. You can decide if you'll work in the dark or the light. Ppl tend to point the finger at marketing but it's important to remember that almost everything under the sun is marketed from the goods/services ppl may or may not need to the great organizations helping w/human rights, natural disaster cleanup, animal rights, climate justice, and more. All of the latter examples of co's/orgs also use marketing to help get their message out to the masses. If you feel your co uses marketing negatively, maybe consider changing companies vs professions so you can use your skill for good (unless you just hate the profession).

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I think that the dark side of making people spend would have to do with using marketing to manipulate a presidential election as they did in our country.

The only way you don't control the masses to buy is to work in associations that help and protect animals or people, it's not the fault of the career, it's that we live in a world that wants to become consumerist.

I think you should have realized at the moment that Google rewards those who write a lot on a subject and use keywords, that is, keywords are more important than the truth of the facts.

Meh. I think you might be reaching a little bit, but I get it. In all honesty, I feel like you have to be a little bit morally corrupt to be in marketing. Anyone I've ever met or worked with who's in marketing is far from a saint. Myself included.

I think you've stumbled on an ethical dilemma you're going to have to solve for yourself. Do you want to spend your career doing something you don't feel good about?

You might need a career change. Or, you might just need a company change 🤷🏻‍♀️

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