Excellent distinction between marketing and manipulation from the venerable Patrick McFadden. Unfortunately, most people consider marketing to be manipulative, and for good reason. Traditional marketing operates by interuppting people with loud, one-way announcements that may or may not be relevant to them. With the rise of the social Web, businesses can now create and deploy marketing messages that are tailored to their ideal audience’s personas and interests. The cost-effective tools available to businesses today, e.g. social media and company blogs, allow brands to provide content that is educational, entertaining and enlightening to people that can inform their purchase decisions without being pushy and manipulative.
For me I see it as this:
Marketing – is getting someone to purchase something that later on they’re glad they bought it because it improved their life or work.
Manipulation – is getting someone to purchase something that later on they regret buying because they don’t need it or want it or it doesn’t improve their life or work.