A few months ago I wrote a blog Is Marketing Dead which was in response to the controversial article by Bill Lee in the Harvard Business Review which proposes that traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Lee states that many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm.
My take on this article was marketing is clearly not dead, like many disciplines it’s constantly evolving. Just because a field is changing does not make the actual discipline dead. Is there a lot of money wasted on marketing? Yes there is. Are there people in marketing resistant to change? Of course there is and that is true of every field.
In a devastating 2011 study of 600 CEOs and decision makers 73% of them said that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient business growth, 72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business, and 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric. The Fournaise 2012 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program, which interviewed over 1,200 CEOs from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia found that 70% of CEOs Admit They May Be Responsible for Marketers’ Poor Perceived Performance:
- 80% of CEOs were not very impressed by the work done by Marketers and believed Marketers were poor business performers.
- CEOs thought Marketers could not adequately prove the positive business impact their marketing activities.
- CEOs thought Marketers had lost sight of what their job really was (i.e. to generate more customer demand for their products/services).
- CEOS thought Marketers were not business performance-obsessed enough.
- 70% of the same CEOs admitted they may be somewhat responsible for Marketers’ poor perceived business performance and reputation – but purely as a consequence of:
a) Having steadily lost trust in Marketers’ business abilities; and b) Subsequently having given up on holding Marketers accountable.
Mitch Joel points out that marketing departments have liquidated themselves over the past two decades by focusing all of their energy on advertising and promotions. They have forgotten about the need for marketing 101 – the basics of the four Ps and the value that a well-rounded marketing department brings to an organization. We suddenly have revenue departments instead of marketing leading and nurturing the pricing strategy of the business. We suddenly have product managers instead of marketing leading the product development and placement. So, what’s left? You guessed it, just the promotion.
He adds. Can digital save the day? I believe it can . What’s required are both much more education within the marketing departments of the world (to better understand digital, measurement and analytics) and a shift in philosophy that marketing doesn’t need to be dominated by advertising? Marketers can win back the c-suite trust, so long as they’re willing do more real marketing, instead of simply focusing on the advertising (which is still important, it’s just not everything).
Now in a recent article we have marketing guru Al Reis writing an article in which we find that Too Many Marketers Are Going Soft.
He refers to the disease of major corporations around the world spending huge amounts of time and money thinking up soft, emotional positioning slogans. He gives an example of one of the most prestigious business schools in the world Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management coming up with a very lame slogan for their school “developed by hundreds of alumni, students and faculty”. With all due respect, the last people I would have developing positioning and branding lines for a business school are alumni, students and faculty.
As I have pointed out in over 150 blogs there is good marketing and bad marketing. And I have been very critical of the bad marketing observed in my career as a practioner, academic and consultant. The secret is to be open to new ideas, be strategic i.e. strategy before going headlong into tactics, and most important listen to the people you are trying to reach and influence . Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Let me know what you think.
Get out your calendar and insert the dates of exciting events at the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing is delighted to be involved with the World Social Marketing Conference, which will take place in Toronto, Canada from April 21-23, 2013.
The conference attracts participants from many countries and you will get the opportunity to meet social marketers from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn from social marketers around the world and most important the opportunity to network with social marketers like yourself.
Note: The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing will be running a pre-conference 1 day social marketing workshop entitled: Social Marketing Planning: Implementing an Effective Campaign
For more information go to: http://wsmconference.com/
The dates are set: May 28 & 29, 2013
Mark your calendar and start your training plan!
The location is set: Ottawa Convention Centre
Plan now to attend the only forum of this kind in Canada!
The only Canadian university certificate program for government and non-profit marketers.
Feb. 13 – May 23, 2013
7 Course Modules – 8 days over 4 months
When: February 6, 2013
Where: Delta Barrington Hotel
1875 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
To learn about all of our training programs
Go to our web site Cepsm.ca