Bulletin: Marketing is not that complicated

You have to hand it the big consulting companies, they have done a great job of making marketing complicated to the point that most marketing executives are drowning in “big data”.  Believe it or not, marketing is not complicated if you focus on the essentials.

Bog Hoffman wrote “the marketing industry is currently in the midst of a mass delusion of epic proportions. This includes the gross exaggeration of the role of brands; the mangling of the role of ad agencies; the mistaking of gimmicks for trends; the abandonment of the most powerful consumer group the world has ever seen; the wishful thinking of social media marketing; and the fraud and the corruption of digital advertising”.  But that is not the only reason why most marketing stinks.

Bon further says “consumers are basically simple creatures with straightforward needs and easily observed behaviors . Marketers are complicated critters with strange customs and mysterious beliefs. Marketers are taught not to think simply. In fact, the whole practice of marketing is based on the conviction that there are forces at work in the minds of consumers that only trained specialists (ya know, us) are qualified to interpret. Thinking simply has been beaten out of marketers. You can’t be taken seriously in any marketing or advertising organization if you suggest that the bulk of consumer behavior is perfectly obvious”.

How marketers think and how consumers think couldn’t be more different. Consumers want clarity and simplicity. Marketers want to complicate the shit out of everything.  We need to stop looking at people as consumers and start looking at what they are, which is people.

So why has marketing become so complicated?

1ne: Too many MBA’s who try and quantify the unquantifiable.

2wo: Over reliance on research that isn’t accurate.

3hree: Too many people in marketing afraid to make a move without tons of support and hours of meetings.

4our: Not focusing on the consumer “moment of truth” (when they move from prospect to customer)

5ive: Buying into the hype and noise around the next thing in marketing like “social media and big data”.

Now for those of you who think that big data is essential for marketing may I remind you that P&G collects a ton of data on the market and has recently said they need a new approach to marketing to stop the slide in sales.

If you focus on people and making them happy, you will succeed with your marketing.  If you insist on looking at consumers as “segments” you’re going to lose.

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