Thought: It’s time again for people on Twitter to define marketing, and frankly, I’ve never read so much bullshit in my life. Marketing is not one function and is not the same for all products. The way a company markets peanut butter is a hell of a lot different than the way a brand markets electronics. One thing is for sure: brands that believe consumers are going back to the way they were before the pandemic will lose customers.
Let’s look at some current hot topics in marketing:
1ne: Digital marketing is essential for a brand – Yes, and no. For most products, digital marketing can be a massive waste of money. Does a consumer need a website for 99% of the products they find in the grocery store? On the other hand, complex good websites are almost always accessed before making a purchase.
The other issue in digital is the amount of money being thrown away on digital ads. Even by conservative estimates, 45% of all online ads are fraudulent. In programmatic, that number goes higher, and some of the top brands have had their ads appear on anti-vaxxer sites.
2wo: TV is dead – No even close. Consumers said, in recent research, the way they find out about new products is through TV ads.
3hree: Brands need to be socially responsible – Really? Then how do you explain Amazon.com’s growth when they treat their employees like racehorses or Apple hiding billions of dollars overseas, so they don’t need to pay taxes? Weaker brands can lose a lot of customers because they took a stand that goes against the public, but stronger brands can usually do whatever they want and get away with it.
4our: Social media is essential – For listening, yes, not for broadcasting. Today social media is YOUR brand’s customer service.
5ive: We need to stick to the marketing plan – Marketing plans are a monument to the stupidity of brands. The market changes and with it you need to respond rapidly without months’ worth of meetings and PowerPoints.
6ix: Market Research is essential – I’ve seen brands do a tom of research before launching new products or marketing and still fail. Market research is not the answer to everything. Have multiple listening points to put together a picture of your audience but never neglect that feeling that something you’re hearing is wrong.
7even: We need to expand the market – No, you need to focus on keeping current customers happy and improve your margins through effective supply chain management.
8ight: Marketers need an MBA – Not anymore. People who have experience are more valuable than an MBA any time of day. It’s better to get an MBA after you start work to apply what you are learning to your job.
Don’t buy the BS that marketing is easy to define; it isn’t. Consumers are going to be paying more for products and expect more from brands. You had better be ready to talk to consumers as people, not market segments.