Burn the damned marketing manual !

I’m looking for the marketing manual – so I can burn it. I have been using it to keep the office door open but I keep on tripping over it, so I’m going to burn it. It’s not good for anything else!

Traditional marketing always had its elements of irrationality – being somewhere south of entirely scientific and only data-driven in an historical, backward looking way. That might sound more than a little grumpy, but I don’t mean to be. How could it have ever been anything else ?

If you had the money and the time, you might conduct some sort of research – make some hopefully informed judgements – and then send your campaign out into the world to be either embraced or ignored. And then some time later you would have a look to see how successful you had been. And end up being no wiser.

Marketing that way was never a sophisticated process and it always produced unpredictable and hard to quantify results. Over the past 40 years I have watched so many marketers covering up the fact that they have never been really sure what’s going on – why something works and something else doesn’t. Think of small scared animals caught in the headlight beams of an oncoming car.

Unfortunately nothing much has changed.

It is possible today to understand deeply what’s going on when somebody decides to do business with you. Why then do so many people have their noses buried in a manual that is simply no good any more.

The heart of truly effective marketing lies squarely in how well you understand yourself and how well you understand your customer. And how to communicate effectively. How to speak clearly to your customer about yourself in a way that engages them and leads them to spend their money with you.

There are innumerable, publicly available sources of data that will help you learn and understand – and there are people who can help you use those tools. But it’s up to you to decide to change the way you’re doing things.

When more and more brands are asking – “why should we buy media if we can create our own?”. And it’s clear that content marketing is proving to be far more effective than most other options, and adblocking is growing at annual rates of over 40%, you have to ask yourself –  “Where’s the damned marketing manual? I want to burn it!”


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