My former CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts, has recently been quoted saying that “Marketing is Dead”. He’s someone with an eye for a headline so while I think it’s extreme to say marketing is dead, I do agree that marketing has certainly changed beyond recognition.
I read the Roberts quote not long after seeing an article about the senior marketing figure at Unilever who is asking for “More magic, less logic” from his team. Apparently he believes that analysis and statistics have overtaken creativity in the approach to marketing at Unilever and he wants to reverse this trend.
These are two very senior marketers on the agency and client side of the fence respectively who are both striving to set a vision for the future of marketing and motivate their teams. These quotes certainly highlight the challenge of being a marketer today, so how do you navigate the market changes and where should you focus?
Concentrate on effectiveness
The most important achievement you can have as a marketer is effectiveness. While methods and channels are changing all around you, some basic principles remain. Set clear goals, focus on ROI and determine what effectiveness looks like from your campaign. Then apply the tools available to achieve this.
Don’t overdo data
Don’t let the extent of data you have at your disposal overcome you. You have access to more data now than ever before and it can be stifling. Concentrate on the data that is most relevant to your goals: How has this segment of your audience behaved before, how have the products or services that are relevant performed before. Distill this into something you can be clear about and explain to others
Focus your creativity, but still be creative
The best creative briefs are short and focused. Be as specific as you can be on your approach to this, define the parameters of the brief but don’t dictate how the brief should be met. Allow yourself, your design team or others working on the project to be creative in meeting your very clearly defined goals.
Test, learn and test again
Kevin Roberts talks about the end of the ‘big idea’ and this is great news. No longer do you have to determine the idea for a few, large campaigns. Providing you have a clear vision and focus you can experiment with multiple small campaigns and ideas through your media channels. Keep trying new things, learning and trying again.
Marketing is not dead. Advertising techniques and marketing approaches have changed significantly, but the scope for creativity and potential for effectiveness is greater now than ever before. Have fun with it!