Our marketing world balances on a sea of mediocrity!
There is a name for what advertising agencies do, " rubbish ", and our
predecessors appreciated much better than us its ultimate destination: ruin!
Almost all of what advertising agencies do is best summed up in one word
parasitical. By creating advertising out of thin air we have reduced the
purchasing power of more deserving members of society. What would happen if
everybody behaved just like advertising agencies?
Marketing and Advertising is a classic example of the term "the fallacy of
managerial expertise",an attempt by experts to blind us with science to
justify their overpaid existence.
The experts will tell us that the present advertising and marketing crisis
are simply the result of abuses and excesses in a system that is basically
sound. All that is required is for some faults to be corrected. Do not
believe them! The reality is that the problem is systemic and a little
tinkering here or there will achieve nothing in the long term.
What is needed is a root-and-branch re-evaluation of that most curious of
inventions, marketing and advertising, and how it can be used to serve the
interests of the community. To start with the experts must explain in the
simplest terms how advertising actually works together with supporting
evidence! The truth is that advertising and marketing have not suddenly
become useless but that they were never really useful in the first place!
Yet it is a fact that that the key to understanding how international
marketing and advertising operates and why the world is in such a mess is
discussed virtually nowhere in mainstream circles.
The picture has become a great deal more complicated, the huge problem of
clutter, otherwise known as meaningless noise. Together with the gibberish
that has become the new marketing speak, IT jargon...utterly meaningless and as
far away from communication than ever before. And still no one has produced
one iota of real evidence that advertising works at all!
The role of advertising has been diverted by new expertsto media buying,
sales promotion, computer speak, direct marketing but in essence they are mere
variations of the same basic three-card trick! With the advent of the PC all
sorts of marketing emerges, again devised by those same experts who did not
know what they were doing from the beginning. Moreover, the illusion becomes
self-reinforcing. Those involved in the process sitting behind their computer
screens, no longer control the beast they have created.
Advertising breeds more advertising and the only people who win, in fact the
only people who have ever won, are the media owners which is precisely why the
media owners desperately do not want the system to change! But the system
relies entirely, as do all Ponzi schemes, on two assumptions, 1) That
advertising works, and 2) the assumption of continued growth, hence its inherent
instability. Once that growth is threatened the whole edifice collapses.
Marketing...a very simple and devastatingly effective swindle, but largely
invisible because it has become so deeply embedded in our culture. The
consequences of that swindle, the desperate need for economic growth together
with the environmental and cultural despoliation it engenders require some
radical thinking that one encounters nowhere in any of our Business Schools...or
elsewhere for that matter!
OK, so some people have question my assumption (?) that advertising doesn't
work, fortunately there is enough evidence supporting my claims and I will
commence to detail that evidence in future articles. For example:June 2005
issue of Harvard Business Review reporting on the effectiveness of 500 various
consumer and B2B marketing programs: 84% resulted in less market share, not
more Most customer acquisition efforts did not break even Fewer than 10% of
new products succeeded Most sales promotions were unprofitable Advertising
ROI was below 4% Doubling advertising expenditures for established products
increased sales just 1% - 2%