the next big thing in marketing


There’s a perennial search for the next big thing in marketing, which can distract us from getting the basics right.

I recently re-discovered “Eat Your Greens”, a thought-provoking collection of essays by marketing thinkers, edited by Wiemer Snijder in 2018 (he kindly peppered a few of my cartoons between the essays).  The book includes a sharp piece by Mark Ritson on some of what ails marketing. 

These lines in particular resonated with me:

“Most marketers are more focused on the cool new stuff than the concerning lack of clarity or discipline in our field…

“Marketers have always been the ‘magpie discipline’: we steal the good stuff from other approaches and bring them into marketing as our own. But with so much stuff around these days, it’s perhaps not surprising that marketing has become filled to the brim with nonsense.

“And while this distracting ephemera continues to occupy and obfuscate the marketing masses, we are shifting further away from the great tenets of marketing that have served the discipline so well for so long…

“This is not a plea to ignore the new and favour the old; rather it is a plea to beware throwing out the strategic principles of marketing out with the new tactical bathwater.”

Marketers sometimes get so enamored by the shiny new thing that we forget that the value is in what the shiny new thing enables, not the shiny new thing itself.

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