Aaaah Marketing I remember you well……
I am sure we all remember those days when creativity trumped “Eye-blasts”, when copy was more than “you pay less for that here” and the great idea really was just that, the great idea, when marketing was a discipline that was practiced with vigour and when “degrees” were not handed out like sweets.
Why have I started out my post like this, particularly given my passion for the 1:1 Communication practices, well, I guess it is because, despite my love for Direct Marketing, I am noticing an ever increasing trend of creatively void marketing.
I am not saying that we have no creativity in the industry, but the creativity is not being channelled by the marketers and this is due to the lack of marketing professionals that abound. We have forsaken the art of strategy, in favour of speed to market. We are letting creativity get in the way of good marketing and this is resulting in many brands having conflicted messages.
“We are a responsible corporate citizen……. but let’s market that extra large value meal to help spread obesity”
“We have achieved carbon neutral status – we printed 5 million pamphlets just to tell you this….complete with forest and running streams”
The casual observers may think that I am talking about qualifications when I say professionals, let me correct this perception, I am not. I do not think that a qualification makes you a professional. I do think that it may help lay the foundation of core disciplines, but unless these are put into practice, then the bit of paper is worth jack!
Strategic thinking must be at the core of any marketing effort and given that this effort is what must drive the creative, then any marketing department not practicing this will fail. Judging by the advertising efforts coming out, I need to say that I think that there a number of departments failing dismally.
It is almost as if brands and their marketing departments are moving from one creative execution to the other, without following their core strategy. Not to be confused with segmentation, I am talking about the same demographic being given several messages and there being little or no cohesion between these.
I would love to see marketing departments returning to their core focus of developing strategy and driving the marketing effort, and therefore the creative effort, with vigour. It may mean that you do not achieve a Loerie this year, but it may just make the difference between being in business and not!