Lovely day here in London today, big difference with last week when I planned on flying here but didn’t make it because of the fog at LCY. I can tell you, spending like 5 hours at the Antwerp Airport for nothing is really no fun at all. Meeting up with the zerofinfluencer this evening, so it’s going to be a good day today.
I’ve just started reading ‘Round Ireland with a fridge‘ a few days ago and (apart from being a good funny book) there was this one part that reminded me so much of advertising that I had to copy it right here. And yes, not all advertising is bad ;)
“The taxi driver helped me with the fridge but had failed to see anything in it worthy of conversation. He has his own agenda and he wanted to chat about traffic congestion in the city, unnecessary roundabouts and the mindless introduction of one-way systems. Taxi drivers are the same throughout the world – great levellers. Never mind that Nelson Mandela, President Clinton or Michelle Pfeiffer has jumped into the cab, they’ll get no specialist treatment, none whatsoever. The driver will bore them just as shitless as you and me”
For those who don’t know the book, it’s basically about Tony Hawks who hitchhiked around Ireland with a fridge after a bet he did with one of his friends.
Marketers have an image problem and it’s their (our) own fault. Marketers need to become more accountable for themselves and for the benefit of the business. This words come out of a presentation from Futurelab, but they’re not the only ones to realize that accountability is exactly one of the key issues marketers have to deal with.
“We can’t compete on price. We also can’t compete on quality, features or service. That leaves fraud, which I’d like you to call marketing”
– Dilbert’s boss
A couple of months ago, Gregor Harter, Eward Landry and Andrew Tipping wrote an interesting article on The New Complete Marketer, like they called it. Apart from ‘putting the consumer at the heart of marketing’ or ‘live the new agency paradigm’ (thinking also about my agency2.0 post) they focus on the ‘make marketing accountable’:
“For many enterprises, the development of accountability follows much the same path, as marketers learn to transform raw data into actionable planning. Stage one is evaluating what is being measured and how it is being measured; stage two is condensing scores of diffuse reports and metrics down to a useful few; and stage three is creating targeted analytics and a core report to gauge performance and help determine where best to focus going forward.”
- Denial: “Marketing is an art, not a science. It can’t be measured. The results will come, trust me!”
- Anger: “You just don’t understand how marketing works. Why is marketing held to a higher standard than everyone else?”
- Confusion: “I know I should measure marketing results, but I just don’t know how.”
- Self-Promotion: “Hey, come look at all these charts and graphs!”
- Accountability: “Revenue starts in marketing.”
ANA think it’s a trend to watch in 2008 though, they think this is the year marketers will get serious about marketing:
“In ANA’s 2007 marketing accountability study, it was startling to find that, despite enormous efforts, 42% of marketers were dissatisfied with ROI measurements and metrics. In about half of the companies, marketing and finance don’t speak with one voice or share common metrics. Enough! Recognizing the critical importance of accountability, companies will appoint a czar — the chief accountability officer — to lead a disciplined, internally consistent approach to marketing measurements, metrics and productivity.”
So the question is, where are you as a marketer? I believe it is indeed something we marketers need be a lot more serious about, for themselves and the business. What’s your take?
Yesterday night at the movies, I saw a commercial from one of the Belgian health insurance funds, namely Het Neutraal Ziekenfonds. In Belgium the basic health insurance (which covers quite a lot) is free (as paid by the government) and offered by all funds. So you pretty much chose between the funds depending on all the other services they offer.
So last night I saw this new cinema commercial they made and it just made wonder what some people are doing in advertising. This is probably the silliest ad I’ve seen this year. I don’t regularly blog about bad advertising and rather focus on the good stuff, but this is just …
I have a link to the commercial a bit further but read through this first. Since the commercial is in Dutch, you might want some additional info. The slogan of Het Neutraal Ziekenfonds is ‘the essential, in all simplicity’ and that’s what this commercial is about, that’s what the voice-over is saying: losing ballast, going to the essential, …
Now go see the commercial for yourself and try to look at it with ‘essential’ in mind and like you have no idea what it’s about ;) Go to this page, ‘skip intro’ and click on the link in the down right corner called ‘de bioscoopspot’. That should do it.
Now I’m a happy client of them, but this ad is just ridiculous.