Marketing isn’t ROCKET science

September 27, 2018

Coming out next month is a book called ‘Eat Your Greens’, with the sub-title ‘Fact-based thinking to improve your brand’s health’.   

   

Published by the Account Planning Group, it’s a collection of views from the great and the good of marketing opinion.

   

The editor Wiemer Snijders has also come up with a clever way to promote the book. He asked each contributor to answer the question, in one sentence or less, “What has Marketing Science taught you?”.

   

Now me, I love a bit of marketing opinion. The book has some of my favourite commentators on marketing. I’ve read so many pieces by two or three, I feel I almost know them.

 

And like many people, I’ve been drawn in to the arguments over Marketing Science in recent years, particularly since reading “How Brands Grow’ by Byron Sharp.

 

I also love a bit of brevity. So, of course, I played the game of reading through all the answers to see which ones struck a chord with me.

 

Here’s the whole list if you want to have a go yourself.

 

These are the ones I ticked:

 

1. Humility (Rory Sutherland) - we could all do with a touch more of that and of the three one-word answers, this was the best (the others were ‘human’ and ‘nothing’).

 

2. How much marketing is involved in science (Mark Ritson) - if you read Mark’s column in Marketing (it’s here), he credits Jerry Olson and J. Paul Peter for coming up with this idea back in 1963.

 

3. How little science there is in marketing (Bob Hoffman) - he just can’t help picking a fight, can he?

 

4. The art of scepticism (Kate Richardson) - see what she did there.

 

5. That if you want to improve any aspect of marketing you need to understand how consumers think (Phil Graves) - and how they feel, Phil, surely? The problem is that’s so much harder to measure.

 

6. A number of different ways to sell the shit out of great creative work! (Julian Cole) - the only one with an exclamation mark!

 

7. That binary thinking rarely serves me well (Rosie Yakob) - the false dichotomies that plague so many marketing arguments.

 

8. To be cautious of intuition (Amy Wilson) - I like the way she implies intuition does come first but it’s not the end of the process. Create then edit.

 

9. To be experimental (Faris Yakob) - because it’s kind of contradicts Amy’s comment and because it makes me wonder how arguments go in the Yakob’s nomadic household.

 

10. To get back to basics and not get distracted by the new fangled nonsense (Mark Barden) - which I didn’t take to be as dismissive of Marketing Science as maybe it was meant, but instead as a simple piece of advice when faced with any new brand challenge.

 

Of course, what I really then wanted to do was to throw in my own tuppenny worth. Mark Ritson’s article is on LinkedIn and it’s attracted comments from a few brave souls. So I could do it there. I might even get a few likes.

 

But what to say? What has Marketing Science taught me? In one sentence?

 

The first thought that came into my head was the headline of this post. Well, it isn’t rocket science, is it?

 

And I’ve got an engineering degree, so I can prove it too.

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