Making a Marketer | Marketing Festival documentary
There's, quite a lot to take in when it comes to the world of marketing these days. New, technologies, popping up left and right and so many opposing theories are fighting for our attention. Clarity. And focus seemed to be the hardest to find and both, are kind of important, when you try to put together as being aligned up. So, it only makes sense to ask the very best of the best, people. Who've built brands worth tens of billions of dollars today. There. Would be hard to get to but, they're out there. One. Of them was professor mark Ritson need. To live in his fiery lecture, at the 2019, marketing, festival it was by far the best received, talk we've ever had. We. Immediately knew that marks emphasis and focus and, strategy from becoming better proper, marketers, had to be the ground zero for our lineup for 2020. So, yeah we, knew where to start but. It's not like we're gonna go all the way to Sydney and ask some alright. Ahoy. There Czech marketers, ah hi how you going. My. Name's mark Ritson, you may recognize, me from my appearance, at the. 2019. Marketing, conference, I'm, sitting, in a facility. Literally. Overlooking. Sydney Harbour Bridge it doesn't get much more Australian, than that and. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be at the, conference this year but. The good news is I've already signed up with the team to come back in. 2021. Which sounds like a thousand. Years from now but it's obviously only a year from now okay thank, you so much for taking the time to see us I know we haven't got much time so let's get straight into it I. Mean we as marketers we love to claim that our decisions. Are always evidence based so, who do we turn to when we search for data and what works and what doesn't, it's. Kind of become this. Watchword. In marketing, in the last four or five years to be evidence, based and, we really shouldn't need it, right because, well. Yeah evidence, based what what other base is there you know fiction. Dreams. Emotions. You know of course it's evidence based but. The reality, is we need that term because, a lot. Of marketing, hasn't, been evidence-based, it's been based either on not, no real empirical data or. It's, been based on a biased, half-truths. Designed. To sell marketers. On one thing versus, another, so. For. Me I mean, I think because I do have a PhD in marketing, it does kind of come natural, that, if you're going to say something you have to find the empirical evidence to. Underpin. It and you. Know that leads you to certain places it leads you to Byron and Arenberg Bass because they are you. Know fantastically. Empirically. Grounded in, work I also. Think they'll probably the. The indirect, benefactors, of this have probably been. Less. Burnett and peter field, because. They were always doing their account you know their advertising. Account planners they've been doing this from a very long, time and kind. Of not getting a lot credit for it for a while and as, we've become more evidence-based, I think more and more people have become aware that not only to Peter. And letters have evidence, and have data with. The quality, of their work, the. Application. Of their work and the, insights, is, producing. And has, produced is. I think you, know without exaggeration. The. The great empirical. Gift of the last 15, or 20 years in marketing and I, think it's the most important. Corpus, of information, along, with how, brands grow that. Marketers. Could ever possibly read. So, yeah I think maybe Benetton field field, and banette you choose your sequence. Probably. The. Great exemplars, of evidence-based not just because they use research but, the research can teach you so much about, what what marketing.
And Advertising, can. Do. If it's done properly. We. Both earned, the nickname the godfathers. Of effectiveness. How do you feel about that you agree with it. It's. Very, flattering isn't, it it's a nice one I mean I like to say that we. Don't do the gangster, side but otherwise. It's. It's a it's a very flattering comment, we're not the only Godfather's, of specialists there are plenty of others out there like written, for it yes and we're we're, part of a growing team, of people, who we would, like to think our drawing, marketers, attention, to the facts, and the truths of marketing, and trying, to cut through the kind, of wash of. That there is about effectiveness, out there yeah it's like there's a kind of a movement now, a. Different. Set. Of assumptions about how marketing, works and, as you say, evidence-based. And. With. A more sophisticated. Nuanced. View of how much it weighs why, is. It so necessary to perceive the differences, between effectiveness. And efficiency, in York. So. Effectiveness. And efficiency, are often. Kind. Of conflated, and seen as one thing but. They're but they're very different not, just in marketing but in the whole of business, poem, of life. It, was interesting actually I was, reading the other day Charles. Handy you. Know the great guru, of management. Was. Was talking about this very point about the, fact that. Organizations. Often tend to become obsessed, with efficiency. Rather. Than effectiveness. Effectiveness. Is, about achieving. Your goals it's about the extent, to which you achieve your goals that the results, you get the outputs. An efficiency, is. About. How. The ratio, of, inputs. To outputs I mean what it effectively means in marketing, is two very very different outlooks if you're chasing, effectiveness. Then as les says you're about maxing. Out the, outcomes, achieving. The biggest success, you can, efficiency. Means that and, that and that I should say is not about low-hanging, fruit, efficiency. Is all about low-hanging, fruit it's about quick and easy win and cutting like master, and as, letter said it's a ratio of what you get back what you put in easiest, way to maximize the ratios to cut what you put in so, if you want to maximize, efficiency in marketing, you tend to cut budgets you tend to do smaller, activities. That are very efficient, because tiny, amounts of money generating, modest outcomes, but, you will never achieve, maximum. It's. So big and so important, I mean if effectiveness. Is about focusing, on growth on revenues. It's about maximizing, profit. Efficiency. Is about cutting costs and. Reducing. The ratio, of spending, to to outcomes, and, ultimately. That that, actually tends to mean less. Growth, less. Revenue, less, profit because the, most efficient. Business is, ultimately. A business which is bankrupt, which doesn't exist you, know if, you want to maximize efficiency what. You do is you fire all the staff you cut all the budgets to zero if, you've got revenues, of $1, an expenditure. Of zero that, is the most efficient. Organization. That could possibly exist the, most efficient, way to have a business, is not to have one so give you a good example about in recent times which. Bless him Warren Buffett is made famous is the Kraft Heinz think I mean they've been chasing efficiency. But many many businesses, around the world but particularly, ruthlessly, to, the point that they were not really investing in their brands long term appropriately. Enough and. Then suddenly you kind of wake up one day and you realize that the brands are seriously weak and you start to lose pricing, power which is what Warren Buffett's very, concerned, about in, businesses. And, they are now going, back they're reinvesting. They've realized, the mistake and they now know that they have to rebuild those businesses, but it's about taking. A long-term view rather than just chasing, efficiency. We can we now and, we're not saying that efficiency is irrelevant, but. Its secondary having, worked out different, ways to achieve your, goals then, you work out ways, of achieving them, more efficient, absolutely, as soon as you put efficiency, first everything, goes wrong too, many people set.
The Wrong goals set, the wrong objectives. Don't. Prioritize. Things properly but they like what, they do is they focus on doing the wrong things more efficiently, and that's a way to be unhappy. In life, unsuccessful. In business, and. Everything. We. Can progress for the C word if you like. That. Was it all of a sudden we were in the middle of a journey to understand, the main challenges, that live had not, for marketing first of all but for marketers in general. Look. For me the big, challenge, for most marketers, is to try and avoid why. I've called tactic, ocation which is the obsession, with any. Of the P's but especially the promotional, P and especially, the digital, promotional, P and to. Step back and rewind back through the marketing, process and if you really want to be a proper marketer, the. First challenge, frankly. Is to go back to doing a good diagnosis. Using, your skills to understand, the brand the. Strategic, context. Working out what's going on, formulating. A clear strategy which, has got nothing to do with tactics, at all and is about coming up with the answers, to that you know the core strategic, questions, targeting. Positioning objectives. And. Only with that in place really. Then approaching, the tactical, part of the challenge and the, sad thing is it's getting worse not better we, see marketers, that are you. Know frankly, they're just graduated, from being consumers. In. The sense that when you were consumer, you never see strategy, right you see the advertising. The promotion, the products and so, what we're getting is marketers, that aren't very well trained who are going well I remember what it was like to be a consumer, marketing. Is advertising, right and a little bit of distribution. In. Reality. What they're missing is swiveling, the, process, around and seeing the whole, marketing. Approach which. Is about diagnosis. Which is about strategy and then. Which is about tactics, so, for me to properly. Get, into, the role of a marketer, a brand manager a, CMO. Is about, embracing not. Just tactics, but strategy and. Research. And diagnosis, as well when. I spoke with lesson bata they mentioned. That they feel they're a part of a sort of a movement for more. Long-term more, effective, rather than efficient strategies, and. Apart, from the fact that they count you in, that movement as well they, said that they feel they. Are succeeding, in recent, years is that, something you'd agree with yeah. There's a couple of problems so first of all the significant. And growing power. Of. Facebook. And Google. Here and to some degree Amazon. Are quite. Understandably. Very strongly, promoting. A shorter, term activation. Message. The. Immediate, ROI. Returns. You know the the click-through rates. You. Know the focus on measuring. In real time what, your marketing, is doing and and and I understand why they're doing that it makes perfect sense and to some degree it's correct but, that really does push marketers, to say you know if you can't measure by.
The Minute, what your marketing, is doing it's not correct, so I think ROI, which. For me is a mistaken, metric, is is, a big part of this she's, not some kind of hypothetical sort, of it this is this is the reality. BFC, of the. Data-driven world, that a lot of marketers live in purely data-driven where they think. That brand is irrelevant and that all that matters is that I serve my advertising, message to you in a timely and, relevant functional, at the point of consumption, and it is we've allowed it to become, sort. Of a smart, yes. The way you should be spend your money and it is idiotic. I particularly. Love, Peters. Quote about the about, bran building this is essentially, about creating these mental structures like memories, and Association, etc, and that's something up that obviously happens, over the long term and in short term you can capitalize, on the on that sort of a mental. Brand, equity. What. Do you mean by that how do you capitalize on the, long term what's the effect that you've researched. Well. I mean what we've known we've known this for decades I should say this is not new learning, you just got forgotten, in the digital era is that if you want, to be able to drive powerful, short-term, effects and we've known this for decades in the area of direct response advertising. That. It really helps if you have a strong brand behind you but if you are trying, to drive, people to respond, to, buy your brand if, they kind of never heard of that brand or they didn't really feel, very strongly, towards it it's going to be very difficult for you to, get them to respond to your your ad in the short term you're probably gonna have to offer them some, rather. Lucrative deal on, the other hand if you have taken, the time over the preceding, year or two to, invest in the brand and build these associations. That prime people to want to choose the brand then, it's much much easier to serve some kind of nudge message, to them that just reminds, them of your presence or. Tells. Them why they should buy you and they will respond, we've, seen, there are so many case studies going. Back more than 30 years in the IP databank, of campaigns. Where we. Had all the response data before the brand building was done so we knew exactly what it cost to generate a response, then. They invested in brand and a short period of time later some, months later typically. The, cost per response started, to fall and the volume of responses, started to rise and that, keeps on going you know for a long period of time as he continued, to build in the ride so bring, a brand building makes the whole machine, work more. Efficiently, turbo, charges the short term stuff. As. Well as driving, those long. Effectiveness. Dolls, that you have. Most. Marketers, don't have the time to, do, a long-term piece. Of strategy so you know it's very hard to put it put a line in the sand so how long is long term you know it's. Probably, more than two years in less than five for, most brands so. Let's let's, be arbitrary, and say you know in. A five-year period if you took some of your budget it's the 60%, that P and let's talk about and, you invested. It in, longer-term, stuff. And then. Left the other 40, in short term if you look across the, whole five-year, period, clearly. The evidence shows us that for the most part you would get across, those five years in total a much, better financial, return, but.
Most Of these marketers, aren't thinking about those five years they're. Thinking, not even about the next 12 months and in, those situations. They are unfortunately. Correct, that, the best thing they could do in a sub 12-month world is to. Really go short term even. Though across, the five year period they'll lose out in the next 12 months they. Will get more money so there's just not that belief, in. The investment, in the future, even though there's an acceptance, that it is long. Term the right thing to do if, you look at the world in a sub 12-month. Sub six month window you. Should basically just. Do performance, marketing ring. The brand out with as much short-term, ROI as you can and then, move on to something else, there is a stupid, logic there. So. Mark who's who's, your biggest enemy and, why is it Helen Edwards ah. So. Helen Helen, and I are very very. Old, friends. And we. Go back I would guess gosh. 20 years. In. That Helen used to be a guest speaker for, me on my MBA course, at London Business School on brand management and so. Yeah. It would have been 20 years ago Helen, would have been, in. My classroom, talking to my MBA students, about branding, and her, experience, as a brand consultant which at the time and. Still is for this wonderful firm, she runs called passion brand and then. What happened with me and Helen was I I left. The magazine, I used to write for which is called marketing, magazine, because. I was offered, basically. A bear offer to go and write for a competitor, magazine marketing, week and the, editor of marketing, really, wasn't too concerned about losing me and almost, as a parting, question said, well do, you have any names for people that could replace you and you. Know I have thought about it and I thought well to be fair Helen's a good writer and she knows her stuff you. Should talk to Helen Edwards and so, I felt kind of good about it because I was kind of leaving you know I didn't want to leave him with a hole and I knew Helen was good but, then a really terrible thing happened because Helen Edwards started to write really good columns, and win. Really, good awards, based. On her writing and several times I'm. Distressed. To say I. Would, go to the you know that we have the PPA, Awards which is the big award for columnist of the year in the British press Awards and. I, was shortlisted, a couple of times and I would go and then, I would I would get beaten by hell and I got happened twice and I was thoroughly. Thoroughly. Pissed, off about that and so. She really, did kind of, teach. Me a lesson which, is the, next time you, leave a job, if you're gonna recommend anyone, to replace you pick a total.
Muppet So, I think she's a really good brand consultant, she's a great writer a good presenter, and again, she knows her stuff she doesn't just talk, she. Does the work and she knows what she's talking about and that's very important. In, our conversation, prior to this interview you've mentioned that you are nd8 up to your eyeballs you can't. Really talk much about your current work or perhaps, even your previous work but if you could yeah. What. Would you what would you pick I. Mean. I would guess that the the center of gravity of a lot of the work that I do with, with. Commercial, clients is around what should our brand mean and stand for and. How do we make how, do we bring that to life across, all marketing, touch points, and. And. Over. The years there's, been a lot of work that I've been incredibly incredibly. Proud of in that area for companies like BBC Worldwide. Avon. Cosmetics. For. Johnson & Johnson on a variety of their brands, I, think. Also some of the work that I've been really proud of is actually for brands that you might never have heard of which are where we've worked with vc-backed. Entrepreneurial. Companies, to, kind of get their business and up and running, because. That's where I've learned a lot myself from the leaders of those companies who are often extraordinary. Who. Are building something from nothing they, want to create a brand we helped them create that brand and then they build it and sell it and. Those, types, of projects been really exciting. To work on I mean. You know just off it this this is a really difficult one for me to talk about because, I can't talk. Because. I don't do work like had agencies, do a lot, of what I do is really business, critical and the businesses, wouldn't want the. Raht wide world to know that they work with a consultant it's really, difficult for me to talk about it, unfortunately. I've. Really enjoyed your recent article on the necessity. To go, back to, extreme, basics, when it comes to marketing what do you mean by doubt I think, I mean what I mean by that is is for marketers. To go. Back to I guess some of the fundamentals, of their, their products or their brands in the marketplace, and get those things right before, they start lathering up to the big themes of life and I think it's. Almost easier, for marketers and particularly ad agencies, to, get into the big themes of life and, what is our brand doing for somebody's life then, it is to come back down and say are we doing the basics, really well are we hitting those points, of parity, that. We need to do to perform in the marketplace, in. A way that's really satisfying the needs of the consumer and I think in so many categories, the.
Frankly. Does not how. To make the idea of like sort of climbing. Down the ladder more, alluring, to marketers because we want to do the nice, stuff we want to yeah technologically. Advanced fluffy, things I mean I think I would say that it's their job, which. Is a bit of a hard line thing you know it's, their job it shouldn't have to be alluring, they should want to do their job well but, I do get, that, actually, working, on a new communications. Campaign, or doing, something really interesting in digital technology is more is potentially, more fun it's, also I think it's I think the point of those things are they're more controllable. By the marketer, I think, the difficulty. Of lathering. Down and getting into some of those fundamentals, about the product or the service means. That you have to engage with the rest of the organization, and you have to persuade them that this is the right thing to do and that's not always within your gift as a marketer, so, it's tougher, all. Right hang on we have to back up yes we, can't read it to a personality without the next guy and there's. No one quite like Tom Goodwin my. So. I've known Tom, Goodwin. For several. Years and I. I guess, Tom owes me actually, if I could be even more blunt. Because. I told. Tom after. We went out and god I think why, are endlessly drunk somewhere that. He really, should do a lot of a lot more keynotes, and the. Reason I said that was I was just so, overwhelmed, with. How good. He was and, also, how. Everyone. Else is, in, his area, Tom sort of deliberately. I think swerves, all over the place in terms of his areas, of expertise, but really. What Tom does is that nexus, of marketing, and, technology. And culture. And media Tom. Kind of sits in that middle place and. I. Think he sees the. World like. Properly, like a guru, like I hate anyone, being called a guru right I think it's, but, in Toms case it's kind, of strangely. True right Tom, really does see stuff, I mean. I've used these quotes you, know I used to write for the Guardian and he's written some stuff that's very prescient, that. If you go back and read it now seems pretty obvious but, he wrote that stuff six seven years ago and he's on the number. How. Does Tom could win the graduate, of Sheffield, University writing, how, did he end up in a penthouse in lower. Manhattan, yeah, I'm, not quite sure I. Mean, it definitely hasn't been a sort of strategic, and as clever as it might look in retrospect I, think people have this awful habit of post rationalizing. Things so that every decision looks. Like a really sort of smart idea. But. Ensure I graduated. With two degrees I did a passable, at children of architecture.
And A master's, in structural engineering at the same time and that meant, that I always had this weird sort of hybrid, brain of being quite creative and, sort, of quite good at logic and. It was suggested to me over a period of years that advertising, would be useful for me so. I tried and failed at a number of different types of advertising jobs, worked for a huge, company. GlaxoSmithKline. Became. Fascinated by, technology so, I think the big turning point for me and my career was working with Nokia they. Launched, these new handsets, that did things that nothing, in the world came. Close to I, became, very interested, in the kind of Anthropology. Of technology, and I think it's that approach, and, that ability to, focus much more on people and to, sort of empathize, around, their needs that's been really sort of helpful so in, a period of time working now here at I'm working in new business period time working for digital, agencies, and, they're much more future, focused agencies, which brought me to New York, and. Then quite obviously I got quite angry with the types of conversations that. Were happening in the world like, I felt like the. World kind of bifurcated. Into, traditional. Advertising, people, you had a lot of, innate. Understanding of. People and ever a sensitive. Empathetic sort. Of soft people, and then, there was the rise of the kind of technology, people who were very code driven, who are very sort of objective or, very logical, and these, people were paranoid, with saying everything, is different and that 5g, would change everything and artificial, intelligence would you, know rewire, the world and, that I be, and VR, and, AR and. Headsets. And voice there was this sense that somehow everything we learned before was useless. I strongly. Disagreed, and I think it's because of the confidence of my degree that span those two areas it. Just meant that I got, quite good at asking quite provocative questions. So it write many articles, that would try and shine a light into these areas and I wouldn't be saying like these people are wrong and everything is none since I would just be saying you, know we need to trust our own. Our. Own ability, to understand. The world and we should have our own viewpoints. Um we should have a big discussion about this material and. I think it's dadless led to me now speaking a lot of events it's, led to that that's they're, happy to write articles which, do quite well and, I guess that's why I'm sort of here in this apartment in New York.
That. Sort of ties nicely to my second question because you in. Your books in your lectures. You talk a lot about innovation paradigm. Shirts and stuff like that but, at the same time you talk about the necessity to put the customer forward yeah. Like. These, approaches. Seems sort of intrinsically, different, yeah. How do they come together I mean they are different, in that they are a, very different way to look at the world but, they both face, the same world I think. Right now because. Of this sort of shift towards technology, people making all of the money and having all of the stages and being. Celebrated, by, mainstream media, I think. Somehow we've assumed, that our approach should always be technology first so, it. Often comes, to me that the brief is how do we make a banking, app for, the age of voice like what can we do with voice I will, get many requests, saying what does 5g, mean for my business or. How, can we make a chatbot, or why do we make an Apple watch out good having the question many years ago and. I think one, needs to be aware that technology. Makes new possibilities. And technology, does lead to this ability to have a paradigm shift in, how we do things and what's possible but, ultimately all of these things come down to people, and. All of these things come down, how do we serve people better and that really, comes down to a, much more imaginative. Type, of thinking much more pathetic type of thinking and, it means using, technology, as the toolkit, rather than as our master in a way and I think that's where we see things that become much more interesting, because that's the, light. As there's obviously driven by you. Know the sort, of insane, brilliance, of Elon Musk but when they create, something like dog mode where you can keep your sort. Of dog in the vehicle on hot days without. Sort. Of having to keep the doors open and worrying about it escaping, like, that's a very sort of human. Solution. You know Elon, Musk does not talk forever about the lithium-ion, battery. Power he, just talks about the fact that the cars go far enough without, you having to buy gas I think the more that we can humanize, these things the better I don't want to finish talking. About Tom without talking, about his biggest, and most, impressive. Feature which, is his hair I don't, want to do down the rest of him because it is impressive, you know he's thinking is, his, ability to apply the thinking, into media and marketing but, you know it all does come a very distant, second to the hair well. Yeah and you've got you've got pretty good hair like normally you'd be like the dude I think of there's got beautiful air but, he makes you look like a bald. From like 1962. You know what I mean don't, take on the hair you'll just humiliate, yourself you're a good-looking, fellow is nice hair but, the good win hair is like celebrity, here man you can't beat that here I've seen women who just wanted to have sex with the hair not, even bother about the body right. Not, really sure how I can follow that up let's, talk brands instead not. Specifically, brand purpose. Strong. Brands that people could really connect with generally. Have a point of view a point of view that's bigger than when connected to their category, and that that, can be the foundation of a very powerful brand, not on its own you've still got to deliver at laddering, down level at the level of you know are you, know are we delivering a product or a service that people really want in a way that they want it but, if you then connect, that to a point of view you, then can become a brand for me which is how you how.
You Become part of the membrane itself function it, might be useful for most companies to. Have a corporate, purpose, this is who we are as a company this. Is what we stand for this is what we're trying to do in the world that doesn't mean to say that your brands that the company manages. Themselves, have, a purpose. There's, more than one way to build a brand but. Would it be useful for, most companies to, have a corporate, purpose that sets out their ethos over and above commercially. What they're trying to do well yeah. Maybe yes, because we have to compete for talent and people, want to work for companies that are doing more than just making money so but, it's not about selling brands. There's. The, next question might, end up being edited, out as well because of the ideas and stuff but do you think now which companies do you think that are masters. Of this balance. Um you know I do. What I think I was thinking about this last night and actually I think a lot of the Scandinavian. Successful. Scandinavian. Businesses, are really. Good at this so, if you think about IKEA, you, think about Lego even if you think about some that Helly Hansen, you, know they they've come from a foundation where, they've always had a view, that, they're doing something more than selling, plastic bricks or. Furnishing. People's homes but, it doesn't turn into a big kind of corporate, purpose. About you know living, lives or, saving. Lives they, stay, close enough to what do furniture. Or play but. They always, put it in the context, of something bigger and at the same time they, deliver, brilliantly, on those basics, and they're hugely imaginative. About how they do it I mean I care it broken the mold you, know of how we buy furniture, to, the extent that they've they've sort of outsourced, building, the furniture to us as consumers I mean it's extraordinary we, go there we don't buy 30 buy bits of wooden and you. Know and screws, and then we put our own furniture together but we kind of love it and that's, an, extraordinary, thing to have pulled off so I have huge admiration for, some of these highly. Innovative, but. Hugely, successful Scandinavian. Brands actually what. To name check another brand that I think it does this really well is that. Some people might not have heard of is called American Girl which, is a dolls a doll shop, basically. A US, based I think it's available in some areas in Europe but what was what it's now owned by Mattel, by Barbie, but, what what was amazing about American, Girl is its founder story so, it was founded, by a lady called Pleasant Roland who was a primary school teacher and, she was looking for a doll to buy I think of her niece and she, felt that there was an imperfect, choice in the markets at the time it was kind of Barbies and Cindy's and brats or baby dolls and she kinda thought none of this is giving, girls a positive, role model for the future and, why. You know if we can't how. Can we inspire girls. To, change the world if all we're giving them is a baby doll to play with or a Barbie.
That That you're, never gonna you're never gonna look like a Barbie so, she developed, she created, American, Girl where. The dolls that you buy there are based on, high. Achieving women of history originally. And the stories, of those women and, now you can buy a doll that looks like a person and, you can build them in the image of you and. So they're dolls that, inspire. Girls to be all they can, in their lives and, that's, been and that's a tremendously. Successful businesses, own right, the dolls have brilliant the, quality, of the product is great but. She's. Doing. Something bigger in the world as well and I think American Girl is another great example of a brand with a point of view actually, yeah the, purpose always seems to work when it rolls on from the product and from the leg the entire ecosystem then it creates rather than being installed, on top. The. Other lovely thing about American Girl which an academic wrote, a paper about is that when, families, go to American, Girl and they buy the duck the doll for the daughter it's, often a daughter and mother and a grandmother who, will go together it becomes like a girls. Day out and they go to American, Girl the store and they buy the doll, and what these academics, found is that the, the brand if you like is also. Playing the role of intergenerational. Kind. Of bonding, between grandmother. Mother, and granddaughter. And helping. And you know a granddaughter, hearing, the stories of her own grandmother, on that, day during that purchasing, trip which, is also a nice part for the brand can deliver, that's. The sort of thing that fascinates, me when it comes to marketing communications, because we are there's. This tremendous. Amount of research that the. Creative, is what makes an ad tick it's. What makes it work there's the research. By I think Nielsen, Karolina that, attributes. 50%. Of the sales, driving force to the creative side of the advertising, and yes, we as marketers often turn to sort. Of boosting. The technology. Bit why do you think that we keep focusing on on that yeah it's an extremely, good question and, it's actually one that doesn't get asked, enough I think, the statement and the creativity, is at, least 50% of what matters is something, that we should have tattooed, on our faces, or something I think, it comes down to a few things I think, one. Thing is that the prevailing. Kind, of wind is blowing, in the direction of. Technology. And software so, all day long conferences. Are about personalization. There. Better target seeing they're about building. Better date data platforms. They're about you know measuring attribution. Faster, and more accurately like somehow we are an environment, where most. Conversations. Seem to be about that site and, we kind, of don't really have that many conversations, about creativity, you don't go to many events where poets, are talking about great storytelling, or where film producers, are talking about the magic of, story. Arcs. And. I think, that's because of the the rise of these platforms and the capabilities, they had, there. So they're predicated, so much on the technology they have run the screen that they operate on and I think it's a big failing, of the tech companies to only be focusing on targeting, like. I myself of launched a few digital things on the side and occasionally, by Facebook, ads and. I'm amazed about. 99.5, percent of, the questions I'm asked, solely, about the targeting, sits what demographic, you trying to reach how old are they where are they on what basis you buying how do we optimize it, and then there's almost, this last box you get to at the end where they're like oh can you give us the app now so. I think the technology companies, are driven now the, one big thing I'd say is we. Have to understand that creativity is completely. Mysterious. And. It's a horrible realization in, this field but at the end of the day we don't, really, know why we behave the way we do like I can't explain to you why I bought this sofa, in a rational way I can't explain to you why I bought that TV like. We buy things in quite strange, mysterious, ways and advertising, works in ways that we don't really understand, and what is a good advert, and what is creative. They're. Not totally, understood, so I think in. This world of objectivity, and, rationalization, and numbers and dates are in this obsession with technology it's. Actually extremely difficult, to, have much of a conversation, where you say I just, like that. Or I, think it's a creative ad or I think my target, audience will empathize, with it when you don't have any data to support these things it, becomes a very difficult conversation, and. What's happened because of this obsession we date so we now have lots of companies that will come and to me and say look. You know blond-haired, women perform better in this dad than brunettes, or if you look at his ad, second-by-second.
You Can see that this moment makes people outraged and this moment is where people fall in love with your product and it's just nonsense in this age of this need to rationalize and understand everything is very hard to talk about creativity. In that context. People. Who sort of hate the fact that they can't quantify, these absolutely, yeah. You've. Been very vulnerable like. It. Sounds quite strange but one of the fascinating, things about my career is it spanned the sorts of pre digital age and the digital age and in. The pre-digital age we, would put out ads and we were put on ads because the, highest paid creates your person, would basically throw a fit if we didn't make the ads the way they did and. Then we'd have feedback like the client really likes it or the clients husband, thinks it's brilliant, or you, know people in, focus, groups found it funny but this was the sort of amount of resolution of, data, that we had and, we were kind of okay with that and actually most of our ads dipped form extremely, well and we built brands, and we built tag lines that are worth tens. Of billions of dollars today and. We did so because we sort of trusted, that these people were employed in these positions because, they were really good and we couldn't say why they were good and we couldn't. Sort. Of really. Justify. In any normal. Way but, it's. Like ah it's like music, like there are just people that you have to understand, they're really good at it. And it's really hard to work in that way now like even to have a quite a common sensical view you, often have to sort of back up that that, argument, with data which seems quite strange to me there's. One question which a lot of marketers, seem to be dealing with today which is that we don't get to decide anything, anymore. In. A way that we, only get we, only get asked to shout at a street corner and promote the product but we don't get involved in the product. Development the the research and stuff like that so what can we do as marketers sort, of get, up the food chain as markets and would say and again. It's a it's a fascinating question. I'm sort of ignorant to, the history of marketing to, know when, about this change happened, because I think you. Know the very notion of marketing, was about the four p's one of which was products. And. I would guess at some point in the last sort of 40 years maybe, because companies have become so big like the R&D, team and the factory. Management, team and the procurement team have become quite far, removed from the marketing, team I would, like to think it's going to be the next big. Sort. Of stage in marketing, like I think what's quite interesting about the rise of digitally, native vertical, brands is often. These are quite small teams of people and often they've created products. With. A lot of dates or about what people are searching for or they've created products, based on, strong. Beliefs that they as individuals, have had about underserved, segments, I'd, like to think that that starts to make people, in marketing realised. That it's great to tell people about a product but. It's actually much more cost effective to have a product which is quite remarkable. Which, is serving an on that consumer, need which is sufficiently, different, to other competitors. They're out there that while, you will still need to tell people about it a lot. Of marketing. Would just be word of mouth and a lot of the product differentiation will. Be obvious. Trying. To find. Some sort of a magic way to promote a shed product as. Opposed to actually having a good one that solves, somebody's. Steve. Jobs quote I'm a much better you know nothing kills your product faster. Than a bad product but the big marketing, spend behind it. When, it comes to fighting for clarity advertising. You'll be hard-pressed to find a stronger voice than that of Vickie Ross in, a, more than two decades worth of experience and copywriting, she's, worked as head of copy for the biggest entertainment brands, out there like sky of Virgin Media she.
Also Worked for the body shop Tesco, Sainsbury's she's. For branded Paper Chase I mean there's a lot so. Vicki what. Pisses you off the most these days. So. Some reason, people, take it upon themselves to, go, straight to the laptop or the computer, and just type out a load of words that they would never normally say in conversation. Just. Marketing, jargon, and, stuff. That doesn't make sense the consumer, that, pisses me off you. Think that's presented sort of an opportunity, for brands to seize so, that they can speak a more clear, language, to the consumers, like David Ogilvy put it we, all say that that's what we're gonna do but we don't. I. Mean that's a big generalization. Obviously, lots of people do but so, many more people don't. I feel like a lot of copywriters. And was always fighting, against the client and trying, to take words out like last. Week I, won't. Say who, but a brand came to me and asked me to write some tag, lines but for them and it. Was their. Reference, points were just lines that no one would ever say that and so I said that you're going to have to get another copywriters, no this, is no I write you know if the customer is not going to say oh then I'm not going to write. All, that sort of romantic, poetry. But. There's not poetry or romantic, like join the happiness. Like. No one says that oh I joined the happiness at the weekend or like, I always have a go at Carl brands because, they were out the shittest ads, nowadays. They used to be like the heroes. So. Lexus, is my favorite, probably their tagline is experience. Amazing and again. No, one says that, like how was your dinner, experienced. Amazing, its inner last night Jesus stayed talk like that so we shouldn't write like that how. Do you think that the, role of the copywriter has changed since you started doing it I. Dunno, is the short answer I was, having a conversation with somebody yesterday and, something, came up I found really interesting which, I hadn't, thought of before I. Didn't. Know what the, copywriter was or copywriting. Was or really, what, advertising. Entails. Or, how you got into it and, as. Such, I just, worked really hard and asked people and, let me write stuff. And I got, there that's a very short version of how I became a copywriter, but when I think about the traditional, route traditional. Now which is you. Go to ad school and then you get a placement and then you're in an ad agency I feel, like the. There's. An illusion, that, you're, gonna go, and make great big ads straightaway, and maybe, a disappointment. When you don't where. Is my first ad, I, thought it was an ad see I didn't, know it was a reader of oh this. Difference, is a coupon on, it and was, in camping and caravanning, magazine and I thought I'd, made it I was so excited as, far as I was concerned I, had a full-page, piece in national press, whereas. I think sometimes, now junior. Creatives, heard they, want to like hit the ground running and not, do like the apprenticeship, almost, and. And. It's pretty, when they haven't got a massive campaign out straightaway but I never had that in. My head just something. There was a possibility, so. I was just happy with what I was doing at the time and, I just kept working at it I think. It was two or three years ago you wrote that but, hope that 2018. And Beyond sees. The birth of a counter trend towards, more long-term, marketing, activities, and we're, just fresh off the release of the report about the crisis, in creativity, and the, relationship. With effectiveness, so, how are. We doing how. Bad is it well, this. Is a I, mean this is a slightly. Uncomfortable situation. I mean I do think there, is progress being made or my longer-term view of marketing, when, it comes to major. Blue-chip organizations. Less than I could finding a long traction, particularly in the US so I'm thinking. Unfortunately. That is not in, any way being, reflected. In creative, awards jurors around the world the creative awards jurors are, still, increasingly. Rewarding. The short term use of creativity. So. What we're finding is a constant. Drift towards, what I call. A lot, of people refer to this disposable. Creativity. You know just a one-off, idea, perhaps, around an event or. Some. Particular promotion. Give you a good example of that one, of the hugely, celebrated. Creative. Effectiveness, case studies a Canlis, this year was, the Burger King scary, clown, and, a precious global, thing it's a very sweet idea it's very nice it's, a promotion.
On Halloween. That. Is the life of this, idea, a few days around Halloween, it. Also on, a different note happens to feature their key competitors. Distinctive, assets now if Warren sharp was in the room yeah he would probably have something to say about the wisdom of doing that, but. You know I don't, want to I don't want to be unduly critical, of it it was a nice idea but a lot of people kind of involved, and excited but. I think it is a misuse of. Creativity. You don't get the value out of it it's very short-term, and. I think would be much better if that creative art I've been put to a long-term, Burger. King and, because. What they do of course after, this is they just go back to the standard eunuch dollar 99 kind of stuff which is all very short-term, and. Actually much better if they said instead, of just being creative for one two or three days of the year around, a promotion, which was involved giving away burgers, I should point out as well of course it was successful, if I give away my product, I'm gonna have people forming. Queues for it and there's, nothing mystical about that yeah, I think it's a misuse that's, why I'm we're seeing more and more of fact there's a drift away from the, development. Of powerful. Long-running, campaigns, that use creativity. To. Build brands and to create. TV as amongst consumers press because. Somehow it seemed to be unfashionable. Or I don't know what it is. Younger. Planners. And creatives, and people. Working on account teams are. Just. Less. Familiar, with the idea of building. Up my campaign, people don't talk in terms of things. And. If they do talk about campaigns, what they really, mean is an ad you, know, and. I actually hope, you, know how our chief exec came. To me at. One point a year. Or so ago and said you know I'm really worried there's a younger. Generation. That.
Does Come up often. They've come up through digital marketing who, just do not know what. Campaigns. And brands are about here I mean. We try. To deal with that here by internal, training insolvent particular, if you've got people have come into, marketing. Through, the digital root it's a problem because in digital, marketing it's you. Know you know when they are just hired for a project. The. Value of reinforce, of reinforcement, very, often you have just the arrangement. Is it's a six-week project yeah I. Have a lot of sympathy with that I do understand, that I mean that I think the answer to that is even when you are given kind, of short term projects easy is to remember, the brand journey. You're trying to help this and. I do I mean I think there's, also a lovely example of, a, Super. Bowl ad, I'm suitable, that. Was developed, in. The US but I'd the tight brand you, know which is it's it's a tighter so, that was done in the classic way as a. A cure for the Super Bowl but, you know it's recognizing. That that was very strategic I'm tired of you trying to earn clean, for decades, and this was a spectacular way, of doing it but also realizing, that that had legs as an idea and it has, developed into a long-running campaign, and. It's, about understanding that. Even if you have a short-term brief it says give us something for this quarter, but that still, needs to be rooted in what the brand stands, when he says strategic. Rather than involving. Scary, clowns yes, which is not the strategic, it's purely tactical I, mean that nothing this. Thing you just said about does it have legs yeah, you, know when I first entered the industry that was a thing that people said all the time you know you don't, just assess, the idea, I. Did. It with the phrase does it have legs might not resonate, in Prague but the. ISIS hen it lasts or bill let it keep going the way yeah, so, so. You, know you you might come up with a great idea and go that we've a great one-off, idea, but there's nothing, more we can do this. Idea might. Not seem such a blockbuster idea, in the short term but we can see a whole. Load of other. Executions. That come off that so the, great long-running campaigns I mean the one that usually comes to mind is Specsavers, it, should have gone to Spain to Specsavers, or. You. Know Heineken, refreshes, the parts that other beers cannot reach or you, know all these things these great, long running campaigns, where you can just think oh there's a million ways we can do that and. I. Mean, there. Are other ways to do it so for example what. We do here, with the John Lewis advertising. Which I always have to mention for, contraction. But. If you look at the John Lewis Christmas, ads they're, all different, from one another, but. I know because, I've seen it the strategic brief. Is the, same piece of paper every, year you, know it's you know we, identified. The strategic, thought back, in 2000. And eleven I think it was and. We've just used the same idea again, and again plus. There's. A whole load of sort. Of, executional. Things that are the same from. Year to year in recent years we've always used the same director of thing what's, the arm sort. Of the most, important. Hurdle that you're facing the most important, obstacle you're facing as the executive, vice president of, Senate. Today. If, I'm really honest the biggest hurdle I face is that, people. Either think they, want change and, they, don't or. People. Don't even think they want change but they say they do most. People see, innovation, as, this quick sort. Of garnish, this quick sorta gesture, of change, when. They want to make the smallest possible difference, but, merchandize. And PR the hell outs of it and, in my very core I'm a person that's the opposite like I'd much rather do things that people don't even really notice, that just are a piece of delight, I'd. Love every website to just start using Apple, pay or Google, pay, it. Would increase like, revenue quite significantly. He would cost them about an hour of a junior program as time but, no one really gets famous or gets to speak at conferences or, get. Promoted because they did the Apple pay you. Know instead, you have these nonsense, things where they will give out a VR, headset for, someone to use once or they'll do a flight across the Atlantic with, biofuels, in one engine, or they'll, roll, out some you. Know special, program, using, an AR app where you can see, how big the coffee table, is in your or something and it all becomes quite silly. Remember. Check, sort of Shopify. Competitive. Platform that created, a VR shopping. Mall which, on the most, basic level was the most misguided this is not going to make the interview by the way.
That. Was so incredibly. Really, analyst to see I mean your video shopping was a very good. Literal. Both. Metaphor. An actual, example, of the. Way that we think about technology like, we always think about these sorts of old behaviors. And then, we sort of digitalize, them so in the u.s. you can now deposit, a cheque by taking a photograph of it rather than thinking wait a minute like chicks are really stupid ideas and, to. Take a shopping, mall which is generally. For most people quite a pretty a pretty crappy, experience the one thing that's nice is you get to sort of be, there with people and you, get to sort of touch and feel close and try them on so to, sort of replicate all, the crappy parts where none of the good parts is quite a good example of how often we do these things we're, in 2020. And the one thing I would push is if you're gonna have field and banette at. The conference, you're. Gonna have Helen Edwards you, you you will get a really, nice ability, to see a more long-term perspective. And I, just think that the message that the most important, message for 2020. Is. We're. Not against, the short-termism because, there is no long without short the. The real answer now is getting a balance, I think in this year between. The short, and the long and, and. And also between mass marketing, and targeting, balancing. Those two out, digital. And traditional I, think, what we're learning is the tyranny, of the or you. Know forcing, a choice between one thing or the other is, being. Shown up increasingly, as a, really stupid move and, increasingly. I think what we should be learning in marketing, is a bit. Of both is actually the right way to go everything in moderation and, I think you know as you go into 2020, long term thinking, balanced. With short term thinking. Is, I think the right way to go and I think again you come back to field and banette their most famous, and I think most important, work is called the. Long and the short of it not the long versus. The short the long, and the short of it and that that and is a very important. Word because, I think that's the key point for good marketers, in, the Czech Republic is. For them to realize, that they don't have to make a choice sometimes and, actually, you can have the best of both worlds and I, think that's a great thing I mean you know again before I finish I want to I want to just again, celebrate, the greatest thing about Czech, culture of all which. Is the ability to say ahoy on dry land. That's. My favorite, thing about Czech. People and culture and language but, other than that I think the fact that Czech, marketers. Are intelligent. And are more critical, in their thinking means. That I think they will catch on with the idea that they can have a bit of this and a bit of that the, Americans, tend to be either all this or all that whereas. My sense from my experiences, with Czech marketers, albeit. Usually quite enormous, ly drunk is that, they're open-minded and, I think that's long, in the shore is it is a nice way for them to approach, marketing, in 2020. You.