Sunday, 25 January 2009

Not paid enough?

I have always been confused why marketing is not better rewarded. They grow profits by attracting customers and increasing their long term value. Intuitively it feels good, businesses worship growth.

But there again an accountant can save the company millions by hedging against changes in exchange rate or against oil prices (although i know of one budget airline that forgot to do this) or depreciating capital equipment at a faster rate through some neat sleight of hand. Intellectually it is not very imaginative, a bit black and white. So why the big rewards?

I know some of the arguments.

Share price, short termism of the city, easier to measure the impact of savings, paid on a % of savings etc. And i am pretty sure the guy who came up with every little helps (culture not just an ad line by the way) got a whole lot less than many jobbing in the procurement department.

However given the recent activity it is clear that financial roles are far more valuable than i realised. Businesses that have not managed their cash flow, suppliers and balance sheets are going under. And clearly it must be difficult because so many who get paid so much got it badly wrong, which goes back to my first point.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Knocking the ad industry

Looks like we are still an easy target. I didn't get drawn on the 'paid handsomely' and the 'wacky'. Article below, response at the bottom.

Bernard Matthews ad is a right turkey

Richard Fletcher - Telegraph 15 Jan 09

USING your own staff in your adverts is the latest whizz of those clever admen, who are paid so handsomely to come up with "wacky" ideas.

It all started with those (rather annoying) Halifax adverts – starring Howard the cashier.

With his singing and dancing routines Howard quickly gained cult status and others inevitably followed. It has even got to the stage where actors pretend to be real staff.

One of the last to jump on the bandwagon is Bernard Matthews.

As part of its rebranding (following that rather unfortunate bird flu incident) its own staff starred in Bernard Matthews' adverts – holding up handmade signs expressing how proud they were to work for the company.

Let's just hope that none of the "stars" are among the 130 redundancies announced yesterday. Somehow I doubt those clever ad guys factored that possibility in when they pitched the idea.

Read the piece on Bernard Matthews, an interesting perspective. And in the interests of disclosure, I don't work for the ad agency or Bernard Matthews, nor expect to do so in the near future. I am not related to Bernard either.

You would like to think that the possibility of staff redundancy had occurred to team Bernard Matthews. It would certainly have occurred to the admen, there are too many stories about what can go wrong when you turn staff into media stars.

But two points. One. The ad is clearly about product quality not staff commitment, this must have been a blessed relieve given recent history. As you suggest Bird Flu is hardly likely to be a source of competitive advantage.

Two. Clever admen, you are joking. No we are not. All we do is give advice and consultancy on marketing strategy, branding, pricing, service, customer management, marketing optimisation but only get paid for the production of the advertising, then get picked on by journalists. If you do it again i am going to become a banker.

Monday, 12 January 2009

When communications is just not enough

Imagine a time when marketing department headcounts are drastically reduced. The head of marketing turns to a consultant who brings in a few experts. They help with a bit of strategy, some research, the brand values, PR, the database and a bit of customer retention. The client loves it because he is in control of costs, limited overheads. He gets the expertise and people who do or will understand his business very well. And importantly their ambitions are aligned to his, no one to say behind his back to what extent he has got it all wrong.

And then when it all picks up, which it will i am just not sure about the timing, this team helps him run pitches for advertising projects, direct mail, web build. The purist communications agencies fighting it out on a project by project basis, best one wins.


But there again it sounds like a really interesting agency model.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Measuring advertising effectiveness

It's tricky.

But clients don't (want to) belive you.

Then some consultant comes in with a econometric model built with half a data set, lots of dummy variables or worse than that neural networks completely confusing cause and effect. The outrage.

Anyway nice when someone like Stephen Levitt (Freakonomics) says it is difficult, and it is on film, and it is funny so you can show it to someone without hammering the point home.

If you don't want to watch it all, watch the 5 minutes 15 minutes in.

About Me

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United Kingdom
Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.