The Monash Marketing Breakfast is a twice yearly event held by the Monash Business School, featuring thought leadership relating to the marketing profession.
This morning’s session featured Chairman and CEO of DDB Asia Pacific Group, John Ziegler, who discussed the need for the marketing profession to return to its core, specifically visibility and influence across the entire marketing mix.
John discussed the risks created by ‘single P marketers’, people who are marketing managers in title, but are actually communications managers in terms of job function. Marketing is broader than communications, a Marketing Manager needs visibility and the ability to influence the entire marketing mix (known as the seven Ps of Marketing).
The risk with single P marketers, is that the communication tactics are not consistent with the other elements of the marketing mix, creating confusion or even reputational damage.
Some particularly evident examples were seen over the course of 2015, with the failed Woolworths ‘Fresh in our Memories’ campaign and more recently the #YourTaxis campaign. In both cases a focus on communications without an integrated approach across marketing mix caused significant reputational damage. Woolworths is likely to recover thanks to its market share, but the taxi industry caused itself damage during a time of increased competitive pressures.
These risks are created because communication tactics often measure the wrong outcomes. Shares or retweets on social media do not necessarily create a favourable outcome. Both Woolworths and #YourTaxis had a significant number of retweets and shares, but neither would be considerable a successful campaign.
Similarly, while content or media releases can be written, it does not necessarily mean they will be read by the target audience, or that it will motivate purchase decisions.
Marketing needs to do better. The profession must demonstrate its value and its ability to create success through metrics that matter to business performance.