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Marketers Who Don’t Market


Do the World’s Biggest Marketers Actually Avoid Marketing?

Call it my crystal ball prediction, but I think the world of advertising is in for a major shift… if today’s Mirren conference discussion is any indication.

A bunch of the world’s top advertising agency CEO’s were on a panel, imparting their knowledge to other advertising types as to how they got where they are, and how they bring in the big fish that have put them where they are.  In other words, what do the big agencies do to market themselves?

Here are a few quotes I jotted down as they spoke:

“Money follows talent.”

“I don’t look at it [pitching].  I don’t want to look at it at all.”

“I surprise clients with the bigness of our ideas.”

“Avoiding pitching is the smartest strategy of all.”

“We sometimes roll the dice.”

“If you are doing all the right things the growth will come.”

and, regarding making a marketing budget for the agency, “We just look at last year. Did it feel right?”

And these are people who supposedly know more about marketing than anyone else in the world.  Paradoxically, they don’t like it.  They don’t believe in it.  They guess at it. They avoid it at all costs.

I’m sure that if their client said, “We don’t need marketing.  We do good work,” there would be guffawing and eye-rolling and lecturing, and condescension.  But that’s exactly what these guys are doing.

So, dear clients, I challenge you this:  before you hire any company to advise you on marketing your business, ask the marketers how they are marketing themselves.   If they don’t walk the talk, walk away.  Because they will never understand the pain they are about to put you through.


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About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."

3 thoughts on “Marketers Who Don’t Market

    1. Thanks John! Yes, I really think some of these guys are seriously out of touch. A person has to do marketing actively to know first-hand how to relate to what they put clients through. It also keeps you humble. You get arrogant, and the next thing you know, your business goes up in smoke….I’ll really be surprised if some of these big agencies survive the next few years.

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