Everyone you speak to has an opinion on Marketing and Communication and in particular advertising. What’s more, most of those people consider themselves to have an informed opinion.
They may not consider themselves experts, but they certainly consider themselves to be well qualified to make the comments they make and be every bit as qualified as the marketing fraternity is to comment on advertisements, websites, logos etc. that they do so freely comment on.
I am sure this is entirely due to an increasing trend to everyone having an opinion on everything. A high profile court case starts for example, everybody seems to have a view of whether or not the person in the Dock is guilty.
As the level of news coverage increases, it seems that people feel more and more informed (despite the low quality of much of that news) and as such more and more in a position to comment on what constitutes good and bad marketing and communication.
Programmes like “Gruen Transfer” provide tit bits of information that enable people to feel more informed to make judgements about marketing and communication and in particular advertising despite the fact that I find that programme quite vacuous and of entertainment value only.
Reading through O Grade magazine like BRW also, I am sure, helps some people and in particular business people feel that they are more able to comment on what constitutes good and bad marketing and communication.
Western Australia “the genius factor” (the fact that so many business people consider themselves to be brilliant entrepreneurs and geniuses) also impacts on perception that they are qualified to comment on what constitutes good and bad marketing and communication.
Beyond this however, I think there are a number of industry related factors that impact on this. They include:
- The absence of well qualified practitioners who back up their recommendations with science, sound commercial practice and logical thinking.
- The emphasis which is placed on “creativity”, which whilst important is only one element of a myriad of factors that impact on the effectiveness of marketing and communication.
- The absolute focus in the industry on “communication” ahead of marketing and in particular things like the product, the pricing, the distribution and the range of other factors that impact on success.
- The abject lack of professionalism and transparency in the industry which has seen it branded business full of “salesmen” rather than “professionals”.
I am strongly of the view that our industry needs to clean itself up. Whilst we will never stop everyone being an expert on marketing communication, we can certainly go a long way towards professionalising the industry and creating the level of respect that the industry as a whole that good practitioners already enjoy.
That’s what I say, what say you?