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Stars seem to lose their place August 18, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, digital strategy, marketing, web 2.0.
In space, no market can hear you scream

In space, no market can hear you scream

“If I were a client, I wouldn’t use an agency.”

Way to get somebody’s attention.

Marcus Brown’s short but provoking series “If I were a client today…” has been weighing on my mind. It’s been weighing on my mind because it hit home on a couple conversations I’ve been having with people offline.

A friend of mine is currently doing her MBA at INSEAD. We were chatting earlier this year when she said something that I had been thinking for a while: “I sit in strategy classes and marketing classes, and I can’t tell the difference between the two.”


“Say that again?”

“Marketing and strategy, I’m not sure I see a difference anymore.”

Having that opinion is one thing. Having it validated by a person whose intellect makes you feel like Europa orbiting Jupiter is another.

Let’s just connect a few dots here:

  • Google is the world’s best known brand
  • They didn’t advertise in order to become that
  • Their marketing is the product
  • They are always in R&D

If you still haven’t gone and read Marcus’ piece at this point, just read the first part. Then come back, share some thoughts, I’m interested to see where this goes in my mind, but where it goes in other people’s as well.

Image courtesy of Planet Tyler, with thanks to compfight.



1. Oolong - August 19, 2008

Ford and Wunderman (WPP) have that relationship- 2 email addresses for each Wunderman staff, about 40 members of staff in their factory plant in marketing and most of the Ford staff don’t know that some of them aren’t Ford.

INSEAD: I wanted to do that ever since I heard about that course but I don’t think I have the marks!! My third language would be Spanish. Without shadow of a doubt.

2. Zac Martin - August 19, 2008

Firefox is one of my favourite brands. Perhaps not as widely known but they don’t advertise either. Similarly their marketing is the product with a strong reliance on word of mouth. Thanks for the link.

3. Why Free Gifts Aren’t Marketing » Zakazukha Zoo Online Marketing Blog - August 20, 2008

[…] Sending clients free gifts is a nice touch, but it’s icing on a cake. People are your clients because of your cake. You can argue that in a world full of cakes that are all pretty much the same it’s the one with the best icing that gets bought first, but in reality, if the cake underneath is crap, people won’t want another slice. When I went to weddings as a kid I used to eat the icing and throw away the cake. I don’t do that anymore. Unless you’re marketing to kids, the only way you’re going to get new business is if you make the best cake. Marketing and product development are the same thing. […]

4. David Gillespie - August 21, 2008

Oolong – interesting. Is that here or in the States? I’d be interested to know how it came about, I wonder who pays the bills – or if it is actually a 50/50 split. It’d also be interesting to know how it differs from a regular agency team who just work on a single brand.

Zac – good call on Firefox. It’s interesting that Firefox is well known while Mozilla are less so – and certainly haven’t achieved the same levels of success with other offerings like Thunderbird. Does it just come down to the functionality and loyalty is to that rather than the brand?

5. It wasn’t me « Creative Is Not A Department - August 25, 2008

[…] David Gillespie in Uncategorized. trackback Moving on from last week where I was thinking about marketing and strategy and the blurring lines between the two, and yesterday’s thoughts around the lack of imagination inherent in the day to day lives of […]

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