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Minute by minute by minute by minute August 24, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, industry news, marketing.
Tags: , , ,
And now for something completely different...

And now for something completely different...

Marcus’s piece is thought-provoking.


Because he advocates a joint-venture between company and client over either an agency or doing it in house.


Because in house has too many political hurdles and an agency doesn’t get deep enough in the business.


Because there are too many other distractions.


Because there has to be; it isn’t their job to focus on it, and that is what they require.

I was with a client on Friday who told me, in no uncertain terms, that they didn’t do technology. “We’re just marketers” she said. “We don’t understand that stuff.”

Jesus. H. Christ.

“We’re just marketers” was quote of the week for me, strong contender for quote of the year. Another boffin from an agency I work with had asked aloud what Flickr was, which in itself is maddening. What really frustrated me though was the lines these people were willing to draw around what they did and didn’t do. Apparently being “just a marketer” means you can float through on ignorance and leave “teh interwebs” up to the geeks in the corner.

Can you imagine 50 years ago talking about TV to have someone turn around and say “Oh, I’m just a marketer, I don’t understand that TV stuff”?

The mind boggles. Let’s get it straight: nothing is off the table. Not digital, not analogue, not experiential, not bespoke, not DM, not TVCs, not PR, not ambient, not out of home, not print, not word of mouth, nothing. Marketers who opt for a career with blinkers on will find themselves swept aside in the eternal race for consumer’s hearts and minds. You don’t have to be an expert in everything, but you should at least be aware of where everything fits.

And you should also be aware that every waking minute of your day, you are marketing something.

We all are.

Image courtesy of M J M, with thanks to compfight.


1. Matt - August 24, 2008

No we’re not.

2. David Gillespie - August 25, 2008

Oh come on Matt, you can do better than that…

3. mattgranfield - August 25, 2008

I was just thinking I probably should elaborate. I agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying about marketers with blinkers on, but we’re not all marketing something every waking minute of the day. Marketing is an exchange between parties aimed at generating profit for both (fiscal, social, emotional; whatever) – you’re not exchanging anything with anyone if you’re walking alone on a beach. I’d argue Mother Teresa’s motivation wasn’t profit, nor is the tuckshop lady’s, nor is the noble Wikipedia editor’s.

4. David Gillespie - August 25, 2008

Matt, while I understand what you’re saying, I disagree. If you take the fifth point of my Marketing Mantra which is that customer service is the most remarkable marketing you can do, all of the above examples fit into that.

I’ll take the point of a walk alone on a beach, but any interaction with another human being you are marketing, even if it is just yourself. Remember – markets are conversations, and conversations happen around social objects. Watch this series of videos between myself, Scott Drummond and Julian Cole as it touches on the above.

On your Mother Theresa example as a side note, her motivation was hopefully simply making the lives of the poor better. But agreeing that markets are conversations, actions always speak louder than words, and she is one of the most famous marketers of the last century, even though we cal her something entirely different.

5. Matt - August 25, 2008

Actually, we’re both wrong… Mother Teresa was probably the BEST marketer of the 20th Century. Her directive from the boss was to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15). She ended up running 610 missions in 123 countries. I don’t think even the best VP of Marketing at McDonald’s can claim that sort of success.

6. It wasn’t me « Creative Is Not A Department - August 26, 2008

[…] 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 most marketers, I’m thinking now maybe most marketers are […]

7. David Gillespie - August 26, 2008

Oh I don’t know, I’m willing to bet McDonald’s wound up a few places even the good book didn’t – I’d like to know how many stores Ronald and co. have worldwide, and in how many countries.
And even if they didn’t top her, I’d bet Coke would have!

8. They say you gotta stay hungry « Creative Is Not A Department - August 27, 2008

[…] know whether that’s due to Matt quoting Bible verses at me while we argue over if Mother Theresa was a good marketer, but I had trouble getting started […]

9. Matt - August 28, 2008

Coke probably did top her (not literally of course, unless the good sister spent more time powdering her nose in Columbia than we thought), but I’ll bet that no single marketing exec at that corporation has single-handedly done more!

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