2016 Net Gain – Reincarnation: The Death and Rebirth of Marketing

The following are notes from John McGarr’s Net Gain 2016 presentation: “Reincarnation: The Death and Rebirth of Marketing”. This post has had limited editing and hence there will be typos.

The Death of Marketing?

John Hoffmire: “Marketing is increasinlgy seen as a tactical, rather than strategic function in organizations.”

But – what about the Dove Real Beauty Campaign? Others point to advertising like A&F which has been heavily parodied.

Argument that digital marketing is unsustainable, people don’t want to see advertising on digital platforms – rise of Ad Blockers for example.

Problems around content marketing as well, as are not usually high in popularity.

Other example – Sony launching a waterproof phone, showing a people taking photos underwater – with a disclaimer saying not to take photos underwater.

What is causing the death?

  1. Preoccupation with media platforms and digital tools
  2. Bypassing the meaning in the customers lives
  3. Misuse of market research as only a tool to find how to sell to them

How do we market to them?

  1. People are drawn to what reflects their values
  2. People behave in irrational ways, albeit predictably

Lulemon took advantage of two things: people want to be healthy, and belief in religion is at an all time low, but people want to be spiritual – so picking yoga was a smart move.

Collapse of American dream – after housing crash – two movements emerge:

  1. Occupy Wall Street – Blames the banks
  2. Tea Party – Blames the goverment
  3. A collapse of optimism in UK – Only way to protest was to vote for Brexit
  4. A Collapse of optimism in US – US election is quite timely

Scion Sales USA

Irony for Toyota created Scion because Millennials didn’t want to buy Toyotas. Then after collapse decided they wanted to buy Toyotas but not Scions.

Results of Family study

  • Famlies expect the unexpected – use words like lean and adaptable, always being tested. Losing optimism. Now they only look to themselves. — Brand response — Uber, Car sharing — low commitment flexible options
  • Families adopt “frontier logic” – be tough, be prepared — live and let live unless encroached on — result – TV Survival series like “Bear Grylls”
  • Achievement over Authenticity – setting goals and working on individual improvement  – track progress and achieve – it’s never too early to get started — triathlon for kids
  • Who’s the adult here anyway? – children emulate adult tastes, parents’ nostalgia creates continuity for kids, parents don’t want to be uptight authoritarians – result children’s movies films have things to appeal to adults as well
  • Technology as a force for good – nest cam, cellphone for toddlers

Rebirth of Marketing – It is every marketer’s responsibility to be a force for good in their consumers’ lives. Which requires real commitment.

If you get it right you can be like Lululemon, get it wrong you can get it wrong like Scion.



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