Set opinions in marketing

in Marketing (general)

My last post explained a little around why, until recently, I haven’t blogged a great deal in a work context. Being a overthinking perfectionist means it’s in my nature not to publically give an opinion until I’m sure of myself.

The trouble with marketing these days? It’s so damn hard to be sure of yourself!

I honestly thought it might be just me! I read a lot, I absorb information, opinion…and sometimes I’m persuaded by the author. I sit there thinking “yes…I get that, it makes sense”. Then a few days later I read something totally contradictory, but I think the same thing…”yes…I get that, it makes sense”.

What?!Set Opinions in Marketing

It can leave me feeling like I change opinion too much. Surely after 20 years working in marketing/digital, I should have very set opinions by now? Often my answer to debates is “it depends”. It can depend upon the sector that you’re in, the target audience that you’re talking to….it can depend on lots of things.

But that’s not a very decisive opinion, is it?

Over the years, I’ve loved reading opinion pieces, books…arguing for brand love, against brand love, that loyalty is the most important thing, that it doesn’t matter at all, that engagement in social is the be-all, that it means nothing….it goes on and on and on and on.

The arguments are often persuasive. I like to consider both sides of a debate…but it can leave me confused, tired and a little unsure of my own opinion.

I read an article today which made me feel a LOT better. Turns out it’s not just me after all… Mark Ritson (if you don’t already subscribe to his weekly Marketing Week column, rectify that…immediately) posted ‘Marketing debate is so polarised it’s hard to be sure of anything‘.

Mark Ritson is a Professor of Marketing. That’s pretty cool, right? He must really know what he’s talking about? He does.

…but he’s not afraid to say that marketing’s current polarisation of opinion is confusing even him. He posted an article about programmatic, that spawned two other articles – one for and one against his opinion.

I read both articles, and was persuaded mightily by both articles, even though they perfectly contradict each other. My point is not to dwell on the respective arguments of my two commentators but to suggest that this is the nature of marketing these days. Everything is up, unless you think it’s down.

I’m not going to try to summarise the article, to do that would be a disservice…you should read it all.

…but as soon as I saw the words “it depends”…I almost shouted “YES!!!”. Sometimes, in marketing, it does depend….and that’s ok.