Feb 28, 2010

The Merry Meanderings of Marcom

Published articles and papers suggest that as the global economy drags itself out of the doldrums, the pitched battle between yesterday's generation of financial engineers and the new generation of marketplace-driven marketing engineers is heating up.

Advertising and marketing communications (fondly referred to as Marcom) strategies are getting caught in the crossfire. As we sort out fantasy from reality in the business world, it's no wonder that the cable show MadMen is such a poplular hit. It's hard to believe what went on in previous eras sometimes.

And the ad business is struggling mightily to sort out its future in a Digital 2.0 world. Maybe it's worth remembering one critical Marketing basic: Brands build sustainable, long-term equity by acutally delivering meaningful value to end consumers, not by creating clever illusions of value.

Creative ads for strawberry flavored mouthwash might have once been seen as good marketing; I certainly hope those days are over. And while much-hyped Superbowl ads are fun to watch,  robust businesses they do not create single handedly. Lead is best used as a verb when referring to market position; the hard work of block-and-tackle marketing is where the real action is.

But it's also worth remembering: Advertising's role is to communicate value propositions, not substitute for them.

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