Just a story

Somehow we’ve all bought into the story that marketing is about tactics, hacks, posts, optimisation and measurement.

It’s an interesting story, one that somehow feeds both our need to stay ahead of the curve and our tendency to aimlessly complain when things don’t work.

The genius of Google and Facebook as platforms is that they are impossible to master. Can anybody name a company that has developed long term sustainable advantage from the mastery of Google and Facebook? … They have not become tools, they have become taxes that every one needs to pay.

Scott Galloway, PIVOT podcast ep. 188

It’s an interesting story, yet a story nonetheless.

The reality is very different: it’s made of mistakes in the very same metrics we have become accustomed to measure our marketing success by, it’s made of businesses that make money inflating those metrics with no top or bottom line benefit for the advertisers, it’s made of pointless efforts to optimise the unoptimisable while the platform owner brings the whole thing in a totally different direction.

What’s next for marketing is hopefully a reckoning that it’s not the platform, or the channel, or the single tactic, or the brand new hack that builds a meaningful, long-term connection. What’s next is hopefully a return to the lost fundamentals, and an increased awareness that there’s not a single way to reach that person that matters so much. Always start from them and you will win.

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