Marketing has always been a magnet for clowns and con men. But these days the clowns and con men aren't just lurking in the weeds. They are the grand marshals of the parade. They puff themselves up, put on their pretty uniforms, and march down Main Street with hordes of baton twirling followers in lock step.
It doesn't matter that everything they have hectored and lectured us about has been wrong. It doesn't matter that...
- Consumers have shown no interest whatsoever in interacting with advertising
- TV advertising is more pervasive than ever
- The DVR has not had a significantly negative effect on TV advertising or any effect at all on consumer buying behavior
- The TV and the PC have not converged
- Last year was not the "year of mobile." Nor was the year before, nor was the year before that. Nor will next year be.
- The Facebook disaster and concomitant melt down of most social media equities has given us a pretty good idea of what the real world thinks of our social media marketing delusions.
These dimwit evangelists live in a world of their own creation where anecdotes substitute for facts, where all they do is read each others' blogs and attend each others' revival meetings... I mean, conferences.
They have created a world of hype and baloney in which they sell miracle cures to credulous goobers. In this infantile culture, everything that does not fit is "dead."
The latest slice of rancid baloney in this genre appeared last week on the Harvard Business Review website. It is called, of course, Marketing Is Dead. The author of this pathetic nonsense is some consultant who is no doubt selling this tired old snake oil to gullible CMOs everywhere.
His evidence for the death of marketing? Three things which have nothing to do with his hypothesis.
First, a study that shows about 75% of CEOs think CMOs are knuckleheads. Well, guess what? They're wrong -- 90% of CMOs are knuckleheads.
What I'd like to know is, how is this evidence that marketing is dead? If 75% of restaurant owners think chefs are knuckleheads, does this mean eating is dead?
Second he trots out all the dreary, dreadful assertions about "communities" and "social capital" which we have read 100 times before by equally deluded zealots. These cliches sound like they were lifted directly from the Pepsi Refresh Project powerpoint pitch.
Finally, he gives us some anecdotes about social media successes.
In their arrogance and myopia, the digital theocrats cannot accept a successful social media marketing program without asserting that it is proof that everything else is dead.
These people are the marketing equivalent of religious fundamentalists. They cannot stand the idea that there is any truth other than their own. For their god to live all others must die.