Is Marketing Dead?


It’s all about the money these days. The almighty Yankee Dollar.

I read an article the other day in Advertising Age online that P&G plans to cut $500 Million in Agency Fees by shrinking its roster of agencies. Kind of like reporting on a funeral.

Their CFO said that the move will improve the company’s Marketing as it cuts costs.

I don’t think that adds up to Marketing Math but it does satisfy Wall Street.

In addition the company planned to reduce its non-manufacturing headcount by 25% to 30% by the end of the next fiscal year.

Non-manufacturing sounds like marketing folks to me.

Wait there is more. In addition P&G is plans to sell, spin off or merge 100 Brands.

Is that the P&G that I knew and admired? The marketing icon.

I remember in the agency business that if you had P&G on your resume you were golden, if you survived the experience. You worked with the best of the best. A little uptight, yes. A little formulaic, yes.

The company wrote the book on packaged goods marketing.

It was emulated and duplicated by all.

The company known to have the smartest and the best talent.

The current moves were designed to “save money.”

The benefit in the release is that this was going to result in stronger communications to consumers. Who believes that? Financial folks who don’t really care about marketing, only Wall Street Analysts calls. Just more corporate blah blah blah.

I remember at one time that Old Spice was a forgotten brand. Just like Hush Puppies and the Fuller Brush Man. The brand was introduced in 1937. When is the last time that you bought a bottle of Old Spice?

Then a line extension of Old Spice as a Body Wash that had an advertising campaign behind it created by Wieden and Kennedy that went viral and created a major buzz, careers and most importantly sales.

You need ideas to create innovation and brand growth and you don’t get that by cutting investment in your agencies, your staff and the products you sell.

You create short term share value for sure but that is fleeting and the impact of successful marketing is long term if you have commitment.

If the best marketer in the world is abandoning their commitment to what we once learned was the pinnacle of marketing, what’s next?

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