June 22, 2015
The Investment Idiots Of Advertising
In the world of financial investing, there are plenty of ways to be an idiot and lose boxcars full of money.
Perhaps the most obvious way is to listen to the arguments of headline grabbing financial writers. They will write very convincing articles about how you should put all your money in gold, or tech stocks, or European bond funds, or condominium developments.
Or you should take all your money out of gold, or tech stocks, or European bond funds, or condominium developments.
In a world of media overload, the only way for them to attract attention is to advocate sensational measures.
We have the same thing in the advertising and marketing world. We are deluged with books, articles, and conferences in which the most extreme assertions are the ones that grab the headlines.
We have had over a decade of extreme nonsense about the death of advertising; the death of television; the death of radio; the miracle of interactivity; the magic of social media marketing. It has all been a bunch of melodramatic bullshit.
We have been subjected to a non-stop barrage of bad marketing investment advice by people who are not smart enough to gain attention by giving sound guidance, but are just smart enough to gain attention by promulgating hysterical nonsense.
In many ways, investing in advertising is more difficult than personal investing. You can follow your personal investments on a day-to-day basis and see how they're doing.
But advertising and marketing investments are much more difficult to track. First of all, there are so many variables. Then there is the lag time.
When Pepsi launched the biggest social media marketing experiment in history -- the Pepsi Refresh Project -- it took them over a year and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue to realize what a disaster it had been.
But that's what you get when you follow the overblown rhetoric of advertising investment idiots. They trade on fear of missing out (FOMO) and they stampede naive marketers into believing their turgid narratives.
Sadly, if you're going to be an advertising or marketing "expert" you have to have something radical or extreme to say or nobody pays attention.
As we've said here many times, no one ever got famous predicting that things would stay pretty much the same.