Is Marketing A Dying Industry?

  • Author: Alistair O'Sullivan

Is marketing on its way to being irrelevant?

Are we losing the very thing that allows marketers to flourish in the first place?

Our Humanity

Or is it about to become more important and effective than it ever has been?

We are living in the era of the consumer. An era where all customers have the power to voice their opinions, the power to spread these opinions like wildfire.
The rapid rise of technology and social media has changed the playing field by making our lives seemingly easier and more convenient.
This same customer empowerment has come to mass murder the personality and human touch of brands – or so it seems.

Today’s Marketing

Today, marketers use highly sophisticated technology to combine, analytic data with customer insights to dictate marketing.
Businesses are being engulfed into this overly hyper-focused marketing strategy in hope to outwit their competition.
However, little to their understanding, these marketing campaigns are assassinating the human in their brand.

The human element of your brand should always remain at the forefront of your marketing strategy and your business’ ethics. Without it, the factors that allow for your company to be relatable will no longer be visible. As a result, customers will soon loose interest and will no longer be attracted to exchanging custom.

The September issue of Fast Company asked a panel of experts a variety of questions about branding. One question was:

“What are the major challenges for marketers right now?”

Fast Company

The marketing-oriented panellists mentioned things like platform proliferation, voice interaction, and communicating company values.
The one CEO on the panel gave a markedly different response:

“Being relevant. There’s nothing better than word of mouth and organic marketing. You’re not needed that much, dude. I think marketers should be nervous. There are so many agencies that should just die. All these useless barnacles that have been living on the ass of major brands should just be lanced.”

I think you scrape barnacles and lance boils, but either metaphor is a rather damning indictment of the marketing profession.

The idea of CEOs not finding much value in marketing is hardly new. A few years ago, an article showed 80% of the CEOs in the survey group didn’t fully trust the competence of their CMOs. That survey is five years old now, but it’s clear the sentiment still exists.

It’s probably no surprise that according to Korn Ferry, Chief Marketing Officers have the shortest tenure of all C-level executives.


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