Magazine article Marketing

Mark Ritson on Branding: Isolated Examples Show Power of Marketing

Magazine article Marketing

Mark Ritson on Branding: Isolated Examples Show Power of Marketing

Article excerpt

Once a month we invite marketers from the London Business School Centre for Marketing to attend a session devoted to marketing debate and sharing best practice.

Last week's event was the Share of Pie Contest. Five thought leaders from five leading marketing communications industries were invited to address the audience for 10 minutes apiece to make the case for their respective communication tools. At the end of each presentation the audience rated the persuasiveness of the case by 'spending' a notional budget of pounds 100 across the five speakers. The winning speaker was the one who obtained the biggest share of pie.

Andrew Mason, managing director of mOne and representative for direct marketing, began the proceedings. He made a subtle but persuasive case for taking an increasing share of the customer, rather than the market, and used measurability (as expected) to make a forceful case for the channel's supremacy.

He was followed by public relations, in the shape of Hill & Knowlton's Stuart Wilson. Wilson played an unexpected ace by showing the power of PR in influencing decision-makers in the B2B space.

He went on to deflect the expected barb that PR wasn't measurable by using a strong case study, and demonstrated the growing power of the medium in a convoluted and complex world. Wilson concluded with the outrageous (but true) statement that PR people are simply more fun. Things were heating up nicely.

Ian Millner, managing partner of Iris, waded into the debate in a manner entirely appropriate to the promotions industry.

Reminding the audience that it was ultimately all about behaviour, he went on to show just how effective promotions could be in driving everything from sales to brand.

Example after example flowed sweetly from his PowerPoint presentation as he adroitly dismissed his four competitors' claims with the proven, no-nonsense power of promotions.

Next up was Robert Senior, partner at Fallon. He was everything we expected from an advertising guru: brilliant, dynamic, persuasive and five minutes over his allotted time. But his case was wonderfully simple: bad advertising is dead in the water, but the rarer, good stuff is as powerful as ever. His show reels and sales data left us in no doubt about which form of advertising Fallon produces. …

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