Magazine article Marketing

Why Marketers Benefit from a Tribal Gathering

Magazine article Marketing

Why Marketers Benefit from a Tribal Gathering

Article excerpt

In South America there is a primitive tribe that, when it's not out scalping the neighbours, keeps order at its tribal powwows by use of a 'talking stick'. Only the person holding the stick may speak. The stick is passed around for anyone to have their say. A civilised procedure. Not one, therefore, you would necessarily expect to encounter among a group of marketing directors and agency bosses in a hotel in Windsor on a wet February evening.

Some of the luminaries who grace the pages of this very magazine were to be seen sitting cross-legged on the carpet in a large circle, clutching the talking stick and speaking in tongues.

Modern marketers do their fair share of tree-hugging, crying in public, bonding, and other soul-bearing exercises, mainly within the privacy of their own companies. I guess in desperation they will try anything. But never before have they come together as marketers and indulged in such navel-gazing. Remember you read it here first.

What were the mad buggers up to? - I hear you ask. Thinking about marketing, that's what. And specifically, the marketing of marketing, a noble cause espoused by the Marketing Council.

Don't get me wrong. This was no happy-clappy gathering. It was a serious, and unexpectedly enjoyable, attempt to find ways of rehabilitating marketing. I say rehabilitating, because most participants felt our discipline needed to shape up before it can begin to persuade a wider audience that it is not the rag-bag of flaky techniques for ripping off the customer they always thought it was. …

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