Magazine article Marketing

The Essay

Magazine article Marketing

The Essay

Article excerpt

Sit down, chill out and allow your emotional side some freedom, writes Giles Hedger.

So, back in March, you arrived home from Austin, full to the brim with the brave new world. As you disgorged tech-stained T-shirts into the laundry basket, you asked yourself when it would be time to start packing for Cannes.

A quick calculation confirmed there were two full months until your next injection of This Changes Everything. What to do during this twilight of the paradigms; this interregnum of the intellects? After all, in, what is now, seven weeks or so, someone on the Riviera will explain why This Changes Everything Again.

Is there really any point putting anything new into practice. Is there time? Even your new default operating mode - Always in Beta - would require more than eight weeks ...

On the other hand, imagine what damage could be done if last year's New Universal Theory is left running, like a powerful locomotive, chuntering witless through a disused mine. More unsettling, though, is the question of how, in the meantime, you are going to fill your reservoir of Cutting-edge Thinking.

It's an uncomfortable feeling, not knowing where to go next to learn the things that allow you to keep wondering what on earth you should be learning next.

Well, my advice is this. Cancel some meetings, sit on a park bench, and spend several hours thinking about what you know already. What we all know already. Luxuriate in the spring sunshine and the comfort of known-knowns.

As you regress toward the fundamentals, look at the passers-by on their way to the swings or crazy golf and ask yourself whether what is in your head would be even vaguely comprehensible, vaguely intuitive, vaguely life-affirming were it suddenly to appear in a cloud above the park. If not, you're probably still in Texas.

As you peel away the conference patois and unlearn the names of marketing's infinite new moving parts, consider marketing in its naked state and ask yourself how it works.

Start with the distinction between physical and mental availability. Put physical availability to one side. (You can come back to it later, and deep down you know it's the easier half of the task.) Think about mental availability and accept that, in a mature and competitive market, there is no easy straight line from share of voice to share of mind. …

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