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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Mindless Meanderings in the Shiny Marketing Wonderland: Who Else Walks on Water? Plus a Mickey Mouse Job Opportunity

I don't know why but I get invitations to speak in little spurts. You know how these things are - like waiting for buses. You stand in the freezing cold for twenty minutes, then three come all at once. You can't get on one because it's full, and the other two sail on past.

Anyhow, I have four invitations on the boil at the moment. What to talk about? One person said they had heard I was very funny, and could I be so for an hour? Another asked me to talk about The State of Direct Marketing. A third asked me to teach people what they need to know in a morning.

I think I could do something very similar for the first two, as every time I have contemplated the state of direct marketing in the last 40-odd years I have found it hilarious.

My younger daughter used to love books called "Lemony Snicket's A series of unfortunate events". This pretty much sums up what I have seen of direct marketing. When I first got involved everyone talked about it, but hardly anybody knew what it was, let alone how to go about it. Lucky for me, as I wrote a book to explain both and have made a modest living ever since as a result.

This pervasive ignorance did not stop people making absurd claims to extract money from clients who for the most part to this day don't take kindly to study. Not much has changed, as far as I can make out. Yesterday I was invited to befriend someone on one of the social networks. This was how they described themselves:

"An established marketer with a thorough understanding of Brand, Strategy, ATL, DM, CRM and Digital. Drawing from extensive experience both Client and Agency side in the UK, Europe and Australia."

Pretty amazing, eh? But there was more, under "Specialties" came the following modest list: "Integrated Communications, Digital Marketing, CRM & Loyalty, Strategy & Planning, Financial Management, Team leadership, B2C and B2B, Retail, Tourism, Finance & Insurance, Telecommunications, Beauty, FMCG."

Giants walk among us, friends.

Anyhow besides being asked to crack jokes here and there, I saw an ad yesterday reading, Picture yourself with a New Job at Disney English. Next to it was, Drayton Bird Newest Employee Disney English. It also showed my picture in case I don't know what I look like.

Well, of course, I look ghastly. But I see that the film of "Lemony Snicket's A series of unfortunate events" won an Oscar for Best Make-up. Maybe that is the solution. I have little doubt that the person whose talents I listed above can do that, too. After all, the word Beauty was included.

But do I want to go to China to teach English in a Mickey Mouse costume? Maybe not.

I cannot leave you without mentioning that if you want to know what marketing, and direct marketing in particular, are all about, you should go here.

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