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3 Marketing Myths to Give up in 2024

It’s now almost 30 years since the first digital ad was placed. Yet, it’s only recently that we’ve harnessed all of this data to develop evidence-based principles for what constitutes effective advertising. Which means this: time to debunk some long-held marketing myths.



Actually, they do, and we now have the data to prove it. Read Mark Ritson’s article in Marketing Week, which provides the best explanation of the advertising effectiveness research by Les Binet and Peter Field.

Watch this episode of the Uncensored CMO on how and why Airbnb shifted from performance marketing to brand building.



That call to action and book by Jack Trout, may not be the universal truth we thought it was. In her book, Building Distinctive Brand Assets, Jenni Romaniuk makes a data-driven case for why brand salience (being more distinctive and thus more readily recalled) may be more important than brand differentiation. 

I'll admit, this concept felt like heresy to me. Over the years, I've seen too many brands succeed through competitive differentiation. (e.g., Amazon). So, the truth may be closer to this: both matter.

  • In an attention economy, distinctive assets are the currency that enables you to obtain more than your fair share of attention. Throughout my marketing career, my goal has always been that: how do I get more than my fair share of attention from the salesforce, the buyer, or the end user?

  • Distinctive assets can be powerful proof points of differentiation, which means they help customers believe your benefit. If you read Jenni's book, let me know what you think.  

How do you create distinctive assets to stay top of mind with your target? Read how my alma mater, Taco Bell did it in R.E.D. Marketing a great read by Greg Creed, former CMO and CEO of Taco Bell.



Wear-out turns out to be largely a myth, too. Wear-out is a concept that supposedly explains the impact of running the same ad campaign too frequently: the customer will get bored and tune-out your message. New brand marketers use it to rationalize making their mark on their brand. Ad agencies use to justify keeping their creatives employed. Everyone likes it because it’s fun to develop new campaigns. But here’s the thing: customers don’t get bored with your brand -- agencies and marketers do. In 2020, Kantar, System1, and Analytic Partners analyzed 51,232 ad campaigns and found that only 14 demonstrated wear-out. The other 51,218 campaigns were pulled despite the fact they were demonstrating virtually no signs of wear-out! Think of the impact of the 45-year Marlboro Man Campaign, of DeBeers, A Diamond is Forever campaign, and the Wall Street Journal's 28-year campaign that netted them $2 billion. 

This year, dust off your creative and take the money earmarked for creative development and put it into media instead.

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