News Article : The art and science of marketing, according to Bedbury
|Category:|| Marketing : Marketing Tips|
|Posted:||02 Oct 2007|
Attracting and keeping the best people, inspiring them to do great things
Is marketing an art or a science? Scott Bedbury, former Chief Marketing Officer of Nike and Starbucks, argues that it is both.
Here are his thoughts in advance of his full day presentation, which took place in Johannesburg on Tuesday September 18, organised by Global Leaders.
“Yes, there is art to branding. In business there is art and science. Marketing is a mixture of the two. Advertising is more heavily weighted to art, and the creative thinking around brand positioning and imaging is 90 per cent art."
"That having been said, it is difficult to ask an artist how the paint a picture or come up with a song. To the extent it can be exposed and studied I have done so in my book. Even with 100,000 words, it doesn’t capture everything.
“Some of the most important decisions you can make for your brand do not pencil very well on paper – their financial impact cannot be fully measured. They require a leap of faith or a belief in what is fundamentally right for the brand."
"Howard Schultz and Starbucks and Phil Knight at Nike were visionary men that spent their time on the most important issues facing the enterprise, and many of those issues had to do with people – attracting and keeping the best people, inspiring them to do great things.
“I was fortunate to work with thousands of creative, passionate and talented people at both Nike and Starbucks. On the best day, all I did was enable them to do great things. In the case of Nike advertising, my job was to inspire and protect the creative process."
"I didn’t care who came up with what, who got credit for what. In the end, if the work was great, that was what mattered. Many times the best thing I could do was make sure people were pointed in the right direction and get the hell out of their way.
“A campaign like Just Do It was, and continues to be almost 20 years later, a very powerful thing for Nike. Every once in a while, a brand finds the right thing to say and says it very creatively and carefully so as not to wear it out. We only spoke those three words a few times in the advertising. It was always left as a type-only statement at the end of the commercial or near the logo in the print ad.
“I think most tag lines are not very good because that is all the company is trying to find. We were not looking for a tag line when we came up with Just Do It. We were trying to find something really meaningful to say about self-empowerment in the context of sports and fitness.
“Advertising is just one tool in building a brand. Starbucks did very little advertising in building its brand from a few hundred stores to more than ten thousand. ‘Experiential marketing’, where the company optimises all consumer touch points with the brand, is something every brand should think about today, rather than rely on mass media or other traditional tools. They are still important but just part of the puzzle.”