Mark Ritson, the Melbourne Business School professor of marketing and brand consultant, is outspoken on the fallacy of digital marketing and the foolishness of marketers that blindly throw marketing budgets at digital without evaluating or interrogating the numbers. He sees digital and social media in particular as unproven and misrepresented channels.
At the first of the AANA's Marketing Deconstructed lectures, he challenges marketers' obsession with digital and reinventing marketing, the “dodgy” metrics that aim to compare a digital view with a TV viewer, the “tsunami of horseshit” that is digital video, three-second video views and CPMs, "dreary" digital marketers, moronic marketers, and zero-based marketing budgets. He looks at Australia's biggest brands on social media and the reality of their numbers and engagement on social. And don't get him started on millennials.
Of the efforts to find a comparable metric to measure both digital and traditional channels, and find an 'apples to apples' comparison, Ritson said “it's like comparing apples to bananas full of shit”.
His views echo those of Ten's Russel Howcroft, who said at the AdNews Media Summit in May that despite what many marketers and the digital platforms such as Google and Facebook might claim, a digital view is not the same as a TV viewer.
You can watch the talk in full below, and if you've got an hour to spare, we highly recommend that you watch it in full.
Nearly 400 marketers and agency execs attended the event, which was produced in partnership with MCN, across Melbourne and Sydney. Following his presentation at both events, there was a panel debate where marketers from Telstra MCN, ANZ, Unilever and Mondelez debated his points.
But what is worrying is that none of the marketers could give a strong rebuttal to Ritson. None could defend against his claims. Do you agree with Ritson? Or is he wrong?
In fairness, journos don't get off lightly either. Ritson thinks the trade press is “deluded” and skewing too much coverage towards digital than the level of investment deserves. In our defence, the nature of news is to cover new things – and social and digital fall into that category.
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