As we contemplate a conference on 'Measuring Advertising Performance', we should perhaps consider the extent to which, in our eagerness to 'prove' the power of advertising, we are becoming solipsists; four advertising legs good, all forms of promotion on two legs bad.
There is nothing wrong in espousing the virtues and power of advertising - and indeed, as event sponsors, Billetts clearly believes in its value - but, as objective and independent analysts, we should be increasingly concerned with demonstrating its power via balanced discussion and pragmatic reasoning.
Instead, there often appears to be an eagerness to find a point of view which will 'defend' advertising by 'bashing' other forms of marketing, as if, by dismissing them, they will 'go away'. We are even starting to see this in the fatuous comparisons which continue to appear between TV and Online spend.
All of which is why we want to talk about promotions alongside advertising ROI. The fact that they are usually referred to as 'trade' promotions, merely underlines the view that these are somehow second rate activities, only worthy of entry to the marketing suite via the tradesmen's entrance.
The fact is, however, that they consume huge amounts of UK plc money and drive a massive amount of volume - and used properly, they help businesses achieve their commercial targets (sadly, the ultimate aim of everything we do in marketing, however sordid it may sometimes seem).
So let's just open up our minds to the commercial realities of life. It's time we stopped measuring advertising in isolation or advertising vs something else (or even different forms of advertising vs each other).
We need to stop participating in the tug of war for brand owner budgets and help them achieve their business goals, even if, sometimes, it means being honest enough not to recommend advertising.
In the meantime, there is a ticking time bomb for FMCG profits because of what is happening on promotional ROI and we look forward to sharing that on Wednesday."
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