Debunking marketing's myths – insights from the AMEs 2012

David Tiltman

Two sessions at the 2012 Asian Marketing Effectiveness Festival put many of the assumptions brands and agencies make about marketing communications under the spotlight.

Professor Byron Sharp, Director at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia, used the conference to summarise findings from his book How Brands Grow. He was followed by Charles Wigley, Chairman of BBH Asia, and Rob Campbell, Regional Head of Strategy at Wieden & Kennedy, who between them pulled apart five pieces of muddled thinking that refuse to go away.

Taken together, the key conclusions from the sessions were:

  • Marketers are becoming obsessed with participation and brand 'love'. In fact, the best way to increase sales is to get the huge mass of irregular buyers – exactly the people who don't participate – to buy slightly more often.
  • Reach is a crucial consideration in buying media. That's one of the main reasons why TV has not died, and in fact TV and digital together make such a good combination.
  • Marketers can often do more harm than good by misunderstanding the real relationship consumers have with their brands.