Kimberly-Clark tackles the "insanity" of modern marketing

Stephen Whiteside

Assessments of the modern marketing ecosystem typically emphasise words like "transformation", "revolution", and "disruption". But according to Clive Sirkin, cmo of Kimberly-Clark, the sector's ills are considerably more severe – to the extent they now border on "insanity".

"It's insanity in the sense that your behaviour – and our behaviour – defies logic," he informed delegates at the Advertising Age Digital Conference 2014. "In an industry of arguably the most creative, most innovative people, we're still locked in an old model. And we can't get out of it."

An obsession with change, he asserted, dominates the conversation among marketers, but it does not currently exert an equivalent influence on their practices – as shown by the gap between the amount of time shoppers dedicate to using mobile phones and watching online video and the adspend registered by these channels. A profound shift is thus urgently required.