Thursday 24 August 2017

“We have been radically misled by the key digital players”: Peter Field, Effectiveness expert

Ahead of their session for the summit next week: Marketing Effectiveness on Trial, Godfather of effectiveness, Peter Field stopped by with a few hints about what he and co-presenter Les Binet will discuss.

TCC:  What is the number one reason for media agencies to attend the summits?

PF: In a nutshell what it comes down to, is that an enormous amount of what is going on, in the sense of media choices for campaigns is profoundly misguided. It’s based on short term metrics, opaque metrics, war guard metrics – it’s all about driving short term effects. It’s not about building brands or supporting brands for long term success. And any media planner who doesn’t understand the enormously dangerous difference between developing media plans for the short term and developing media plans for the long term really needs to come and hear Les and I speak. We will open your eyes and hopefully, we’ll terrify you.

TCC: It is your second time in Australia speaking to the ‘agency and marketer’ audience, what are you anticipating will be different this time?

PF: The year that’s gone by has actually been a fairly fast moving year, in many ways. So when I was here a year ago I threw out a lot of pretty heavy warnings about the way things were going. I talked a bit about short-termism, I talked a bit about the effect of that, and we’ve got another year now, where that is playing out and we are really getting to see some immensely damaging effects. We’ve now got more evidence and we’ve got more, refined evidence as to exactly how this is playing out. So I don’t think there is any way someone can some, this is a hypothesis or this is just scaremongering it’s really happening now. We’re seeing it crystal clear.

We’re damaging brands, there are damaging effects to this and ultimately it’s going to end in tears. I think this is for real now, this is a platform for a survivor of brands but I urge anyone who comes along and listens to us to take it all very seriously – this isn’t just us rattling sabres here.

Les is going to be talking about how good it could be and I’m going to be talking about how, actually we’re missing the point and we’re really not delivering. There is an enormous gulf between the potential for marketing and what’s actually being achieved, and that’s really what we’re going to be talking about.

TCC: Any spoiler alerts for us re: brands you might cover during the session?

PF: We’re going to keep it quite theoretical this time around – we don’t want to get too stuck into individual brands because the message is big. It’s about brands in plural; it’s about what’s going on in marketing; and, it’s about mass data. We’re not going to talk about specific brands too much – we may drop one of two into our presentation, but this is really about what is going on, at a macro level.

TCC:  What are your top three takeaways for media planners and marketing agencies alike?

PF: I don’t think I’ll be surprising too many people, if I said we have been radically misled by many of the key digital players and by the orthodoxy that’s come out of digital, it’s fine to a degree but it’s now starting to dominate everyone’s thinking, which is incredibly damaging – we will definitely be taking a pop at that.

We’re also going to be revisiting some of the strengths of traditional media and reminding ourselves of what those are and how they are playing out in evolving media landscape now, because again, an enormous amount of what we’re told about evolving patterns of effectiveness are so wide of the mark – but actually we need to put that right. But I don’t think anyone would be surprised if I say that we’re going to be challenging the as what we would see as ‘bullshit’ out there.

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