Answering critics

I’m as guilty as many marketers for taking certain key marketing assumptions as truisms, without doing the proper research to see if those strategic assumptions are based on data or mere belief.

One belief that I never accepted, however, was the old saw “it costs X times to acquire a customer as to retain one.” I knew from my years of experimentation as a continuity marketer that it wasn’t true. Acquisition was the entire key to growth.

This is a great post by Professor Byron Sharp, where he addresses criticisms of his fantastic textbook “Why Brands Grow.” And if you haven’t purchased the book yet and read it, please do so now.

Marketing Science

Our critics have been few, and rather kind (nothing of substance has been raised).

Now and then a marketing guru issues a thinly disguised advertisement for their consulting services that tries to have a go at the laws and strategy conclusions in How Brands Grow. They usually say something like:

“Our data confirms that larger market share brands have much higher market penetration BUT our whizz-bang proprietary metric also correlates with market share, and this proves that it drives sales growth, profits, share price, and whether or not you will be promoted to CMO”.

Often some obscure statistical analysis is vaguely mentioned, along with colourful charts, and buzzwords like:
machine learning
emotional resonance

And sexy sounding (but meaningless) metrics along the lines of:
brand love
growth keys
brand velocity
true commitment
loyalty intensity

All of this should raise warning bells amongst all but the most gullible.

Let me…

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