Pepsi Exec Believes Marketing Has An Advertising Problem

Marketing has an advertising problem?

The phrases digital marketing and advertising should be dumped.

Ads are useless, polluting content.

Traditional agency models are going to break.

And the industry needs more disruption and innovation.

Those were some of the bold and tough words PepsiCo exec Brad Jakeman had for marketing and agency professionals at the Association of National Advertisers “Masters of Marketing” conference late last year.

Digital Marketing Is A Meaningless Term

Jakeman argues the phrase digital marketing is meaningless. He feels a lot of the marketing that marketers do is already digital, so instead of seeing digital marketing as our “life raft,” marketers should be thinking about how we can create digital cultures rather than digital departments.

Marketing Has An Advertising Problem

Advertising is another term he wants people to toss out. Ask most people what marketing is and they will say “ads.” Jakeman  feels advertising is based on a broken, unsustainable model of creating “polluting” content that people don’t want to see, like pre-roll ads. What’s worse is that the advertisers and marketers who are creating these ads know their audience isn’t interested in this content.

Marketing Has A Measurement Problem

Another big problem Jakeman sees is the outdated measurement systems companies are still using to measure performance. He believes organizations shouldn’t be measuring marketing spending as a percentage of company revenue. When your company does that, you’re assuming paid media is the only way to build your brand. And this is wrong. User-generated content, for example, doesn’t cost brands a cent at all.

Marketing Agencies Are Ripe For Disruption

He also points out that traditional agency model is a “dinosaur concept,” and it will break if agencies don’t start changing and innovating. He wants advertisers and marketers to think about how they can disrupt and push the envelope of the work they do in this industry.

Jakeman says he’s struggled to find good examples of commercial brands doing something incredibly disruptive, and the best one he could think of was Caitlyn Jenner. He feels the way Jenner has managed her brand and transformation, both literally and figuratively, is remarkably authentic, thought-provoking and disruptive.

“This was something that the world was talking about, and the world has continued to talk about,” Jakeman says. He encourages marketers to reflect on their work, and ask if their brands have done anything that is as disruptive as Jenner.

Do you agree with Jakeman’s critiques? I think it’s hard to disagree as these points echo many of the things we’ve written about here.

Have you seen any brands doing something truly disruptive with their marketing or advertising? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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