Holiday Wisdom From a Marketing Grinch

Doug Kessler reads from The Ad Contrarian on our festive marketing playlist

December 23, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes in a marketing career is only ever listening to opinions that you know you are going to agree with. It means never having your thinking challenged, never seeing your strategy from a different perspective, and never having the pitfalls pointed out to you.

Doug Kessler is a marketer who knows the value of contrary opinions and a proper, whole-hearted debate. The post he chose to narrate for our festive playlist is from a blogger who prides himself on going against the flow when it comes to the latest buzzy marketing concepts: The Ad Contrarian (aka Bob Hoffman). When the rest of the industry is happily dancing around decking out their strategy with a few trendy ideas and sharing in the feelgood vibe of how cutting edge they are, The Ad Contrarian likes to steal in Grinch-like and pull the rug from under the festivities.

The post that Doug has chosen takes aim at the Simon Sinek school of ‘starting with Why’ and elevating brand purpose. It’s a vision that many marketers share. Doug is one of those marketers – and for that matter, so am I. Does that mean we should avoid posts from The Ad Contrarian that point out how empty, safe and meaningless all that talk of brand purpose can easily become? Of course not.

Global Brand equals Global Bland points out how committing to building a brand that means something can easily morph into building a brand that effectively means nothing. The problem comes when you lose touch with the specifics of what you do and what makes your proposition unique. Brand purpose all too easily becomes a safety first positioning – claiming to stand for things that nobody could possibly disagree with, but that could equally apply to any brand.

The post was originally written about advertising – but as Doug points out during his reading, it applies just as well to content marketing. It’s a timely warning from a Marketing Grinch that purposeful content shouldn’t mean putting out stuff that nobody could object to. Be edgy, be contrarian – and enjoy this cracking episode of our festive marketing playlist. 

Click here to explore the other 12 recordings on our inspiring, festive audio playlist. Enjoy!

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