Last Friday, I gave the opening address at Eat Your Greens’ Amsterdam release event. The Drum has the transcript of my speech on the state of the marketing industry.
The talk began with this brief video excerpt of a recent speech by Gary Vaynerchuk on the supposed death of television.
Hello, everyone. I hope you are enjoying the event so far, and a special thanks to the Amsterdam Marketing Community, The Gardeners, and Wiemer Snijders for bringing all of us here today.
For full disclosure, I am excited to be in Amsterdam for the first time for one simple reason: I am absolutely addicted to stroopwafels. Seriously, I’m going to go and stuff my suitcase with them before I go to the airport tomorrow.
But before I do that, I’m here first to discuss Eat Your Green’s significance within the marketing industry and how we got to where we are today.
A short introduction. In my prior career, I was first a journalist and newspaper editor who later moved into marketing. Most recently, I was director of marketing at a tech company. Today, I write a biweekly column on marketing and media for The Drum and travel around the world to speak about what I report. I use my dual experiences to discuss the marketing industry with the mindset of a neutral journalist. I have no assumptions. I take nothing at face value. I have nothing to sell except my ideas. And I do not accept any fad without evidence.
So, I do like the trend of evidence-based marketing because that is exactly what journalists do. Whenever a politician or Gary Vee – as you just saw – makes some grand, declarative statement, the best thing to do is to ask for the evidence.
Whenever we hear chief executives, gurus, or – God forbid – influencers making a grandiose claim, we should ask ourselves: how much money will this person or company make by popularising this idea? In this video, Gary Vee says that he invests in Facebook and Twitter. So can we be surprised that he advocates that everyone move all media spend there?
Whenever marketers claim that “everything has changed” or that something is “dead” or that some new buzzword “is the future of marketing,” ask for the evidence. Make them cite their sources and explain their reasoning.
In my column, I do exactly that. After journalists, marketers should be the most skeptical people in the world, but too many have been bamboozled by bullshit from marketing software companies that are just selling something. And where this all began was in the decade of the 2000s.