Why am I called a Contrarian?


I really can not understand why people who focus on R.O.I. or Sales when it comes to advertising are considered Contrarian? Advertising is supposed to be about sales. Yes its great when creatives can do fun things and make selling fun or make your product or brand fun. But the reality is the CFO makes the rules. If the CMO can’t show ROI the CFO is going to reallocate resources where the ROI is superior. This could be anything from R&D to Direct Sales. Or there can be a reallocation within Marketing.

I see often more buzz about advertising within Advertising Circles than outside of Advertising. My Finance background breaks down things to numbers very quick. I have written about this before. Creatives and Marketers hate that. But Finance is about maximizing returns (for good and bad). Owners and Shareholders demand this. I myself do not have tunnel vision. I feel businesses should take care of employees, their clients, and their communities before the stakeholders. But it is rare to find a Company that does that.

Now to be fair when I do bring up Sales, I am not slamming Creatives. I am an artist myself. I have many art and music friends, more than that are in the corporate world. So I know how hard it is to create and make great stuff. And your hamstrung in Advertising by the Product, your Client, the Media Buy etc. You can create a great TV spot that get’s shown 3 times. Not the Creative’s fault if no sales are generated from that. Or the spots could be shown to the wrong demographic. Or as I have written say the product sucks?! Advertising get’s people to try something and if the client doesn’t help with a great product its not the Agency’s fault.

But if the Advertising Industry thinks being about R.O.I. and Sales is Contrarian then they are smugly and vainly telling clients they are happy to waste their money. And shame on the clients for allowing this. And yes when I pitch clients I do tell them bluntly ‘If I can save you $10 million by cutting your media buy without reducing sales, will you give me $1 million of that’.

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About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
This entry was posted in advertising, agencies, creative, roi, sales. Bookmark the permalink.

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