Part 1

Part 2

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Edward Nevraumont - Author of Marketing BS

Edward’s book Marketing BS is being released this fall with Lioncrest. Prior to his current role as Senior Advisor at Warburg Pincus, Edward was CMO at General Assembly, where he helped build and prepare the company for a $412.5mm sale to Adecco in 2018.

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Show Notes

Part 1

Edward’s Background (01:59) 

I started at Procter and Gamble. I majored in Marketing at Wharton Business School. I spent four years at McKinsey traveling the world, helping people out in marketing.

Since I’ve spent my whole career in Marketing, I obviously cannot think that Marketing is BS. I just think that a lot of people are chasing the wrong things in marketing. 

How People Chase BS Marketing (03:00) 

The part of it is that the feedback cycle in Marketing is really hard. If you're working for a big company, you often don't know if your marketing is working or not.

Even at Expedia, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether what we did had any impact. 

A lot of time is spent trying to measure whether marketing is effective instead of just trying to do things that are effective. 

For example, spending a lot of time trying to figure out better attribution is often not an effective use of your time and effort, especially when there are better opportunities sitting on the ground you’re walking on. 

Worthwhile Segmentation, Testing, and Analysis (11:30) 

Advertising in this new digital world tends to fall into two buckets. There is the end of funnel distribution type advertising and then there’s top of funnel brand building advertising. 

The first category includes things like paid search. Here you’re measuring last click attribution, first click attribution or multi click attribution and then tracking it through revenue. 

However, this is more of an attribution play, not advertising play. 

The challenge with all these channels is that they're an auction so everyone else is doing the same thing that you are and eventually, the only way to win at the auction is to be technically better at the channel. 

In cases like these, the seller ends up winning, not the buyer of the ads. 

How To Develop and Grow a Product If You’re Not Relying on Advertising (14:19) 

You’ll still need to rely on advertising. The cost of customer acquisition online has gone up by 20% in the last two years as more and more players have entered it. The auction is happening and we’re seeing these prices go up. 

The other way to do it is the early funnel stuffwhich is more difficult to track like running a TV commercial. You cannot measure the total impact of your TV commercial. People will tell you that you can but they’re all wrong. 

They are extremely difficult to measure and that’s why people fall back to storytelling and individual incentives. 

I believe that some channels like TV are underrated and are more efficient than people believe. 

How Great Brands Use Advertising To Be Successful (19:59) 

They’re being built both good and bad. Big brands built their brands on mass advertising. A lot of new B2C brands that have popped up, start off by focusing on Google and Facebook, and then other digital channels and they’re scaling really fast from a very low base. They’re blowing a lot of money but then suddenly they hit a cap and their growth goes from like 120 percent to 40 percent or even less. 

The reason for that is because these end of funnel channels have a cap size before they start slowing down. 

What happens after that is that they start doing more traditional methods. They start doing TV, radio or subway ads. 

Part 2

Is Data-Driven Marketing Bullshit? (02:20) 

It’s not bullshit. However, in the old world of Marketing, there was no data. It was all about storytelling because there was no other way to do it. 

With the advent of the Internet, all of a sudden the geeks took over and data-driven marketing became everything. Nowadays, if you don’t run the A/B test, the answer isn’t real. That’s where the new data-driven marketing run into problems. 

You can’t always trust the data because it’s very easy to measure the wrong things. 

Where Should You be Focused on the Creative Side and Where on the Data Side (03:52) 

The problem arises when marketers start trusting the first data that comes up the door instead of trying to figure out a solution to the problem. 

Where Do You Build Feedback Loops and What Can You Trust (09:39) 

When you're trying to measure something that happens very quickly and very fast testing is fantastic. 

For example, if I want to know which of the two webpages gets the person to click to the next page, there is no better way than to run an A/B test to find out. What you don't know is which of these two pages are going to have a long-term halo. 

Since there’s no click-through answer we're going to develop complicated answers that are going to try to predict what's going to happen in 10 years. 

Best Practices for Building an Effective Marketing (14:10) 

Having a brand is not BS. So many marketers want to come in and change their brands and that's like the worst thing to do. Keep your brand and don't change it. Have lots of brand elements that are memorable. 

You can change the variations to get someone's attention, but you want them to be able to tie back, to any sort of advertising you do back to those original elements.

Consistency is also not BS. Mass marketing is also not BS. 

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