I think we’ve hit bullshit critical mass when it comes to marketing. What’s marketing about? Getting people to take an action that is of benefit to the business doing said marketing? That’s it. So why are us marketing types so adept at blurring that fact with so much jargon, bluster and a continual need to reinvent the wheel?

It’s about the target market and the message

Fundamentally, marketing takes the most appropriate message and delivers it to the desired audience in order to persuade them to take the action I referred to earlier. This has been happening for about 100 years.

The medium is secondary. When the medium comes first, we end up in a situation like we have now, where terms like ‘content marketing’ and ‘inbound marketing’ create an utter mess of people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing, consumers that are jaded beyond belief and companies that see marketing fail, after marketing fail.

Oh my god, we really need to do some content marketing!

“Somebody, quickly, think of a blog post topic! We’re going to content market it!”

“I’ve got one – 5 Ways to Make Your Shoes Shinier”

“Really? But we sell hiking boots?!”

“Yeah, but we’re offering value! That’s all that matters right? I’ll write it and then we’ll social media market it, traffic will rain down!”

“You know what, you’re right, f*** it, content social media market that mofo. GIVE ME ALL THE TRAFFIC! Maybe a sale too”

“Give me 21 minutes”

No, no and more no. Forcing the medium is wrong.

Guilty as charged your Honour

Regardless of the term, whether it be content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, search marketing. VR marketing, bloody AR marketing or whatever, the point is that the fundamental principles of marketing are being pushed aside as every piece of marketing nomenclature rises to the top and people focus on the medium and the ‘ marketing’ first.

Have I used these terms before? Yes. This site is littered with them. I’ve written about ‘social media marketing’ and the like many a time. I’ve stood on a stage and spoken about them. I and many of you are part of the the problem. Can we just go back to basics please? The way we talk about marketing now is verging on irresponsible.


I learned the principles of marketing during my degree in the subject. Do you need to study marketing at University etc to get it? Absolutely not. However, I do believe you need to understand the principles.

Want to learn them? Stop reading marketing blogs for a month (does anyone really have anything new to say?) and study the Principles of Marketing by Philip Kotler (not an affiliate link, I’m not that greedy). Take those fundamentals at keep that at front of mind at all times. You’ll be a better marketer, I guarantee it.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Do the principles still matter? Scroll down to comment.


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