There are generally two types of marketers:
Traditional “brand marketers” who don’t understand math and measure success by the size of their (unaccountable) budget
New-school “performance marketers” who want to believe everything that matters can be measured within a 30-day “last touch” feedback cycle
Both types of marketers are very very wrong and this newsletter is not for them. I am interested in a Third Way.
This third type of marketer is different. We are not an “average” of the first two types. We are orthogonal. We care about long term impact, doing the right thing for the business, and leveraging data - not being a slave to it. We are mavericks and iconoclasts. We are counter-intuitive thinkers who care more about getting to the truth and driving impact than riding perverse incentives, corporate bureaucracy and status games to the corner office.
We are not interested in doing things just because they have been “always done that way”. But we also have no interest in new fads just because it is fun to chase shiny objects. We understand that most of what works is pretty simple and the hard part is executing consistently in the face of all the challenges life throws at you.
We are outnumbered. There are not a lot of us. But we have an over-sized impact on our companies and the world.
This newsletter is about building a community of people like us, and maybe helping bring others into our little “Third Way” Rebel Alliance. I will try and share what I know, but I will also share my thinking on how I got there. This may help you articulate ideas you may have already had and bring others into the fold.
Every Monday morning I share an essay about something important to Third Way marketers based on recent news and my take on what the story behind the story really is. Usually the mainstream media has it wrong. I clear through the BS to show what really matters. On Tuesdays I provide a “Briefing” for Third Way marketers on what they need to know from the previous week in Marketing, Business Strategy, Retail, COVID-impact, GPT-3/AI, and more. On Wednesday and Thursday I share a two-part interview with a successful CMO about their career and a deep dive into how they grew one of their business with a focus on marketing channels.
Free subscribers get at a sub-set of the content from the previous week every Friday.
If you are a “Third Way” CMO, please join us. If you are struggling to get your team to move past the dichotomy brand vs performance marketing, invite them to join as well. Marketing BS works best when an entire marketing organization reads and discusses the ideas together. I offer UNLIMITED group organization-wide subscriptions. Just use the group subscription option and pay for FIVE members of the same organization (the same email domain name), and then email me an unlimited list of other members of your organization with the same email domain, and they will all be subscribed to Marketing BS+.
The current Marketing-Industrial Complex is a Goliath, but maybe slowly, together, we we can bring enough people into the fold to change the world.
Some posts to get you started
Everything is Marketing was one of the earliest posts before I found my legs in the current format, but it is a good starting point on articulating the idea that marketing is not just advertising and costs per click.
Marketing to Employees is a central idea that the newsletter often returns to - How much of marketing is not aimed at customers at all and why it matters (and a June 2020 follow-up, “Brands are Deeply Saddened”)
Starbucks, Loyalty and Breakage: If there is one thesis about Marketing BS it is just saying words does not make it so. Market research is often not about market research. Performance is not about performance. In this case, Loyalty programs are not about loyalty. This is how they really work
Real Fidelity is a term I invented to discuss the impact of fidelity on marketing effectiveness. The concept is important far beyond just marketing performance, as the post-COVID-19 world is making clear. This was written pre-COVID-19, but extra relevant post March 2020
What some people say about Marketing BS
“Edward is the actual legit version of Tim Ferris”
Enmi Kendall, General Partner, Healthy Ventures
"Marketing BS should be required weekly reading for any marketing executive, much like Ben Thompson's Stratechery is the standard for strategy professionals."
Jason Goldlist, Cofounder TechTO; former GM/Head of Marketing, WealthSimple
"Always good. I don't know how he does it"
Nicolas Murat, Partner, Levant Capital
"I rarely have time to read these kind of things, but I always make time for Marketing BS. A different way of thinking and I find it very valuable as a CMO."
Leena Jain, CMO, HumanScale
"Marketing BS is really amazing. One day it might be remembered as the pinnacle of the industry."
David Atchison, CEO/Founder NewEngen; Former CMO Zulily
"Marketing BS is always rewarding and worth the time spent…..most importantly what he says generally jives with my real world experience."
Cannon Ghelani, Principal, Shorerock Group
"Marketing BS is so flippin good! Edward is creating phenomenal content. I am so glad to receive my Marketing BS email every week".
Lindsay Pedersen, Author, Ironclad Branding
"Marketing BS is a constantly great read. I can’t tell you how few weekly newsletters I even open, let alone read and I always read Marketing BS. I often read it on Tuesdays before I get out of bed. Every part holds my attention"
Andy Morris, Founder, Seattle Vacation Homes; former VP Ops TaskUS
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Author The Black Swan and AntiFragile
Who is Edward Nevraumont?
Edward is a Senior Advisor with Warburg Pincus (the private equity firm). Previously he was CMO/CRO at General Assembly, where he helped build and prepare the company for a $412.5MM sale to Adecco. As CMO at A Place for Mom, he steered the company from the brink of collapse to generating 30% annual growth over multiple years. As an executive at Expedia, he created the VIP Hotel program, Expedia Rewards, and the first landing pages organization. He’s done his time at at McKinsey, Procter & Gamble, and earned an MBA from Wharton.
You can find out more at www.marketingbs.com.