Marketing is broken stated Said Business School’s new Professor of Marketing, Philip Andrew during his inaugural lecture last week in Oxford, but there is some hope.
Whilst the overtone of his address was fairly positive there were cautionary notes.
1.Artificial intelligence is currently limiting choice for consumers and citizens, and so at present, may not deliver value for stakeholders, which Prof Andrew proposed as being the core purpose of Marketing.
2. As marketers we need to reflect on the relevancy of the human touch in consumer interactions versus the outsourcing to robots and AI. Where and how technology fits and where it does not belong is currently not being addressed.
3. Technology in marketing is being used as a ‘shiny new toy’ without consideration of the societal impact. Adblocking software as used by consumers is an indicator that marketing is not heeding societal dissatisfaction with advertising.
4. The industry, practitioners and academics need to understand the positive impacts of digital technology in marketing. What are the economic benefits, the psychological benefits and the physiological benefits that improve societal wellbeing that marketing can and does contribute to?
Prof Andrew’s comments in essence were not new but he drew together a set of ideas and presented them as his ‘Marketing with Purpose’ concept in which marketing approaches, digital technology and data work together to create value for people, business and society. His lecture was well received by the largely under 30 year old audience but whether and how they take his words forward to ‘mend’ marketing remains to be seen.