The End of Marketing as We Know It

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9780887309861: The End of Marketing as We Know It

Marketing as we know it today is about image. It's about getting consumers to love your products. It's about producing award-winning commercials and promotions, and creating ads people like. It's about buzzwords like "events," "relationships," and "intimacy."

Problem is, it's not working.

So says the "Aya-Cola," Sergio Zyman, two-time marketing czar of Coca-Cola and today quite possibly the most famous marketer--and marketing gadfly--in the world. Brilliant and irascible, Zyman is best known for reinventing The Coca-Cola Company's marketing approach by spearheading the launches of such world-class global brands as Diet Coke, New Coke, Classic Coke, Fruitopia, and Sprite. Over a combined thirteen-year period, Zyman directed a zestful multibillion-dollar marketing effort, masterminding such timeless campaigns as "Coke Is It!" and "Always Coca-Cola," that resulted in sales of more than 15 billion cases of Coke products per year to over 5 billion consumers in 190 countries.

In The End of Marketing As We Know It, Zyman reveals, with characteristic flair, the counterintuitive and often provocative marketing strategies and tactics that earned him the nickname "Aya-Cola" on Madison Avenue and helped to increase the market value of The Coca-Cola Company from a mere $56 billion to an astounding $193 billion in just five years. Shattering the mystique surrounding the discipline of marketing and upending the tradition of creating popular, crowd-pleasing ads and promotions, Zyman recounts such illuminating anecdotes as why he decided not to rerun the much-loved "I'd like to teach the world to sing" Coke commercial and why "feel-good" marketing is pointless unless it results in sales. He also explores:

  • Why marketing isn't an art but a science

  • How a well-honed strategy is more important to your success than what your ads say

  • How everything communicates--and what that means to consumers

  • The rise of consumer democracy--and the threat of consumer communism

  • How marketing locally is necessary to build global equity

  • Why marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department

  • How ad agencies are fixated on the wrong things

    And why:

  • It's crucial to increase your marketing budget--not to cut it--when sales are down

  • Megabrands are a terrible idea, but huge brands are a great idea

  • It's suicide to base your sales projections on previous performance

  • You must be focused on profit, not volume for volume's sake

  • It's sometimes necessary to enter a category just to kill it

  • All marketers must be accountable to shareholders

Visionary and rogue, The End of Marketing As We Know It captures a seismic shift in marketing, from the master of the trade.

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Review:

Remember the New Coke? A disaster, right? Or how about the commercial where "Mean" Joe Greene meets a little kid holding a bottle of Coke? A masterpiece, right? Wrong, on both counts. Sergio Zyman, who was the chief marketing officer at Coca-Cola, will tell you that while the New Coke nose-dived, it--and the subsequent reintroduction of Coke Classic--helped to reconnect people to the soft drink and revitalize a brand that was losing market share to Pepsi. And as for "Mean" Joe Greene, while people loved the ad, it wasn't doing what good marketing should do: sell product, which is what Zyman's book, The End of Marketing As We Know It, is all about.

For Zyman, marketing is not an art, it's a business. "Marketing is a strategic activity and discipline focused on the endgame of getting more consumers to buy your product more often so that your company makes more money." He sees too many marketers who don't understand this point, who are too concerned about projecting image when they should really be focused on producing sales. Zyman peppers the book with stories about various campaigns at Coke as well as assessments of companies that get it, such as Starbucks and Southwest Airlines, to companies that don't, for example, Nissan and Levi's. He believes that the old-style marketing of Madison Avenue is dead, that it no longer has the "ability to move the masses," that in today's "consumer democracy" there are simply too many choices. Instead, marketers will have to focus on sales, conversion rates, targeting customers, and creating value for shareholders. The End of Marketing As We Know It is not a primer on how to do better marketing; rather, it's a reordering of priorities so that good marketing will be done in the first place. Recommended. --Harry C. Edwards

About the Author:

Sergio Zyman was formerly the chief marketing officer at The Coca-Cola Company. As principal of Z, a new consulting company, he has worked with such companies as Microsoft, 7-Eleven, Miller Brewing Company, and Campbells. A highly sought-after speaker, he frequently travels the world to speak to large audiences and has been featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Fortune. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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