Mark Ritson: We should thank Byron Sharp, not attack him

Byron Sharp’s focus on and commitment to law-like rules leaves him open to challenge, but where would marketing be without them?

There’s nothing like starting the year with some heavyweight marketing fisticuffs. That was obviously what was going on in Marie Oldham’s head at the turn of the year as she penned her wonderfully hostile article for advertising trade magazine Campaign.

Oldham, the esteemed chief strategy officer at VCCP, was meant to be promoting Volume 26 of Advertising Works – the collected case studies of the successful IPA Effectiveness Awards for 2016. But from the very outset of her article Oldham got stuck into marketing professor Byron Sharp like there was no tomorrow.

“Challenge Byron Sharp and grow your brand” was her titular opening salvo. Most marketers at this point would look at that title and hide under the coffee table but Oldham was just getting started.

She went on to point out that many brands have broken Sharp’s seven rules for brand growth and cited Eurotunnel, Pepsi and The Economist to name but three aberrant cases. She was particularly bruising on Sharp’s most contentious claim, his rule number one, that brands should “continuously reach all buyers of the category” and eschew the standard segmentation, targeting and positioning route to marketing success. Oldham concluded that half of the 39 winning IPA case studies for 2016 exhibit clear targeting strategy and thereby negate many of Sharp’s claims.

Bron en volledig artikel: Marketingweek