Marketing during a Pandemic with Mark Ritson

Mark Ritson
The coronavirus crisis will test us all as marketers. Mark Ritson doesn't pretend to have the answers, but he has earned the right to have an opinion worth listening to after a storied career that has left him as one of the world's best known marketers. 

Links mentioned throughout the conversation:

Mark Ritson’s top five to follow:

– Dave Trott

– Rory Sutherland

– Michelle Wade

– Richard Shotton

– Elon Musk

Webinar notes

A Marketers view of the pandemic from the beginning

Let’s face it; the coronavirus crisis brought us down on our knees. Marketing in a crisis meant being asked to review an email marketing campaign 5 minutes before it was due to be sent.

Whether it’s the marketers or the Prime Minister, the fear rising from uncertainty tested us all.

Risk, confusion, uncertainty and varying projections of the future left many unsure what to do. Priorities shifted fast as marketers roles changed overnight. We had to decide what we really needed at that moment and immediately act on it.

To discuss the immediate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic further, we invited Mark Ritson, a world-class speaker and one of the best consultants in the marketing industry, to elaborate on his perspective regarding the outbreak.

Mark Ritson is a former Associate Professor at Melbourne Business School and has a decade of brilliant work as a columnist at Marketing Week under his belt. He now offers his own mini MBA programme to impart all of what he has learned through research to aspiring marketers of the future.

The purpose for our session with Mark was to discuss the monumental shift in our industries. What did marketing in a pandemic mean?

Brands in crisis; what was our main goal?

We quickly saw how a pandemic can leave the public lost in a sea of mass hysteria. For many brands, mimicking the same approach as one another to the current situation across the world was the only answer.

This quickly revealed how many companies seem to have lost the real objective of their marketing team. As Mark explained, even the communications team working for the British Prime Minister lost their purpose and resorted to pushing out content just for the sake of it.

Remember those daily Coronavirus briefings?

We have to realise our main goal for the present to be able to witness the future.

According to Mark, what brands lacked is clarity and a proper roadmap. He explained perfectly how various teams faced the Dunning-Kruger effect. Put simply, this is our tendency to overestimate our knowledge and abilities, backed up by a  failure to recognise our inadequacies.

Mark broke down how unnecessary some of the simple crisis advertising was, like putting posters around saying “save lives”, because the common man does not understand what that means. People needed to be told to stay home and that was about it. Remember, clear steps will get you results.

Moving on, we all know who the true heroes were. We do not need brands trying to penetrate the market by claiming to “save lives”. At times, our job as marketers in a crisis is to shift focus from building brand purpose to the task at hand; spreading awareness.

The question that arises now is, “how do we handle marketing in a pandemic or crisis?” Mark gives a simple answer to that, which is strong leadership backed up by a team of professionals.

The leaders of today need to have their goals set straight and make hardcore decisions while brands focus on strategies, not tactics.

Mark believes in the following steps to successful marketing communications:

  1. Managing uncertainty by nailing it down. He mentions the example of John Kennedy and his firm stance on what needs to be done. JFK told the public that they will reach the moon by the end of the decade, and he did so by focusing on the end result rather than a bunch of scattered scenarios. What we need right now is brands and their leaders to focus on their end result; bouncing back from the inevitable recession that the pandemic will bring.
  2. Make a call. Leaders have to decide what they are going to do and make a call. As per Mark’s comments, leaders need to assemble their team of marketers, align their pandemic communications and tell them exactly what they have to do. Clear-cut orders are the way to go.
  3. Speak to communication professionals. This is the perfect opportunity to utilize big agencies like Google and Facebook. Bring communication professionals into the board room and tell them exactly what the plan is based on consumer terms.

Surviving the Crisis from a Marketing Perspective

There are tons of comments floating around about the new normal. What we should be asking ourselves is this:

Is it really new or is the old normal around the corner?

We have studied recessions of the past. The downfall of our economies is bound to hit us hard sooner or later. But we also know that industries come bouncing back. We have witnessed that multiple times in the past.

Mark explains the reason for this is the shift in structural change of consumers and not the behavioral change. Consumers will snap back into existence as soon as the virus is tamed, even if that takes 4-5 years to get there. When marketing in a crisis it pays dividends to remember this.

According to Mark, the only way to survive a pandemic is to maintain or double down your investment. 

Most companies cannot afford doubling down, which is why retaining is the next best alternative. Jeff Bezos put it best when he said “what does not change is what’s worth investing in”.

The key result of this strategy is a huge gain in market share as other brands start to pull back. It is now time to take risks and try new business streams.

Marketers have to now convince management to:

  • Adapt their message instead of freezing budgets and dropping campaigns. Refer senior management to data from previous recessions as it always stays the same.
  • Maintain your advertising budget. Cut elsewhere if you need to, but success will only come if you retain your marketing and ad budgets.

A Critical Shift in Focus

Market tends to change but their focus does not. Marketing companies usually overlook their target, objective, and position.

Mark further elaborates on this by agreeing that even though marketing is short term, it is not our fear that leads us to make short term choices. More so, it is our lack of cooperation and good marketers who understand broader corporate function.

Brands have to now focus on market orientation and shift their focus to the perspective of the consumer.

The inability to do so has been caused by a lifetime of dedication to designing and promoting a product. Mark restates that only 8.25% of marketing is promotions.

To be able to see better results, greater profits, increased growth, and bigger success, brands have to now focus on the perspective of the consumer.

The target is not to surpass the “competitors,” which Mark describes instead as “alternatives”, but to realize through research what consumers really desire. Fill the gaps in your communication and marketing team through managerial level research.

The bottom line is to remember that history repeats itself. Patterns of the past will follow. Using the techniques mentioned by Mark above, brands can survive this crisis and the next. 

Marketing has the power to let brands face a pandemic and come out stronger than ever before.

Mark Ritson’s profile:

Mark is almost a man who needs no introduction, but for those not in the know… Mark has been a columnist at Marketing Week for over a decade, a regular and world-class speaker, a consultant for some of the world’s most interesting brands, and also a Marketing Professor gone rogue – having recently stepped down from his Associate Professor position at Melbourne Business School to focus on his Mini MBA programme.

On a personal level, Mark has had a big impact on how we have come to view the marketing world through his columns for Marketing Week. However, if we was to point to two specific pieces of work, then you should check out his case studies on 50 years of the Effies (our favourite was the Tide Superbowl ad analysis), or his talk ‘On the Contrary’ – delivered at the APG strategy conference.


We need to thank the sponsors too, all of whom have been unbelievable. They’ve really kept this show on the road, and while we’ve been so blessed to have received so many messages from the community, these folks all deserve a huge amount of credit. Thank you to Pitch, ContentCal, Fiverr, Redgate, Cambridge Marketing College, Leadoo, Brand, Further, Third Light, Bravo and Human.



Joe Glover 0:10
Hello everyone and welcome to the seventh Marketing Meetup webinar and the record breaking one at that we’ve had over 1600 signups for today, which is frickin wicked. Or as Mark would say fucking wicked all the way from Manchester all the way through to Nairobi, which is pretty awesome.

And the reason why and I don’t pretend at anything else is that we have the absolute pleasure of welcoming the legend that is Margaret’s and speak with us today. Marks almost a man that doesn’t need any introduction. But for the sake of prosperity, I’m going to do it anyway. Mark’s been a columnist marketing with over a decade regular and world class speaker, consultant for some of the world’s most interesting brands and also a marketing Professor gone completely rogue Having recently stepped down from the Associate Professor role at Melbourne business school to focus on his mini MBA programme. This is something I’m sure mark will mention later on. But let me just say that it’s the thing that is the one course I really aspire to do one day, and he’s got over 4000 people on the course presently, which is just ridiculous. But I just want to say, if you’re considering it, really do put your time and consideration behind this course. On a personal level, Mark’s had a huge impact on me as a marketer, both through his columns, but if I was to point to specific pieces of work, then you should check out his work on the 50 years of the FPS case studies. My favourite was the tide Super Bowl, that analysis and then his talk, on the contrary, delivered at the APC APG strategy conference in 2018 is actually my favourite marketing talk. time. So I know I know, it was a big deal. I freaking love that talk I’ve watched quite a few times. So I really, if people need something to check out afterwards, go and check out that talk. It’s amazing.

The reason this session is relevant today is that we’ve all obviously seen a monumental shift in the world in the past few months. And while much of the conversation has been based in supporting each other and helping each other grow, seem relatively little in the way of analysis or even presentation, how companies should be approaching the situation beyond the now and the high level comments of the new normal. I’ve no doubt that by the end of this, we’ll come out a little bit wiser on how to approach the C word. And Mark, I am talking about Coronavirus, not the LSC way. And I want to say a huge thanks to the sponsors very quickly because even though I’ve mentioned them in the email before This and I will do afterwards. They’re the reason why we’re able to carry on doing what we’re doing. And obviously, we’re what like seven, eight weeks into this right now. But right at the beginning base to bar side and said, we’re going to continue supporting you because not only do they believe in supporting the community and but you know that believe in everything we’re doing. So I just want to say thank you very much to pitch contentcal, red gate, Cambridge Marketing college, Leedo, Brand, Further, Third Light, bravo and human. Now there’s one ask which I’ll make, which is if you get anything from this session today, in the follow up email, there’s going to be a link to a key individual in each of those companies. Just please do take the time to say hey to those folks, and say thank you very much for supporting us because it really does make a big difference. And today, we’re gonna have a short session. cementation from Mark. But most importantly, we’re going to have the opportunity to take questions. So if you wiggle your mouse, you’d be able to see that this q&a function down beneath. If you start getting your questions in straight away, then since the presentation is finished, then we can start getting to questions and answers. So, all that said, that was a formal introduction. I’m the least interesting person on this call. So now, I want to hand over and just say welcome to Mr. Matt Whitson. Thank you very much for being here.

Mark Ritson 4:30
Hey, well, good guess Good morning to you Joe. It’s evening here so I’m not an alcoholic, while I might be an alcoholic, but it’s, it’s it’s five o’clock here, which is sort of legal drinking time down in Tasmania. So I’m down in AWS enjoying the the miserable winter weather but drinking and extremely good, I must say, West Coast IPA, which I strongly recommend if you come to tasbeeh which is which is really greasing the wheels at this point of the day.

Alright, so shall I shall I go through a few things? I’ll just talk about what what’s your preference? Joe?

Joe Glover 5:09
Yeah, absolutely. If you want to go through talking through your few bits and pieces, I can see it one question has already started to come through so people can start. Yeah.

Mark Ritson 5:20
Okay. Well, I tell you what we’ll do will I really am genuinely more more interested in questions then then that you get very bored with yourself doing these things. As I’m sure you know, Joe, you sort of get like, it takes a while but you do eventually get really sick of your own your own perspective. So I’ll talk very briefly about Coronavirus marketing and stuff. And then we’ll we’ll hopefully have tonnes of questions and I encourage everyone to ask anything at all I’m game if you are and we can have a really indiscreet conversation about anything, okay. And I mean, anything. I’ve checked with Joe and it’s like all all channels are open Let’s go. And I’ll probably talk about I’m gonna write my column on this week. That might be the most interesting thing because I’ve just finished it and it’ll come out probably late end of today UK time. So I think I am I’m appalled. I am British by the way. Some people don’t realise I’m married to an Australian and she forced me at gunpoint to live in Australia but I am a British citizen, not an Australian citizen. And I do spend quite a lot of time back home in Blighty. So, but anyway, I’m appalled at the state of Government Communications. And I’m making a point in my column this week that I’ve stayed a long way away from from the Coronavirus, you know, epidemiology discussion that a lot of people have been talking about so a lot of people in marketing are sharing their wisdom about Coronavirus and what’s going on. And I really think we’re completely out of our league II know the Dunning Kruger effect. Where you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about? makes you think you know, everything is massively in play on LinkedIn all the time. So I’ve steadfastly tried to avoid that. But this topics different, right? So the whole point right now is we are, it’s a matter of hundreds of lives, probably thousands of lives, that we communicate clearly over the next two or three months what people should and shouldn’t do. And it’s just let’s be honest, not happening. And I am non political. I come from a very working class background and a terrible comprehensive school. But I really have as little interest in labour, as I do in the Conservative Party, or indeed any other I’ve never voted in my life, I’m ashamed to say, but I just think they’re all tosses. So I have no political interest at all. I look, Boris is the prime minister. That’s awesome. I don’t care, you know, but the point is, and I don’t want him to fail. Let me make that clear. But the point is what I saw on Sunday That talk he gave that was fucking terrible, man terrible. And it’s terrible for a number of reasons. And first of all, it just, it just has no clarity. So he’s meant to say to people, this is what’s going to happen and this is what we want you to do. And what I was appalled by and I watched it again this morning to make sure it wasn’t just me. It’s full of qualification and either AWS, you know, he doesn’t really have any certainty in any of the things he says it wasn’t even a roadmap. It was the first draft of a roadmap, what the fuck is that? You know, and he’s got a COVID alert system, which is the combination of the our number and the number of people suffering from the Coronavirus. That doesn’t make sense because the Our number is the number somewhere between one and approximately two Normally, I mean, he can get up to seven or eight but only if the world’s gonna end the zombie apocalypse and the other numbers. Obviously hundreds of Thousand so adding those two numbers together makes no sense. And he doesn’t know what either number is. He said in the talk, you know, the our number right now varies between naught point five or naught point nine that’s that that number is is is hundreds of thousands of lives. So I just thought it was appalling. And then this government message I mean, I think the government’s done quite well in the early days, you know, stay home, but this new message that they’re now broadcasting about, what is it stay crafty, save light anyway, whatever it is, whatever it is, it’s like, what does it mean right? It’s stay alert. What for? Right? You can’t see it. The next one is do remember jokes like manage the virus, isn’t it? What is it? I don’t

Joe Glover 9:48
know. A second one.

Mark Ritson 9:49
Say alert.

Something managed manage the virus, how it’s a fucking virus on a football team. And then save lives. Well, yeah, okay. But how? And Nicola Sturgeon who’s, you know, I have an equally lack of lack of support for as well, but seems a relatively level headed politician said, you know, and I’m paraphrasing, there’s no fucking way we’re going to adopt that slogan, we’re going to stick with stay home, because at least people know what the fuck that means. So I was really appalled by it and why I’m proposing you my column, which no one will pay any attention to is, we have, unfortunately one of the highest levels of Corona virus infection in our country. But also, you know, what we’ve got, we’ve got the world’s best communications people. And surely, surely, the people that are doing this communications should be taken out to a car park and quietly executed. And we can bring in a team of proper marketing comms professionals who can do the planning, do the creative and do the media, because it is gonna matter. And the irony of all of this is you know that brand purpose Wenk where we’re trying to save the world. We try digestives and coffee and moisturiser it’s all just not you know, bravery. There’s that new award for bravery. You know me, who were the bravest market is fuck? You know, I’m a nurse that’s who’s the bravest nurse any fucking nurse, right? It’s not the director of marketing of fucking Sainsbury’s, you know, I mean, who they’re so brave Fuck, you know, and, but my point is, you know, at the end of the day, we really, really, really have to help out on this one thing we can do, which is comms, like, I’m volunteering like Dave trot and john Haggerty to form a new, like super team

to get in there and help because whoever’s doing it, and number 10. They’re a muppet. They’re a total mother. I mean, it’s a disgrace. And it’s not like no, it’s like a point of view either. Famously, many years ago, I got obsessed with the fact that when the London Olympics were going on in two 12 the mascot looked like a giant penis. Yeah. And I went on a bit of a tirade for many, many months about the fact that it looked like a penis. When it was a bit stupid and funny and a point of view. This is not funny. This is serious shit. If we don’t get the communications to the British public, right? Where we’re we’re not going to be able to to be to save the lives we can save now right and coming out of Coronavirus is much harder than then going into it. And you know, you know what’s going to happen next it depending on where you work, there are different instructions, we’re going to see Unfortunately, it will it will blossom in certain areas over the next two years. And I’ll have to lock down that particular area where I come from, which is the West Cumbria near the Lake District. It’s a particularly virulent area for whatever reason, so they may well have to lock that area down and have different rules for that area. So we need a way Telling people, you know what, what’s going on? So that’s what my calls about this week. And I just think, I mean, again, I don’t mind Boris that much. I think I like him more than the average. The average voter I find him quite interesting, really. But I just thought Sunday was appalling. And you know, and it comes back to my final point is it comes back this idea of leadership. I’m sick to my back teeth of leadership experts who are politically correct. banging on about emotional leadership is emotional intelligence, and sensitivity. Fuck any of those things. Leadership is making the right decision and getting every fucker to do what you want. And I’ll give you a good example. Right and I’m sorry, it’s very, very, what’s the right word? Not. I mean, it’s not under what the right word is. It’s just not gonna be popular with some people. I’ve done if you’re watching the last dance Joe at the moment on Netflix. Right. I hate I hate basketball. I lived in America for 10 years. I fucking hate basketball. I traded my tickets. We had season tickets at the university. I taught that for the NBA and I traded them for booze and bags, anything I never went. But I have to tell you the dance on Netflix right now is the greatest fucking documentary I’ve ever seen. Because Michael Jordan is astonishing. Not as an athlete. That’s a different thing. I knew that already. Not as a basketball player. He is hard the fuck core leadership and if you’ve got to see like that, the way he bullies and smacks about an infuses and inspires that team of relatively average men to win another basketball title and like he says, like he does and he sits in that chair. Now he’s you know, he’s 50 odd. And he doesn’t give a fuck He’s like, you know, the guy asks him well, you know, people complain about you And he said, You’ve never won anything. You don’t know what it’s like to win anything. I had to do that. That’s the cost of leadership. So leadership for me is making the fucking decision. And that look, I’m not a leader, first of all, Michael Jordan’s elite. I’ve never led anything. I’m a I’m a lone gunman and always have been. I do not play well with others. But I do. I’ve worked for some great leaders, and I’ve seen them lead in action. And what we’re missing right now and I don’t give up on Boris, I don’t really give up on him. He is our Prime Minister. But what we need right now is clarity. And what we need our decisions, and we are clearly not going to get them and normally it’s like oh shit, we got to crap government. It’s gonna cost us with many lives if we don’t fix it quick. So I mean, I’m writing it flippantly as the column as I always, I suppose do, but I genuinely feel like if you ask Dave Trott and Haggerty and the other people name in the column to come to 10 Downing Street and sort it the fuck out a that Would and be, we would save hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s that stuff. So I the whole slide deck prepared on the ship. Let’s just talk about that it’s far more worrying and important, I think. Anyway, Joe, that’s it. That’s my spiel over.

Joe Glover 16:15
Awesome. So there’s a question actually, that’s just rose to the top. And so there’s the 68 questions that have already come in. So there’s nine

Mark Ritson 16:23
hours, am I right?

Joe Glover 16:26
So folks, there’s, there’s like a thumbs up mechanism. So if you’re going through the questions, and you see something you like, give it a thumbs up, because then it will rise to the top. So the question that’s come up so far is from Ashley Sega, that says, say the UK government was a marketing department of big brand. How would you consult? What would improvements would you give to their strategy and tactics right now?

Mark Ritson 16:53
Yeah, it’s a good question. And really, I think it’s about I mean, there’s a couple of things right Wouldn’t be again back to my point, I wouldn’t be as bold. I think I have any knowledge of politics or crap virus. So I’d stick to what I and what everyone on this call knows about, which is how do we do marketing communications? I think what’s missing is a couple of things. Strategy is, is sacrifices, the cliche, but what you saw from Boris was hedging of lots of bets. Now I get the idea. There’s lots of uncertainty in front of him, and I feel his pain. But you’ve got to fucking manage that. And I think the first thing you would communicate to them is nailing the fuck down. You know, when john kennedy talked about going to the moon, there was lots of uncertainty in front of him. But what he said was, we’re going to go to the moon by the end of the decade, right? That’s what was missing from from, you know, Martin Luther King had a dream, he didn’t have a number of different scenarios that he considered. You’ve got to make a fucking call. And he’s what Boris is not doing is making a goal. So the first thing you’d communicate is You have to make a call now Boris, what are we going to do? And what are the what are the different steps? Right now remember, we have three steps to come out of Coronavirus and five alert levels and one measurement system with two measures. It’s it’s not clear to anyone. So I think making a choice and saying Ding, ding ding. That’s the first thing. The second thing is, I would really really encourage him to speak to communication professionals and it’s not me by the way, I leave a client when the when the agency boys and girls turn up. It’s the last thing I’m involved in. But I appreciate them we finished the strategy and then income the agency and they go and do their beautiful stuff. We need them now. We need them now. So my advice is look strategies. It’s not being emotive and looking at the camera with a big you know, with these big blonde down we are all Yes, it’s very tricky. That’s not what leadership is. Leadership is making a fucking hardcore And telling everyone and now we’re going to go and do it. And he’s lacking so far, they haven’t lost hope in it. And then yeah, the second thing is comms, we need comms, man. We need Google and Facebook and the best account planners in the country who are the best in the world to get to 10 Downing Street and go, right. Let’s work out what your strategy needs to be in consumer terms. We understand you want to, you know, flatten the curve, no, but let’s work it out in consumer terms and give it to us. We’ll sort it a good agency comes in and goes, Okay, okay, guys, we got it. Now, give it to us. We’ll sort it for you. And that that’s, that’s what that’s what’s missing right now. clarity on strategic brief, and decent professionals who know what they’re doing that that poster we’re all seeing. We’ve stay alert and, you know, manage the virus and save lives. That looks like it’s been done by a bunch of Bloody idiots from a comprehensive school in the remedial class. And I know, I used to be in that class. And it looks like you know, it’s an art project from year 12. The ones that have disciplinary problems, do you know I mean, what is going on? So that’s that would be my consulting advice.

Joe Glover 20:06
Okay, cool. And actually, this next question follows on quite nicely because the flipside is, what brands have you seen stand out and have managed the Cova crisis best from a marketing perspective?

Mark Ritson 20:20
Yeah, I think there’s there’s a few that are doing well. The one I would like to focus on is PNG. So if you know about brand management, you have a special soft spot for PNG, because Neil McElroy who invented brand management in 1931, was a p&g guy, you know, so they literally invented brand management, you know, and they are still the best of us when they do their job. Well, Gillette, in recent years is you know, a sad old story, but generally they’re just the best and they’re still the best. And so I love very much the idea that as we face this Coronavirus, recession PNG just went right. We don’t know much about Coronavirus. You know a shitload about recessions. We know how this works. We’re going to double down our investment, maintain investment in the key categories. And we’ll grow market share now as everyone else pulls back, and we’ll keep it going into the next phase. And that’s a PNG playbook that’s literally 100 years old. And I love the fact they’re still doing it. And their CFO was talking last week going, this isn’t the time to pull back. Quite the opposite. It’s a time to double down. So I love the idea that there are some people still looking at good data and making the decisions. And I love the fact that it’s PNG who are the oldest and the best of it. So yeah, I’d probably say PNG is my fav. There’s a guy I wrote an article about last week. Jim, who runs a firm called triple nine farms in New Zealand and it’s an old it’s a cooperative owned by New Zealand farmers. And they have the proper old Aberdeen Angus stock They’d been working for about three years to produce this restaurant distribution business to supply incredibly incredible quality, environmentally raised animal standards off the charts beef. And they were planning to open it on April the first. And of course, you know, every restaurant shut down and New Zealand was in a very, very strong lockdown. And so Jim was just fucked. And so he’s pivoted the business to meat boxes to consumers. So he’s gone from B to B to B to C’s words that have the distribution, change pricing change product is using social media for communications, and the guy’s going to survive probably, and he’s coming out of it. And what’s interesting about it is if he I mean, there’s a lot of money involved if he comes out of it alive. He comes out with some new business streams that he wasn’t didn’t have when he went in. You know, because if you if you take an animal like a like an Aberdeen Angus cow and you cut it down Only about 20% of his prime cuts. So he’s got to find out what to do with the 80%. Now, so he’s doing process meals and everything else. And it’s opened some doorways that he wasn’t aware of. So there is that idea that the pressure on the coal creates the diamond. It’ll kill nine out of 10 businesses, but one out of 10 will get stronger,

Joe Glover 23:20
for sure. So actually, on your point, and PNG doubling down this question from James, who says, companies are dropping their pre planned campaigns and freezing budgets due to COVID instead of adapting their messages, like the farmer, so how can marketers convince management that marketing is now more important than ever?

Mark Ritson 23:44
There’s a cut you’ve got to look to history. So every manager who’s under 40 is is going to be going through this for the first time I’m 50. Right? So I I went through the GFC packets 1213 years ago now 12 years ago. I was ready. I wasn’t senior, but I was relatively senior. So I saw the GFC hit. And it was really interesting because at the time, it was really the rise of China. And the companies I was I was working with, they all really these Chinese men and women came along, and they were just making so much money for the companies I work with, globally. And then when the GFC hit, they, they just almost without exception, lost their shit and were useless, like, totally fucking useless. There was a guy called Magic Mike, who worked for one of the big cosmetics companies I worked for who was literally regarded as a genius. And the minute the recession, he was just like, it was like having a Bluemont he had no idea what to do. And so the answer with this approaching recession, is to show senior management previous data from previous recessions. And it’s always the same and I mean it even Byron sharp would fucking go along with it, right? Not only the We’ve got 100 data points all doing showing the same thing. There aren’t any a Barrett or what we call a bearing cases that contradict it. So what happens in a recession is, if you look, increasing your budget is a PNG play, no one else is going to do that. Let’s be realistic. Maintaining your ad campaign and your advertising spend, as everybody else pulls back gives you a bigger relative Share of Voice, you get a market share from that, that you retain at the end of the recession whenever it all starts spending the same as you that’s it in a nutshell. How do we know this? We know this because everyone’s studied it and looked at coming in and coming out. So if you want to have a look at some bullets to shoot at your senior management, knitting Noria, there’s a name for you is the Dean of Harvard Business School. And he had he has a paper in HBr, which is free which is called something American like spanking or bouncing out of a recession. If you look at knitting Norio in spanking, it’ll probably be alright, you’ll get something anyways written a great HBase bouncing or blasting out of recession. He studied about 4000 firms and he found that about 9% of them come out stronger than the ones that went in and one of their hallmarks is they cut elsewhere to maintain marketing so I’d like that and then I did a talk about a month ago online when it all started called marketing in the age of the Coronavirus. I list a whole bunch of studies that you can look up that show this same effect I went into great detail and then I can go into it now Joe if you want we should probably stay on questions right but let me do it in three seconds you’re doing three seconds

Joe Glover 26:45
that sounds good.

Mark Ritson 26:46
All right. Let’s do a three second review and if you if you screenshot this data, dudes and do this is you’ll get so is the proof really. So here’s why. unveiling Harvard Business Review. And it’s from 1920. So you might not want to use it but basically, there was a massive recession between 1920 and about 19 2021. Really, the firms that increased advertising came bursting out the chops now I don’t propose you tell your boss about data from 1923 he’s gonna or she’s gonna throw shit at you. So let’s let’s jump forward. The Carter recession of 7475 Meldrum and few Smith available free if you google the research with PDF. There was a recession is 7475 so they looked at those that didn’t cut their budgets versus those that cut both years or one of the two years. Look at the fucking different 77 which is a boom year. They’re doing you know, index wise about 25 30% more, even though these guys are now spending more. The great Stephen King and Alex Beale this day is also available. Look at the effects Companies that maintained or increased spending versus those that cut spending during the 19 1991 recession. Again, these guys in black are spending as much once we come out of the recession. It’s just they’re not doing it jewellery. And then Peter field guard Peter field, Peter fields data for the LinkedIn b2b Institute looking at the GFC 10 years ago, companies that either maintained or reduced their ESOP their excess share voice, they do grow a bit because a lot of people go out of business. up to 8%, you get about a 1.4%. But the goal here is having an Accenture voice of more than eight points, gives you nearly 5% market share gain for each year this session last so that you know my suggestion is always go with go with history. We don’t know much about COVID and what it’s like no one can guess what’s going to happen. You know, fuck loads about recessions? It’s gonna be the same recession. My bet is it’s a big fucker. Yeah, it’s a big fucker that’s coming down the pipe. We’ll do one anyway. So I don’t think we’re bouncing out of this. And although the the look, I shouldn’t say anymore, I’m not an economist, and I have no fucking clue what I’m talking about. I smell a deep recession, but my dad who’s a moron might have a better idea than me.

Joe Glover 29:25
So, so there’s a question here from Nicolette, which kind of relates this in a slightly different slant to it, though. So you gave a great presentation for a marketing week, the other day. And I think at the end of it, you kind of sort of said that people would likely return back to where they were before in the in the long term. So do you still hold that view? You know, we’re what, six seven weeks on from from?

Mark Ritson 29:54
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. It’s very easy to lose your shit in a crisis again, back to myself. Jordan, here’s what’s gonna happen, Joe. And again, I have no data, but neither do any of the fuckwits who are writing that media marketing, shopping brands life work is going to change forever. They’re fucking wrong. I’m fucking right. You wait, yeah. What’s gonna happen is the consumer is going to snap back straightaway to previous existence, they’re going to go to the pub, they’re going to go to the supermarket, not gonna buy their groceries online. Now, a couple of caveats. If If structurally, we can’t do what we used to do, like fly to New York. Clearly that’s going to change but that’s a structural change, not a consumer change. And equally clearly, if we’re already on a change, for example, the shift to subscription s for TV, we’re going to revert back to that curve. It’s not that we’re going to go back to how it was nine months ago. But with those caveats, you wait and watch we know about consumers again, if you study history, they go back to normal, you know, I talked about Bill burnback, the great admin talked about the unchanging man. You know, even back in the 50s and 60s, they’re all talking about how man was changing in the 60s and all that. consumers don’t change that quickly. Jeff ml, not Jeff ml, or Jeff Bezos from Amazon says, Look, everyone keeps asking me about what’s changing. And that’s not the interesting question. The interesting question is What doesn’t change because you can build a business around it. And so I think, yeah, I fully anticipate it’s going to be a long period of change, because Coronavirus isn’t gonna go away overnight. But we will snap back. Carnival Cruise Lines open up their cruise business this morning. And their order taking was 600% up. Consumers are fucking morons. They’re not fucking ready to go, who have changed everything right. And unfortunately, my message is not interesting. Every asset in marketing is right in Whew, this is going to change that’s going to change, everything’s going to change. It’s a very boring message to say, no, it’s fucking not, it’s going to be the same as it was before. We’re not going to get more environmentally aware for fuck sake, we’re not going to treat animals better. We’re not going to be nicer to each other. It’s all going to disappear. Like us like a fucking Monday morning after a big weekend on the piss. We go back to normal. And that may not be good news. But it’s the reality of consumers. They’re mentally and physically lazy. And habit and heuristic kicks in. And everyone right now is in a different space. But when the space returns to normal, mark my words and it might be two years to be fair. Wait and see and watch. Everyone’s back at the bookies. Everyone’s down the pub on a Friday. Everyone’s doing inappropriate things. Everyone’s washing their hands for two seconds at best. Mark my words we snapped back eventually.

Joe Glover 32:57
So interested is good to hear that perspective.

Mark Ritson 33:00
So switching might not be right my job might be fucking wrong. pretty fucking pretty fucking Sure. There was a, there was a

Joe Glover 33:08
queue back to my village about three miles long to the local tip of local dump. You go

Mark Ritson 33:16
and Mack is in New Zealand they opened up MCAS for the first time in like six weeks, fucking people were like sort of shooting each other they get a Big Mac, you know, I mean, it’s just you wait and see wait and see. Hundred percent. So switching gears a bit.

Joe Glover 33:32
There’s quite a few questions coming in on paying for redundancy and marketing books and that sort of stuff. So we start with a redundancy stuff. So there’s a lot of people furloughed or losing their jobs right now. How would you or let’s, let’s switch the question a bit. How would you personally if you’re in that situation, be spending your time right now to sort of prepare for the next sort of five years, I guess? 510 years.

Mark Ritson 33:59
Yeah. I mean, if you allow me to speculate, I do think it’s a big one at the back end of this and that’s more. I mean, I don’t want to downplay Coronavirus because it’s it’s killed so many people and it’s so awful. But I think the recession the economic impact is just as severe and maybe more enduring. So I think in marketing, it comes down to a couple of things. I really think you have to have a hard consideration now about career paths about businesses that are in a better post Coronavirus situation, and ones that are not, you know, mean, and that should be a variable in your career search. Next thing I’d say is I mean, I, you know, I’ve been a professor and a consultant that doesn’t make me an expert in the job market. But I’ve I’ve taught about, we’re getting close to 50,000 people now. And a lot of them I’ve walked through career stuff and then watched and seen what happened. And so the couple of advice pieces I give to marketers looking for job changes. Number one It’s a purchase funnel. And I get a lot of a lot of marketers will say to me, Look, I’m really interested in working for x company, or, you know, I really want to work in that company, what is your advice and my advice is fucking apply. Yeah, if you actually run the numbers, even in a non recession purchase funnel, you need 50 to 100 applications to get two job offers one of which you want. So the first thing you do is, you know, when I’m not making light of it, I feel for the people in this situation, your full time job, if you’re made unemployment on furlough is you need to get between five and 10 job applications off a day for the jobs that you want. And my other point is, you never know you never know who you want to work for looking at the job ad, right. Especially in marketing where brand manager can mean one shot of the CMO or an events manager that gets free booze you can’t tell and how the companies look from a consumer point of view bears no resemblance to our they are from America. point of view. I always remember I applied to Boston. I mean, again, it’s not the same for other people. But I applied to Boston University when I finished my PhD to become a, an assistant professor at BU, and I really fancied it, you know, like Boston. And I got dinged, and it’s a pretty fucking average school. But Harvard made me an offer, you know, I mean, I remember thinking at the time, that makes no fucking sense. It does make sense because there’s no linearity and just apply, right? And the number of marketers sent me Oh, I’d love to work for Apple. But I wonder where I’m like, apply, or just to fucking apply, apply, you know, to me, and then the next thing, forget about the applicants don’t sit there going. I wonder if they’ve read it. I haven’t heard back from them yet. Why haven’t I heard back, apply, apply, apply. It’s a purchase funnel. And when you do your interview, it’s you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you when you get to a senior level. You know, it’s a two way thing. Do that early in your career, you know, an interview and then and the final point out of recommendation for careers is You can always jump sideways. A lot of a lot of the marketers I to talk to want to be brand managers and they’re working in comms or they’re working in general marketing or even general management. The best way to you need two years to tick a box on all their HR morons forms. So the best way to do is to move sideways probably for less money. Get a brand manager role within the company you’re working at probably working for people that you you know, you don’t like, but get the two years in, you don’t leave until two years are up or you look at your resume looks like shit. You tick the box. If you’re a brand manager for two years, you can go off and do many other things. And this might be the time to put your head down. Maybe not make any more bucks but but take the box of the two years so that when the economy picks up, you’re an experienced brand manager.

Joe Glover 37:52
It’s almost the same theory as what you’re proposing for marketing departments in general, really, you know, sort of that doubling down on the brand new And sort of doing Yeah, right. Yeah. And how about resources and courses? So Jake, specifically here is asked about business or marketing related books, but I’d open that out to courses and resources

Mark Ritson 38:14
too. Yeah, look, I’m hate to be such a book Nazi. But I really don’t think books are the future. And the reason I say that is I grew up in marketing in the 80s. And we did have a couple of big seminal books, you know, ARCA was right in brand management and Kotler was writing, Marketing Management. And then Keller came along, I look at these books now, and they’re just fucking terrible, and they’re terrible, because they’ve just been laser Li added to, you know, mean, like, like, you know, like a fucking trifle, where we just shove more and more shit in to try and make it taste better. It’s just not it’s they’re terrible books. I don’t think there’s any books that are going to bring you on. And I’d say to you that my three recommendations I’d give you I really think LinkedIn is the shits, right? Because I use LinkedIn because I had so many students and it was just a good way of managing them and they needed stuff in the future and staying in touch. Then I discovered that it was a really good way to get my stuff out there. You know, when you when I was an early academic, if any manager read anything I wrote, I was like, you know, aroused. Now, I get fucking a million views on a post. You know, it’s like, you know, awesome. Yeah, but the best thing about LinkedIn of all is, if you choose your contacts and who you follow surreptitiously, what you get is really good feet. Now I’m saying like, if you get you know, idiots for anyone who follows Gary Gary Vee, or post a video of someone giving an inspirational talk, or puppies and logic, I instantly fucking kill him, right? I just take him out my feed, and I edit it because it’s worth it. Because then what you get are quality marketers posting quality stuff that they’ve seen. And that’s my favourite place. Yeah. I would encourage everyone to come and do mini MBA, not just because it’s you know, fucking making me Brazilians. And that’s obviously important. But the main reason to do mini MBA is it’s better than anything else. Our Net Promoter Score is plus 75. And we worship our marketers that come on the programme. So you know, I put I put the marketing course in the brand course against any of the top 10 business schools, you take my bread mini MBA in brand management is going to cost you 1200 quid, it’s a lot of money. And it’s 12 weeks of your time, part time. It’s gonna annihilate Harvard’s brand management course, it’s gonna annihilate London Business Schools brand management course, in terms of quality applicability. And I know that because I know who teaches those courses and they’re fine academics. They’re just not as good as me and they don’t know as much so you know, and it’s going to cost you five grand as part of 100 grand degree. So I would welcome you on our programme. September is the next one. What else would I suggest? Um I think LinkedIn for me and culturing a good LinkedIn feed. It sounds obvious, but I think people treat LinkedIn like it’s a connection factory. I find it much more interesting as a source of real insight from people who I really respect, you know,

Joe Glover 41:18
for sure, but I think, you know, LinkedIn time to shine really is now it has been for the past couple of years I’ve been quite surprised actually how they haven’t seemed to do the same as what Facebook did, you know, kill, reach and get away and stuff, I guess the model.

Mark Ritson 41:36
There’s a reason for a job work with that team in New York. I really like them. They’re almost too nice. So there’s two things about the LinkedIn team. They’re really not fucking killers, which I kind of it frustrates me but I love about them then jet. Most of the people I’ve met are just genuinely interested in the platform, not in making money. Right.

And second, they’re making so much money anyway. They don’t have to work Yeah,

Joe Glover 42:01
nice. That’s really interesting. And right guys, there’s 90, there’s 116 open questions. So like, please thumbs up, because we want to get the best ones to the top. So we’re just going to keep on working through, but so there’s actually on the idea of the course here. The top question right now is what’s the difference between the mini MBA and the CRM course. So

Mark Ritson 42:27
we get a lot of, we get a lot of people from ci m, up to level six during the course. And we ask them, which is better, and it’s not the aim. We’re partners with them. And they’re a great organisation. I think what they do is fantastic. The brand course is certified. We’ve ci M. But yeah, I mean, you’d have to it’s a conversation with the CI m, I’m sure they’ve got really good data as well on how much I mean, we, again, I don’t want to turn this into a sales mission. Joe, we should Well, things but people that do my course will tell you it changes their lives and it gives them confidence 95% of the people that do the mini MBA say it makes them a better marketer straight away. I mean, you know, I’m sure the same have good data too, I just don’t think it’s as good as that. We’d stand it up against nevermind, the CIA, and we standing up against Harvard. So it’s a great course because of what it does for our students, our marketers. And I think there’s a good fit with ci m, but I think from what anyway, from what our students have said, they’ve done both were more applied and we’re more it’s more conveniently delivered.

Joe Glover 43:35
Okay. So ci m squared. Good See, and that that certainly wasn’t positioned in a way which was supposed to come down with ci M or anything like

Mark Ritson 43:45
the same a very important they do a great job and we are, again, we’ve our brand courses affiliated with them, but you know, what can I tell you

Joe Glover 43:55
that good? Sweet, so I reckon we’ve got like 15 minutes or so. So We make these rapid fire questions and we literally work from the top. So we’ve got, give it a thumbs up and get your questions to the top if you want them answered. So, Ashley has asked, Do you think fear is motivating a lot of short term choices? Or do you think Modern Marketing is being exposed as to why it’s become more of the communications departments? That’s all tactics and strategy?

Mark Ritson 44:24
Yeah, it’s the latter. I think we’re always short term even when times were good. So it’s not fear. It’s a nice idea. Marketing is short term by definition, because it’s it’s stupidly short term. So unfortunately, I just think it’s, you know, it takes two years generally speaking, to get your full effects from the long of it from brand building. So pulling your advertising because there isn’t any short term, you know, boost at the moment. Does that make sense in that light, you might want to reduce it but yeah, it’s we were short term when times were good. So the short term ism is definitely the issue and Let’s be clear, Joe. The reason why you want to spend 50 or 60% of your money on long term brand building, is because it makes you more money in the long and the short. It’s just the people aren’t good enough to realise it. ROI is the stupidest fucking variable in the history of marketing, because ROI teaches you to go short rather than see the value of long and short, the oldest story in the world, but one that we are not succeeding to communicate.

Joe Glover 45:27
No. And that communication piece, it seems like that’s something that we all struggle on. I mean, marketers are terrible at marketing marketing. So yeah, have you? What’s the best example? You’ve seen a folk sort of getting around that? Is it just a trust thing or an understanding?

Mark Ritson 45:44
I think you need to you need two things. You first of all need money. I mean, let’s not blame the CFOs and the C suite. There’s a lot that goes on in marketing. It’s because market is a shit. Let’s be very clear. I haven’t met many, I don’t know a lot of CFOs but I haven’t met many bad ones on my travels. It’s just that they’ve had a whole bunch of marketing assets to deal with this nonsense about let’s get marketers into the boardroom. Why? When we get in there, they just make a mess on the fucking carpet. You know, everyone else goes, who’s that but Dumbo over there? They’re not capable. They don’t understand strategy. They’ve done the stand gross profit. They’re they’re a disgrace, you know, why are we getting rid of the CMO position? It’s not some philosophical debate, it’s because when we give the board a CMO, they’re a fucking asshat. That’s why no one wants to say it, but it’s true. They’re not as good. So we need two things. We need good marketers who understand the broader corporate function. And second, I think we need cooperation between the silos. If you look at what’s a good example, one of the few cases I’ve done and you can look it up, they’re all free online. One of the few cases I did was looking at little the German supermarket, over investing in advertising in order to grow their share and it’s a great example of so And it’s if you search for Lidl and Ritson an ESOP, you can get it on YouTube. And that came about because the CFO and the CMO sat down and went, right. What are we gonna do? How do we do this? You know, how do we work? And the old joke as if we work for the same company, and they went through Sov, and they worked it out, and you know what? It’s worked. So, yeah, cooperation and marketers who know a bit more about first about marketing and then about the firm.

Joe Glover 47:29
That’s okay. So Tom Hemmings, your top five marketers to follow on LinkedIn.

Mark Ritson 47:37
Ah, hoo, who would I follow? That’s really good. Oh, you got me on the spot. Now, I’ve got to think rather than referred to it. I would tell you that Dave Trott remains a great source of inspiration. I would tell you that I’ll have to look it up. Hang on, hang on. My brain is not good at that.

Joe Glover 48:00
Well, should we go to the next one and give you time to

Mark Ritson 48:02
consider that while I put my leg down because the whole point about LinkedIn is I can read something interesting. And then go, Oh, that was interesting.

Joe Glover 48:11
To me. Absolutely.

Mark Ritson 48:13
So yeah, keep going. And I’ll tell you a few more names in a minute.

Joe Glover 48:17
Okay, so

Mark Ritson 48:20
what about Richard sharp? Yeah. Richard shatan I always like a bit of a bit of crap from Richard shatan. And, obviously Rob Rory Sutherland. And I like Michelle Wade, she’s very good. And I need one more. What’s one more outlier that I really like? Are I follow Elon Musk, I got a I always like musk. So

Joe Glover 48:41
he’s a he’s a legend in Las Vegas. And so a question from Tom. You spend a lot of time talking about how marketing has lost the plot these days in only manages comps, how can marketing teams and different companies regain their influence in price products in place.

Mark Ritson 49:02
It’s a good question. And I think getting a decent training so you understand those leavers. I think swimming upstream so you manage strategy first. And then strategy naturally behoves the control of the four leavers. And often I think it’s finding a finding a CMO that understands marketing to work underneath. So you know that if you’ve got a CMO that came from comms, they tend to be comms focused. If you get a CMO that is a proper proper, you know, cmo and gets it, they’ll fight for you at a much higher level to enable you to do that. You don’t I mean, to be able to be the, the the all rounder that I think most people want, want to be as a marketer. You know, I mean, if you take Pete mark is a good example. He’s the chief marketing officer tsp. Pete Marquis knows about You know, all of the different. He’s got got a follow on LinkedIn, all of the different challenges and he’s a proper marketer, working for him. He’s going to give you all the joysticks. I mean, so look for the leaders you serve, I think as well.

Joe Glover 50:13
So question from Renee, what should companies in marketing people be talking about right now? And I guess that’s quite a broad question. So

Mark Ritson 50:23
yeah, but look at the same the same as ever. Look, the market changes, but the focus doesn’t, what’s our position? What, who’s our target? What’s our position? What’s our objectives? And and that’s the conversation. You know, that’s what we come back to at the end of the day to strategy. So the market changes, but our strategy should still be our focus.

Joe Glover 50:45
Okay. Dave, and I think this is probably the same answer, actually. So I’ve started so I’ll finish the mastermind. What is the most overlooked thing you’ve seen when companies try to quote unquote market their own business. What are people missing? Where are they being blind?

Mark Ritson 51:05
It’s market orientation. So I work once a year, I do a big marketing course for S for Smee. marketers who tend to be sub 5 million bucks. And what they all struggle with is they don’t have market orientation because they’ve they’ve spent their lives designing and building a product. And being able to swivel and see it from the point of view of the customer isn’t possible for them. And the most important lesson in mini MBA in marketing or any other programme is market orientation. You can’t guess what the customer wants. You have to realise that by producing it, you’ve no idea what it’s like to consume it, and therefore you have to do research. But without market orientation without seeing it from the customer’s point of view. You always go wrong. I mean, for example, the word competitor makes no sense, right? If you’re market oriented, there aren’t any competitors. Just alternatives. And the competitor that you look at isn’t is always the one that looks like you. When you swivel you realise Oh, fuck the the real alternative here is a completely different offer in a different category. You see, I mean, it’s a real struggle for people who build their businesses to see that, because they’re so into the nuts of the product. They can’t step out and do that swivel. And that that, I think is the hardest thing.

Joe Glover 52:25
Yeah. And that was that was actually one of the biggest takeaways I got from the on the country talk. So when you get to orientation, strategy and tactics, actually figured it out. So the promotion piece in marketing is actually only 8.25% of marketing. So

Mark Ritson 52:44
I rounded up, I round it down to eight, but you’re absolutely right, Joe. It’s only it’s 8.25%. That’s how much of the time you should spend on marketing comms. That’s it.

Joe Glover 52:54
So on that on that piece, actually, the market orientation piece because I think it is Something that we don’t spend a lot of time on. And what’s your approach, you know, a very high level to beginning the process of market orientation? And do you have any opinions and stuff? Like, I don’t focus groups and stuff like that, because it feels like

Mark Ritson 53:17
it’s different. So I see the researchers face to right. So market orientation is really more of a vacuum in your head as a marketer, you don’t know what the right price is, you can’t judge products. And in the company, it’s we’ve studied market orientation for 40 years. We know how to measure it, we know we can correlate more amounts of market orientation with more profit with more growth, better product success. So it’s a really, it’s a really well studied thing. But at a managerial level, market orientation is knowing that you don’t know anything. That’s the discipline. So if I show you an ad or a price, market orientation, which you do see from good marketers well trained marketers is I don’t know we asked him before we make the thing, right. How’s this talk going? I’m fucking now I’m helping deliver it with you. The punter will decide and if you know that if you know that it’s not what you think it’s what the consumer thinks, you open a vacuum and then you fill that vacuum with research. Now when it comes to research, I’m open. I like a mix of qual and quant because they do different things, epistemologically. And I like it to be done once a year properly to drive a marketing plan. But my point is always without market orientation. The research doesn’t do its job because either you don’t do it or you don’t listen to it. So of all the traits of a good marketer, training them in market orientation at the starting point is probably the most important.

Joe Glover 54:49
Sure. And I think that’s probably we did a bit of primary research with the marketing meet up and we found that when in the in the agency Sort of client relationship. I think that most agencies value more than anything is implementation. So I think there’s almost like an education piece that this stuff like the orientation, the strategy is absolutely vital if you’re actually going to get these tactics, right. So I just find it really interesting, but it’s a bit of a missus.

Mark Ritson 55:20
No, no, you’re absolutely right. I mean, I’ve taught with, you know, all really good professors who taught really well and ones that were abysmal. And the difference is not research because everybody in business school gets the same amount of feedback, telling them how shit or good they are. The difference is whether professors give a fuck about the customer and what they think. And the answer is, you know, some do and some don’t. And the ones that do get better and the ones that don’t stay shit, you know, and they that’s it there is a key point.

Joe Glover 55:52
Right, so we’ve got three minutes so two questions I can say One, the top one is from Maddie says should clients be spending on marketing? Which I think we said yes. What advice would you give to agencies who are experiencing pausing all advertising during COVID-19? How would you move from an agency’s point of view to navigate a full blown marketing freeze?

Mark Ritson 56:19
I think you have to argue respectfully with the client that keeping the brand light on is smarter than turning it off and try to turn it back on later. The clients I work with at the moment, even some that are in freeze mode, my argument is, let’s say I’ve got a client that intends to spend $10 million on advertising this year, but only when the market opens up again. My argument to them is, it’s better to spend 2 million of it now, keeping the brands lit up, particularly when everyone else has gone quiet and will get good value for money and then having a bit later than pushing all 10 off to a later point. And I think An argument that again, if you look at the research we talked about earlier, you can make a strong argument for. So I think it’s about keeping the brand light on the long term value of marketing. And arguing with them that actually there there, there’s very good research on the fact that existing campaigns are working just as well now as they were pre COVID. Just keep your keep your keep your comms out there maintain salience, even if it’s with a lesser budget. And how would you do that with a client? Show them the historical data we talked about earlier? It’s incredibly persuasive. There’s

Joe Glover 57:36
there’s a nice question here from Alex, which I think we’ll end on, which is, he’s saying that is starting to feel like there’s a quote unquote, new normal emerging, but actually just a normal coming back. How can marketing help stop the hysteria? And I guess that’s a question that relates to Not only meeting the needs of the customer but also taking a sort of a leadership position. Without Yeah,

Mark Ritson 58:08
it’s a really good question. It’s a really hard one. Because normally we do research to stay realistic. But at the moment research is consumers are scared and confused. And what we’re getting back from research is not actually indicative of the future. Edelman’s did this ridiculously stupid question, which Ernst and Young almost replicated last week, which is, you know, along the lines of, do you think the way brands are behaving now will influence the way you buy from them in the future? And then was like, yeah, definitely, you know, and it’s just a fucking bullshit question. So, I think it’s really tricky. And the I mean, what I’ve been doing with clients wrong or right is taking them back to January or February research and going, at some point, we will get back to this, because I don’t believe that what we’re seeing right now in consumer responses is an accurate predictor of what was happened down the track? The recession? I mean, look, we know recession is coming. So private label will go up and budgets will go down. But I think, you know, it’s very tricky because if we use research right now from the market, it does look like the world is is turning to piss, you know. So it’s a it’s a tricky time for that reason is unprecedented. I think we just have to be we have to use history as a precedent, right? I use the mad cow disease. I use September the 11th. In America. during those periods, there wasn’t there was not as long a period but a significant period where everyone thought the world was going to totally fucking change. And then we went back to cheeseburgers and beer. I totally believe that will happen again, I take the point that this crisis is longer.

Joe Glover 59:51
Sweet, fabulous, so

Unknown Speaker 59:53
that there’s

Joe Glover 59:54
137 questions still open. What I’m going to do is make a note of them. I will pass them on. But you know, Moxon has an insane favour here by spending an hour with us. So just thank you very much for spending I really appreciate it. Thank you everyone for attending. Just a note, once again to sort of say please do take the time to thank the sponsors. That’s the kind of thing that keeps the lights on.

Mark Ritson 1:00:24
Those are markers to my dogs.

Joe Glover 1:00:27
I’ve got my dog presently sat by my feet yours

Mark Ritson 1:00:31
put yours in jog and put yours in it’s dog lovers club. Make sure you’ve got a posh dog though yours Yours looks like it’s quite expensive.

Joe Glover 1:00:39
Yeah, I’ve got a miss Maya Oh, wait, this is zoom. changing my

Mark Ritson 1:00:45
minor. Mine above rescue dogs from Tesla. Oh, there’s yours. That’s great. I’ve got about yours. Yeah, yours looks like it’s Yeah, that looks like a posh dog. Oh, yeah. That’s That’s awesome.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:57
So yeah, yeah.

Mark Ritson 1:01:00
Asia Asia my big white Dingo lab cross feed, she’d love him for breakfast

Joe Glover 1:01:08
is a village but yeah, thank you everyone and thank you Mark, appreciate it. And on that note from from me and for marriage, take care of yourself everyone.

Mark Ritson 1:01:21
Stay safe everyone and stay sexy

Joe Glover 1:01:24
person. Just take care