Is ‘Scotty from Marketing’ threatening the future of marketing?

I am very concerned dear readers. But first, for international readers of this missive, I need to give you some background.

An online newspaper – The Betoota Advocate – is one of the most refreshing and entertaining publications about daily life in Australia. You’ll hear Aussies say “How good is the Betoota Advocate?” though not, I suspect, will you hear it said by our Prime Minister.

You see, the paper has nicknamed him Scotty from Marketing – because in the PM’s earlier career, he worked in government departments that were responsible for Tourism marketing, though he never held a marketing role.

Scotty from Marketing is now a brand in itself…

It is an understatement to say the PM has not covered himself in leadership glory during the recent devastating bush fires in Australia. Consequently he is an easy target and ‘The Toot’ has done a fabulous job of branding him as Scotty from Marketing. The nickname has quickly entered the Aussie vernacular and is now used disparagingly by the PM’s political enemies and the Twitter Trolls who hate everything ‘conservative’. Consequently the hashtag #ScottyFromMarketing trends regularly whenever social media heats up.

Twitter – the home of the keyboard trolls…

But my concern is not political – it’s more important than politics. My concern is for the future of our industry.

The marketing/advertising industry is already one of the least trusted industries on the totem pole of consumer trust.

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The best selling marketing text of the past 24 months is BADMEN by Bob Hoffman, who is also one of the most in-demand marketing speakers at industry events. The book slams the disgraceful behaviour of the major digital marketing platforms such as Google, Facecrook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as the media agencies who book online advertising via programmatic platforms. It holds a mirror to the digital marketing industry and reflects a face of horrors.

Twitter is full of self-loathing for the industry, by those fed up with the cyber hustlers. Everywhere you look in the (digital) marketing landscape it’s charlatan-central. The industry is doing nothing to help improve consumer trust, let alone encourage people to start a marketing career.

Which leads me to my main concern – the decisions that final-year high school students are making about their future. If they are considering doing a marketing degree and Scotty from Marketing is perceived as the highest profile marketer in the country – what hope do we have of any young folk preferring marketing to make their mark?

Scotty and by association, marketers, are fast becoming the butt of jokes at BBQs, the pub, parties and other social gatherings. Social media is trashing marketers via Scotty. I’m concerned that university enrollments will plummet if the Toot keeps promoting Scotty from Marketing so well. The publication has done such a good job of branding the PM, it has created a serious dilemma!

I love the Betoota Advocate, but by promoting Scotty as a marketer, they may be killing off the future of marketing. I’m going to ask them to place a disclaimer against his image eg *not a real marketer.

Otherwise, the industry will have to do an advertising campaign promoting marketing as a worthwhile career and repositioning Scotty from Marketing as a just a lowly politician.

Although that is a problem in itself. Politicians are trusted more than marketers on the consumer trust rankings, so there’s no chance we could run a headline such as: “Trust me I work in marketing…”

Your thoughts please…

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