Marketing wasn’t supposed to be a zero-sum game.
Your competitor bought a TV commercial, you bought a TV commercial. They bought radio time, you bought radio time. Even if they bought every available second of radio time on one station, you could buy time on another, or go to a completely different medium.
That promoted two good things:
Creativity in advertising. Creativity entertains consumers and forces brands to take a hard look at themselves every few months. This inspires a kind of corporate self-awareness that keeps the best consumer and business brands sharp.Great products. Products with high value get a huge advantage. The same properties that enable great marketing and advertising drive great products: Clear vision, quality, usefulness, and creativity (that keeps coming up, doesn’t it).
Of course, business has always been a zero-sum game, in a way: If you win a customer, that’s one less customer for your competitor. But the competition for actual share of voice plays out in a huge arena where ties are possible. Yours and your competitor’s marketing campaigns might be equally good, and you might win the same amount of business.
Alas, none of this is true any more. Google ruined marketing.
Back before Google, two companies spending the same dollars to market competitive products could win solid marketshare. Not any more.
Well, OK, Google didn’t exactly ruin marketing. It, and other search engines turned it into a nasty, zero-sum game. But saying ‘Google ruined marketing’ will get more people to read and link to this article, which is critical for my company’s SEO…