Carter, speaking at The Festival of Marketing in London today (12 November), told delegates that automation can inhibit creative strategic thinking and the willingness to take risks.
“Big data should be making things better not worse”, he added showing examples of messages that were personalised but lacked nuance, “you’ve just got to throw some email and social out”.
Carter said that despite the myriad of tools and the rise of a host of digital marketing channels in the last 20 years the fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed.
“Digital is important and it would be crazy to say otherwise but marketing basics such as the need for insight and targeting haven’t changed in 20 years. The basics of marketing are as relevant today as they were before digital. No one talks about this.”
Warming to the theme, Carter adds that despite running social media campaigns, he is yet to be convinced that it matches one of the marketing fundamentals – does it provide ROI?
“No one has proven to me yet that they have sold anything directly using social media”.
Carter was speaking at a session about B2B marketing. He defined the role of B2B marketers as creating a purpose for their brands to raise awareness among decision makers. Research shows that half of those pitching for business are discounted before any deal between sales people is done, he says, so the marketers’ role is essential in making a brand “credible” and ensuring it remains in the mix.
“Marketing needs to make a brand credible before salespeople have even got out of bed”.