Heading: “The customer is not a moron, she is your wife” – David Ogilvy

A blast of commonsense from my old friend and colleague Malcolm Auld in Sydney.

Some of you may have seen this subject line recently. It’s a Newsflash so it must be important:




It’s from Marketo and it’s close to being the most insulting subject line ever written about marketers. Either that or it reveals the Marketo team is comprised of fools.

Hands-up all of you who thought email was dead or gravely ill for that matter? Who among you no longer uses email to communicate with customers, because you thought email was dead?










Were you as relieved as I was to discover from Marketo that “email is not dead“? I suspect very few of you even believed the headline. It’s the equivalent of saying “the atmosphere still exists around planet Earth“. Of course it does and of course email is not dead – what fool would make such a claim?



Here’s the supporting paragraph:

“Marketers are spoilt for choice when it comes to digital marketing channels. Programmatic, social, mobile apps… the list goes on. Despite all the latest and greatest, tried-and-tested tactics still have their place in any marketing strategy this year: when it comes to true audience engagement, email is still king.”

It’s true, marketers are spoiled for choice – and tried and tested tactics still have their place in any marketing strategy. And when it comes to true audience engagement (whatever that even means) nothing beats face-to-face selling, telephone, direct mail and then of course email – Whatsapp for Blackberry the science proved it years ago. So while email may not be king, it’s certainly close in the pecking order beneath the throne.

Curiously Marketo is addicted to email – it’s the primary way they communicate directly with subscribers. They certainly don’t call their subscribers on the phone – despite the obvious profits in doing so.







So let’s consider why they published such a headline.

Option 1 – They believe all marketers are idiots and stopped using email for marketing purposes. As you and I know dear reader, marketers have never stopped inundating inboxes with marketing messages and won’t stop any time soon, so it can’t be this option.

Option 2 – The Marketo team members are stupid, as they thought email was dead and they stopped using it for their marketing purposes, when every other brand in the world continued to use it. I don’t think they are stupid and they certainly haven’t stopped using email if my inbox is anything to go by, so it can’t be this option.

Option 3 – Maybe a junior with no experience wrote the headline? As you can tell, I’m grasping for explanations. There is no sensible reason for making such a nebulous claim – unless the Marketo marketing team is just plain lazy and decided to be sensationalist to sell their webinar? I’m leaning toward this option.

The problem with using a sensationalist headline, is it must be believable if it is to work – like the headline in this blog. And given most marketers, including Marketo’s team, don’t believe email is dead, this headline makes no sense whatsoever and insults even the most mediocre marketer.

If you are interested in catching up on the latest in email marketing then you may want to join the webinar. Dave Chaffey is well worth listening too – he’s a very smart marketer. Though I suggest he would have written a different headline. Here’s the link to the event – so my good friends at Marketo get a free plug:)

But the headline does reveal the number one truth of content marketing – any fool can type crap and sadly many fools do…

You can see more from Malcolm Auld on his blog.

About the Author


<p>In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.</p>
<p>He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.</p>
<p>Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.</p>
<p>He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.</p>

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