Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

Mark Goldstein, BBDO

Mark Goldstein
Vice Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer
BBDO North America

Which of my lessons below resonates with you the most and why?

“Don’t Interrupt” hits one of my hot buttons. Why? I’ve always believed that no one every learned anything while they were talking.

What makes Google such a unique company? Why has it been so successful?

Google’s so successful because they built a community without worrying about building a business. Once they had the people, they could figure out how to monetize it. And the venture capitalists left them alone long enough to make that work.

Lesson #12 is “Your Unique Selling Proposition is Key.” What do you think are the main ingredients for an effective USP?

At BBDO, the key to the USP is identifying the “unmet need” in a category or service. Once you do, the USP is easier to identify.

Lesson #15 is “Sex Sells.” How can this be an effective strategy? What words of caution do you have for marketers and agencies that try to play to their target audience’s animal instincts? What brands do this well today? What brands fail to make the grade?

It’s true that sex sells. It’s also true that sex can burn your fingertips and char your brand. It all gets back to the unmet need. If it’s not anything that’s sexually related, stay the hell away. J&J does it well for their KY products—which are all about sex. Chrysler does it horribly for their sedans, which try to equate with sexiness but falls way short.

Lesson #16 is “Altruism Sells.” No-one seems to be doing this better than GE with ecomagination, healthymagination, etc. What was the key insight(s) that led to these programs? Is green marketing just a fad or is it… er, sustainable?

Green Marketing isn’t a fad. It’s not a two-year-plan. It’s an underpinning of commerce moving forward. GE believes that you can do good by doing good. The Eco and Healthymagination programs are good for GE’s business and good for people and good for the earth. What could be better than that?

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