It didn’t take long after music megastar Beyoncé dropped her latest release onto Apple iTunes with no advance warning or usual hype-fest for the armchair pundits and marketing deniers to trumpet that marketing was now dead. It’s a variation on a theme I excoriated a few weeks back where the same know-nothings tell young companies they don’t need to do marketing, they just need to go to SXSW.
In fairness to the NBC article linked above, it does go on to acknowledge that Beyoncé is a never-ending marketing machine who has spent the better part of 25 years building one of the most forceful brands in the entire global cultural marketplace. And in fairness to Kevin Roberts, the Saatchi & Saatchi CEO who was ever-so-briefly quoted in that article, his point was much less about what Beyoncé did and more about the new power consumers enjoy in the marketing equation that obliges brands to build relationships with consumers rather than just bark at them. ”She delivered intimacy. She delivered social connectivity. She delivered a transaction you can buy,” Roberts said in the original Bloomberg news piece from which the NBC article took a single provocative snippet.