Marketing Messages are the life blood of our industry. I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve a marketing message.

When Mark Rinson went off on Gary Vaynerchuck for a tirad he delivered on marketing and tenured marketing professors, I read the post avidly. In his post at Marketing Week, Rinson cited Gary for his message to a college student entering a marketing curriculum and what they needed to study to be an effective marketer.

The question had been posed by the Canadian grandfather of a 17-year-old college freshman, who was recording his response to share with his granddaughter. Vaynerchuck delivers a tirade demeaning any and all marketing education from any school on the planet, saying “There is not a school on earth, not a university or college that exists, that is even remotely equipped to educate you properly on communications and marketing in the world we live in today.” – maybe true but pretty brutal assessment from someone who falls into the class of self-taught, everything-is-different-now school of social media effectiveness and only by following them can you ever hope to receive a proper education. We too think there are significant gaps in marketing education but I’m not sure ANY school can keep up given the pace of change and innovation we’re experiencing in the market.

Marketing Effectiveness Education | ProRelevantWe also understand Rinson’s chagrin at being summarily diss’d by Gary V. Back in the day when we were launching our book “ROI of Social Media”, Gary made headlines stating that “the ROI of social media is your grandmother”. If we connect a few of the dots given us by Mr. Vaynerchuck, we gain the understanding that a) social marketing is only effective when done the Vayner way and b) there is no formal way to learn it. Sounds a lot like a beans being traded for a cow.

We’ll conclude today that we respectfully disagree with Mr. Vaynerchuck on that one point. In our perspective, we see that a formal education will likely always have a place in learning and understanding the marketing industry. We do agree that tactics will change with every new, shiny-bright social platform that comes out, but in our experience strategy and a strategic approach to marketing, social or traditional, remains a foundation upon which any number of newly devised tactics can be laid.

The underpinning of marketing message effectiveness is the marketing message – these are the currency of an effective marketing plan and it’s the strategic delivery of those messages via channels that the customer actually uses remains relevant. We’d further suggest that it’s the behavior of the consumer that is more relevant, not the media that is used. The medium for delivery of the message is expected to change relative to the effectiveness of that channel and understanding channel effectiveness is the holy grail. It’s why digital took the forefront and it is also why traditional is still being funded – both represent how marketing messages are seen and used by consumers and businesses in their marketing.

Merry Christmas and here’s to a more effective 2017!