Rules of Marketing

Posted on October 30th, 2014

Much has been written about the ever faster pace of change in marketing.  Self-interested Digital promoters talk that traditional marketing is dead.  At TPG we don’t think that way.  We see the evolution of marketing as the natural impact of new channels and services.  This is consistent with the nature of “creative destruction” that has always typified marketing.  With that said here we present 13 Rules of Marketing that are guiding decision making today.  Are you delivering against the majority of these opportunities?


The Rules of Marketing

rules of marketing


  1. Be Found: No one buys when you want to sell; they buy when they have a need.  What are you doing to be found easily?  Are your SEO efforts placing you in the first page, preferably the first 3-4 results of a natural language search? If not fix it.
  2. Behavioral Segmentation: Demographics still drive media purchases but without the foundational insight that segmentation offers, you cannot stay ahead of your competition.  And that is just a start.  Where are the emerging and latent areas of demand?  Where are your consumers going?  TPG can help.
  3. 1-1 Communication: Millennial consumers expect 1-1 contact when they have a need.  Mass advertising is still a predominant driver of Awareness but Millennial consumers expect to be able to ask a question 24/7 and get a prompt answer prior to purchase. Can you meet that expectation?  Your social strategy depends on this capability.
  4. Continual Conversation: Do you have Content that is compelling and consistently updated? Can you tell her when new items that interest her are about to debut?  Give her the insider view?  If you don’t someone else will.
  5. Many Competing Channels: Miss the days when a channel strategy meant Walmart and Grocery?  Today’s Omnichannel environment means you have all the traditional channels + online + direct + social that influence what, when and where decisions are made.  Are you delivering against this expectation?
  6. Global: Gone are the days of different brands in different markets. Your brand went global but is it managed globally?  Is there global consistency is packaging if not positioning?  If you don’t manage the equity globally you are in a severe strategic position of vulnerability.  “Glocalization” is the buzz-word.  TPG thinks it means Global benefit, global positioning and local activation.  What do your consumers think?
  7. Simultaneous Launch: Today’s marketer has to think simultaneous launch across channels and countries.  Amazon and Alibaba make a global launch not just a capability but also a necessity and expectation.
  8. New Business Models: The Internet means establishing new innovation models is accessible to smart people in every corner of the world.  These new, yet to be identified competitors won’t play by your rules; they seek to disrupt your revenue streams and directly sell to your consumers.  As companies seek big Innovation don’t forget to innovate your business model to unlock new demand.
  9. Disruption: What would happen to Tide if Samsung invented a clothes washer that used sonic waves to break up stains and didn’t need a detergent?  P&G stock price down by 30%?  More?  Don’t just dream up boogey-men you have to worry about, invent them.  What if P&G invented the sonic clothes machine?  That is a multi-billion dollar idea for the disruptor.  You or someone else? You decide.
  10. Better, Cheaper, Faster: The sluggish US economy is changing the earnings formula: introduce premium versions of your product and trade people up.  Consumers want the best of both worlds, better products for less cost.  Future growth will go to those companies that find the right balance of performance and price.  Forever 21 has figured this out in fickle teen fashion.  What does it look like in your segment?
  11. Mosaic: Marketers used to think they needed General Market, Hispanic and African-American marketing platforms.  Then the thinking was that a one-size approach was better since Millennials saw ethnicity differently than their parents.  That’s a melting pot approach; we all would tend toward the mean.  Today’s consumers see themselves instead as part of a beautiful mosaic.  The individuality of your background, ethnicity and orientation make you, and us, unique but integrated.  Does your marketing reflect this switch?
  12. Social Endorsement: Consumer Reports like your brand, great.  Jason and Cheryl your friends on Facebook/Twitter like it, even better.  Social advocacy among peers and friends is the best PR your business can have.  How are you “seeding the clouds” to help?
  13. Effect/Proof: Google’s ability to deliver a MROI on every project has raised the bar for marketers.  Now Boards and CEO’s want to see quantitative proof that your marketing is adding to the bottom line.  Can you prove this?


TPG would love to talk more about these topics with you.  If you are interested you can reach me at


Bill Pearce is the former CMO of Del Monte Foods and Taco Bell.  Bill is on the Marketing Faculty of the Haas Graduate School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley where he teaches courses on Marketing and Innovation.  Bill is the TPG Marketing and Innovation Practice Leader.

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