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Taco Bell CMO on digital marketing's 7 paradoxes

Matt Kapko | Jan. 28, 2016
Taco Bell's marketing chief Marisa Thalberg says CMOs must overcome, or at least accept, seven key paradoxes if they hope to thrive in the modern marketing world.

5) Marketing is an art AND a science

A familiar marketing paradox received a particularly vocal response from the attendees of IAB's annual event. "Marketing is art …," Thalberg said, pausing briefly so audience members could help her complete the statement in unison, "… and marketing is science."

"Are we all right brain and left brain now? Maybe," she said. However, while much of what catches consumer attention in advertising can be attributed to artistic creativity — the ads that make people laugh, cry or seek out more information — the mechanics and means by which ads reach consumers are increasingly scientific, according to Thalberg.

6) Great content is expensive AND organic

Creating compelling ads can be tremendously expensive, Thalberg said. "Great content creation can be elite, but great content creation can also be democratic." 

The best ads aren't always the most expensive or professional ads, she said, and amateur, cheaply made videos and sketches can drive the same results as multimillion-dollar media campaigns. Great content is not exclusive to the "elite ruling class of high-end creative talent and the marketers who have the pockets to afford it," Thalberg said.

7) Marketers must inspire quick sales AND drive loyalty over time

Retail brands in fast-paced markets, such as Taco Bell, must pursue both short- and long-term growth and loyalty opportunities, according to Thalberg. "This is at the heart of the issue for us as marketers," Thalberg said. "The only way to win today is to recognize, … embrace and integrate these paradoxes in our digitally driven world."

 

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