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Is classic marketing an anachronism?

16 comments

 

I take Reka Haros’s point that there is “deep confusion around the term ‘marketing,’” specifically that marketing all too often is confused with sales and… marketing tactics confused with marketing strategy.” I’ve been in this business for a long time and even I can’t be sure of the differences; but after all, these are only words we use to describe slippery and overlapping concepts. Let me explain.

Haros, a marketing manager who wrote her op-ed piece in the “Trends” blog of the alternative closure company, Nomacorc, identifies three phases of marketing (similar to my five-phase analysis of West Coast Pinot Noir), stretching from the 1950s (think of T.V. automobile commercials of that era), to Marketing 3.0, our present time, when the Internet has empowered people, leading to all sorts of challenges to marketers.

What kinds of challenges? Marketers, says Haros, now need “to access [consumers’] hearts too,” through such concepts as “emotional marketing,” which itself is based on establishing “trust with consumers through identity, integrity, and authentic image.”

I guess I would argue that “emotional marketing” is nothing new. Look at this advertisement, from the Nov. 7, 1960 issue of TIME:Burington

It shows a mom and her little boy, on their way presumably to or from school. The little boy wears a Mackintosh (raincoat to you non-Brits) made of Burlington’s waterproof fabric. The ad capitalizes on the emotional bond between mom and son, on her sense of security that her boy won’t get wet in the rain, on the boy’s innocent trust, and on the “comfort and safety” Burlington Industries provides to Americans in the everyday pursuit of their lives. That is emotional marketing from nearly sixty years ago, right down to the scrawled drawing in the boy’s hand, of a sun shining on a stick-figured little boy much like himself.

The problem with wine marketing today, says Haros, is that the wine industry has “a confused idea” of what it means. She accurately concludes that, too often, social media is used by wine marketers as a strategy, rather than the mere tactic it actually is. Haros also accurately understands that marketing and sales people speak entirely different languages: marketers propose, but sales people dispose; and sales people—hard-driven road warriors, as opposed to the desk-bound creators in marketing–can be “hard to convince.”

For these reasons, Haros concludes that “wine marketing is still in its first stage of evolution.” It is here, however, that she runs out of solutions: it’s easy to diagnose a problem, hard to fix it. Granted that wine marketers need to develop “a long-term vision,” but this is easier said than done. The chief obstacle to this development, as I see things, is that marketing, as classically understood, may be an anachronism. [Italics mine] Marketing used to be based on the [true] assumption that most consumers were idiots who would fall for craftily-conceived campaigns designed to convince them to buy products and services they might not even really need. Using “emotional” and other [misleading] tools, marketing agents could appeal (often subconsciously) to consumers’ secret fears and desires, manipulating them in desirable directions. To refer back to the 1950s again, this approach worked: Marketers (and advertisers) were dealing with a naïve, credulous population that proved over and over again that it could be manipulated, even without being aware of it.

We have now in America, by contrast, an entirely different population, especially the young. No longer naïve, they are suspicious to a fault. No longer credulous, they believe practically nothing, except if their friends believe it. They particularly disbelieve anything deriving from authority. If it’s a billboard, a pop-up ad on the computer screen, a television commercial, a radio pitch between songs, it’s automatically tuned out.

If marketing indeed is as outmoded as rotary phones, then why do wineries still engage in the practice? Because they know that, if they do nothing, the chances are close to zero that they will continue to exist. This is their dilemma: thrust between the devil and the deep blue sea (or a rock and a hard place), they see, on the one hand, the necessity of spending time and money in a practice with no guaranteeable results and, on the other hand, doing nothing, in which case the result is guaranteeable: catastrophe. Given such a choice, it’s easy to see why wineries continue to engage in marketing.

And the truth is, every once in a while, lightning strikes: a marketing tactic actually achieves something. It’s also true, though, that serendipity is probably as effective as marketing; sometimes you just need to be in the right place, at the right time, and then do nothing to screw things up. As for marketing strategy as opposed to tactics, well, it sounds grandiose, but it’s really a unicorn. I’m not big on strategies, which our modern world seems to dismiss.

Can sales succeed without marketing? Probably. If a winery has to choose between the two, obviously sales is vastly more important. You do need a properly educated sales force, one that has at least some grip on the winery’s basic facts and ideas, but this isn’t necessarily hard to do. At some point, though, you have to wonder whether or not classic marketing can be updated to the 21st century, or whether it’s time has come and gone. If there’s a next phase of marketing, I don’t know what it is…and neither do marketers.

  1. Reka Haros says:

    Thank you Steve for your perspective.

    The part on “emotional marketing” was related to Kotler’s marketing 3.0 phase. I personally believe we have already moved on to the next phase where customer experience and trust building have become more important than reaching their hearts.

    As you rightly mention, today’s consumers have evolved and what worked with Gen X-ers and Boomers doesn’t work with the younger generations. The new phase is currently being defined by these new gens, we just need to pay a much closer attention to them.

    In the world of advertising, emotional communication has always worked when done right. There are many examples from the past from Levi’s to Volkswagen and even Benetton. And yes, many times it has also worked against brands. There needs to be a basic understanding of how ads and communication strategies are built to make sense of what works and why it works, but I am sure you know this very well.

    In my piece I wanted to stress that wine marketing should evolve faster and should be considered as a vital part of business.

    Thanks again for your valuable thoughts Steven!

    Cheers!

  2. Reka Haros says:

    Sorry, not Steven but Steve!

  3. For most wineries, marketing is waste of time and money. It not only doesn’t drive revenue, it takes dollars away from producing better wines and from *selling* wine.

    It’s super popular and easy to hate on wineries for their Neanderthal ways, but successful wineries sell, sell, sell… they’re not marketing powerhouses. Even if they were, there aren’t any good wine marketing channels (save for email which is better utilized to sell).

    Fire your social media managers and Facebook advertising budget, buy better fruit and oak, and hire a salesperson. I can point to many, many high-growth wineries who got 95 points and have a kick-ass sales team. I draw a blank when I think about marketing-heavy wineries who have nailed it (save for huge Champagne houses and their ilk).

    If you’re going to spend marketing dollars, do it in support of the three tier system – entities much better suited to drive consumer demand with marketing.

  4. Bob Henry says:

    Marketing is the battle for the customer’s mind, while selling is asking for an order.

    Marketing and advertising’s role is to support sales.

    Sales being the lifeblood of any capitalist company.

    Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal “Marketplace” Section
    (June 21, 1999, Page Unknown):

    “Ads Aren’t So Important to Many Top Executives”

    [Link: not available]

    By Bridget O’Brian
    “Advertising” Column

    Ads aren’t so important to many top executives.

    The importance of advertising was ranked sixth behind product development, strategic planning, public relations, financial issues and research and development, according to a survey done by the American Advertising Federation, that polled 1,800 corporate executives.

    • Product Development . . . 29 percent
    • Strategic Planning . . . 27 percent
    • Public Relations . . . 16 percent
    • Research & development . . . 14 percent
    • Financial Strategies . . . 14 percent
    • Advertising . . . 10 percent
    • Legal . . . 3 percent

    ]Bullet point exhibit source: “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR,” Al Ries & Laura Ries (New York: HarperCollins, © 2002)]

    — and see this —

    Excerpts from Adweek Magazine
    (February 26, 2007, Page 14):

    “Birth of a Salesman”

    http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising/birth-salesman-88077

    By Tim Arnold
    “Art & Commerce” Column

    You’re in the ad bidness. You are a salesman. . . .

    An adman named David Ogilvy once famously said, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” Bill Bernbach wrote, “Our job is to sell our client’s merchandise …”

    Ogilvy again: “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

  5. I agree with most of the above but also concur with the general view that Reka Haros was making i.e that too often wine marketing does indeed lack strategy. For me this is most apparent on a more macro level for example with regional marketing. Too often the focus is primarily on the wine or region in question with lengthy explanations of soil, climate or the overall terroir. What Steve talks about in relation to the Burlington ad. is as valid now as it was in the ’50’s and ’60’s, namely that people respond to being engaged on an emotional level that the information heavy approach of many individual Estates or Regions fails to achieve or address.

  6. Not being a hater here just pointing out the obvious. Bob quotes a 1999 article from WSJ and a 2007 AdWeek article both dated and offering little substance on the topic.

    As a career adman I can tell you I read and hear so many misquotes from people wanting to clarify advertising/marketing/branding. Usually they end up only blurring the three.
    Although I’m all for always striving for a quality product, Michael’s comment comes from the typical sales exec who still thinks a one to one selling strategy is the most effective and efficient means to move product in 2016. YIKES !!!

    Yes even wineries who hire so called social media experts or assign a secretary or their recent college grad cousin to figure out how to buy ads on FB or Google are guilty of thinking they’re solving the mystery of today’s online marketing/advertising/branding.

    Every day I see so much marketing money being miss-spent. And last time I checked an ad dollar wasted was called a profit before you spent it. The problem is everyone is exposed to ads and everyone is a consumer. Therefore every entrepreneur and business person charged with figuring out how to spend the company’s ad dollars has an opinion. And typically these personalities are not bashful about expressing their opinions about strategy and execution. Which of course is as foolish as a wine consumer like myself providing advice to winery about who to create a fine wine.

    I’m not writing this to help define words or outline a marketing strategy or provide advice as to how to leverage social media to elevate ones brand to a sales advantage at the retail level. I would encourage any winery trying to figure it all out to seek the professional help of a firm that can demonstrate a successful track record with consumer product good clients. And don’t get sucked into thinking the firm must have experience in the wine trade. We did some of our client best work bringing fresh new ideas to a category we had zero experience in.

    If you really do understand advertising/marketing/branding (sadly many who call themselves experts really don’t – they just know a little more than the client does) a professional firm can shepherd the process, educate you along the way and guide you through the confusing world of advertising/marketing/branding.

    Good luck,
    Brad Forsythe

  7. “Michael’s comment comes from the typical sales exec who still thinks a one to one selling strategy is the most effective and efficient means to move product in 2016. YIKES !!!”

    What I’m proposing here is that we are intellectually honest – that we look at facts and not speculate on what we expect will work. We want and expect wine to work like other industries. That’s quite a reasonable perspective an there have been many hundreds (thousands?) of people come into the wine industry in the past decade with that notion.

    However, in substantially all cases, people fail. They don’t fail because they’re dumb. They fail because wine simply doesn’t work like other industries. Until you’ve put in the time in the industry and/or go down to first principles of wine commerce, you’re just using reason, not facts. The wine industry eats reason for breakfast.

    The problem I have with this is that marketing investment comes at the expense of product quality and sales efforts. There is no magical unicorn pooping out marketing dollars. If I hire a marketing person it means I fire a sales person. If I buy a bunch of FB ads it means I have to crop at 5TPA and use oak inserts.

    If you look at winery successes (based on EBITDA growth), they’re product/sales-driven, not marketing-driven. Of course I’m not saying that anything marketing-related (e.g., branding) is a waste. I am saying that I’ve witnessed years of people making the same general claims about wine marketing and everyone fails.

    I do think getting to first principles of wine commerce is quite important in these discussions because that’s where we can discover solutions (alternative/overlays to three-tier, a dedicated ad network for wine industry; in-venue buying apps that provide a marketing channel; etc.). That’s the exciting, useful stuff.

    If we ignore issues unique to the industry (infinite competition, non-rational economics, three-tier system, lack of objective product evaluation criteria, dominance of context in consumer experience, regulatory overhang, etc.) then we’re just blathering monkeys. The wine industry needs solutions, not the same naive “nobody gets marketing” schtick that is really boring, unproductive and vectoring into embarrassing.

  8. Bob Henry says:

    Steve a.k.a./d.b.a Brad Forsythe:

    As an advertising and marketing professional, I have only come across that one published AAF survey of “C-suite” executives who ranked their hierarchy of importance (product development, strategic planning, public relations, research & development, financial strategies, advertising, and legal) on where an otherwise dollar of profit should be spent.

    (Aside: Perhaps the AAF has never conducted a second survey — and published it — because it is ego deflating to be told we in advertising are not the center of our clients’ universe.)

    I doubt the mix of corporate activities or their relative ranking have significantly changed over the years. Business verities remain timeless.

    Steve/Brad, if you have more contemporary evidence on “C-suite” executives and how they rank order critical business activities, I would be indebted to you for sharing it.

    As for citing the Adweek column, there seems to be an attitude among ad agency professionals (i.e., art directors and copywriters) that they are not involved in a “mercantile” trade. That it’s all Cannes Lions and Clios and ADDYs (and the begrudging Effies) awards.

    Bullshit, said industry titans David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach. Funding for our precious ad budgets come from sales revenue generated in previous fiscal quarters by our clients. Yes, dollars that otherwise drop to the bottom line if not spent on advertising. And it is our fiduciary responsibility to fuel those continued client sales.

    The wine industry is unlike every other beverage category. No one has mastered its marketing.

    Even global beverage giant Coca-Cola abandoned the industry back in the early 1980s (think Sterling Winery).

    The last seeped-into-the-national-consciousness/top-of-mind brand awareness ad campaign was for Gallo’s Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers — how many decades ago?

    Under the constraints of the three-tier distribution system, only the very largest wineries can afford consumer “pull” campaigns to generate demand for their products in retail selling establishments. (And their track record of success is mixed at best.)

    A trade “push” campaign involving “boots-on-the-ground” Willy Loman salespersons calling on grocery store chains (e.g., Kroger, Albertsons, Aldi/Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods) and big box retailers (e.g., Costco, Wal-Mart, Target) and fine wine chains (e.g.. BevMo, Total Wine) and convenience stores (e.g., 7-Eleven, Circle-K) to incentivize them into merchandising a winery’s product is the more cost efficient and effective tactic.

    Finding retail customers for fine wines is a chronic and intractable problem that would bedevil even the best “professional [services] firm … shepherd[-ing] the process, educat[-ing] you [the client winery] along the way and guid[-ing] you through the confusing world of advertising/marketing/branding.”

    (Postscript: Brad — which one of these would you be?

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Brad/Forsythe )

  9. Bob Henry says:

    Let me conclude with an addendum by quoting Reka’s reply to a comment I left in response to her blog titled “Why is Wine Marketing so Stale? An Open Letter to the Industry at Large”:

    “Not only Coca-Cola, but Nestle, Philip Morris, and Nabisco all have entered and exited the wine market in the 80s. And what I really think is telling is that a Diageo manager back in the times said “Two millennia ago a miracle changes water into wine. We are still waiting for the second miracle: turning wine into profits.” (Company case 20: The Global wine SCAM; “Principles of Marketing” by Kotler, Armstrong, Wong, Saunders).
    Today, we know how Diageo ended their US wine business.”

    Source: http://www.nomacorc.com/blog/2016/05/why-is-wine-marketing-so-stale-an-open-letter-to-the-industry-at-large/#comment-129

  10. “However, before the sale of any product, the long and extensive marketing work often goes unseen. Marketing involves thoroughly investigating the market itself, researching consumers, and identifying unmet needs and desires before developing and selling a product.”

    This is all great, but what happens when you want to make Cabernet Sauvignon…you know, like the thousands of other Cabs sitting at Vons, BevMo and your corner liquor store? What is market research going to do for a 1000 case start-up? Nothing. The market for Cab is saturated with various products and price points. How can I make a difference? Is it the story? Probably. Because how can a $35 Cab stand out? It’s not.

    The market research you do in Healdsburg is the following: Can I afford a tasting room on the Square? Did I just get my inheritance to buy that vineyard on Lytton Springs Road? No. Bummer. How I am going to sell 1000 cases of Cabernet? I have no brand reputation, I’ve never made wine before, my last name isn’t Barrett or Wagner or Rivers Brown so the first vintage won’t get rated, I guess I’ll hit the road and hand sell this stuff and hope for the best.

    Let me put this another way. What’s the market for PetNat? Unless my market research was very specific to metropolitan area somms, that marketing trend would have never come up in any research. Is PetNat an unmet desire? Not in the Central Valley of CA. In SF and LA, how much time and money will be spent selling/distributing to somms that want to buy it? As the winemaker, how am I going to get my hands on enough PetNat to make a difference…I mean a profit? How many cases of PetNat can I move in three months? I’ve never made PetNat before, do I spend money on a consultant or just wing it?

    I know I can get my hands on some Cab, but what about Terodalgo? Maybe some Legrein? Or Nebbiolo?

    Time is not on your side in the wine business. The costs keep coming after that first harvest. You think tactically, because you’re forced to. And unless you made a quick turn white, you’re not selling Cab for at least 14 months at a minimum. I guess you can take that time to do market research, but to what end? You’ve made the second most harvested varietal that has plenty of substitutes in every price point.

    Looking at this from a product and marketing standpoint, one needs to have really deep pockets if you want to do research and product development. Did Kosta Browne do research on making Pinot realizing they would get bought out? I doubt it. Did “natural” wine makers all read JonBon’s book and jump on board? Doubtful. Large entities, like Constellation and Gallo have the time and resources to make long-term marketing decisions, not poorly financed start-up wineries.

    What would be more interesting than a marketing study is a financial study on the break-even point for boutique wineries in various regions, based upon varietal, do they have a tasting room, winemaker experience, consultant driven winemaker, months/years to first major rating, DTC versus distribution. An in-depth financial study might give fledgling wineries some data knowing how long it will be till they turn a profit and recover their initial investment, not speculation on market trends on whether the obscurity of PetNat in SF is better than selling Cabernet in the Central Valley. By the time you’re at market with your first vintage of Nebbiolo or PetNat, it might no longer be cool to be making it.

  11. David,

    Although I believe a lot of what you’re describing is basic product management and you really shouldn’t be in a business where you don’t know what your product is and who your customers are, the reality is that no amount of industry research is going to help you… which you clearly agree with.

    Using your Kosta-Browne example. Was it their market insight or awesome messaging that propelled them to success? No, it was their product and a bit of sales effort. To be sure, it was the 95-97 point scores from Wine Spectator and, at the time, reasonable pricing, that made everything happen. All this is product.

    Whatever other successes you want to use: Kistler, Prisoner/OSW, etc. – they all have great wines, POINTS, and a good to great sales execution capability.

  12. Mike,
    Agreed. If this were a conversation about Barefoot, Cupcake or Charles Shaw, I would lean toward more belief in traditional, academic Marketing as discussed above. Coke, Budweiser and Oreos are all products with scale and plenty of research behind them. Think about Budweiser rebranding for summer.

    All of the examples you site and there are plenty of others, I would agree, great wines, ratings from the top publications, and hard-nosed sales execution is what has defined their success. Ridge still doesn’t allow marketing, sales or accounting into any of their blending trials or final bottling decisions, it’s all about the wine.

  13. Bob Henry says:

    steve [lower case]:

    A postscript to my comment regarding the Cannes Lions advertising awards festival . . .

    Excerpts from The Wall Street Journal “Business & Tech.” Section
    (June 23, 2016, Page B6):

    “Turbulent Times Spark New Spin In Advertising, Marketing Industry”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/advertising-isnt-dead-but-market-is-changing-1466610850

    By Steven Perlberg
    Staff Reporter

    All advertising isn’t dead. Just bad advertising.

    That was the conclusion from Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group, speaking at The Wall Street Journal panel during the annual Cannes Lions advertising festival in the South of France.

    “We are here celebrating 0.5% of the work that actually gets made. The other 99.5% of the work is generally crap. And when that happens, consumers don’t want to see it,” Mr. Jakeman said.

    Cannes Lions began as a way for the creative ad community to honor the best ads but has more recently shifted into a weeklong [Provence] rosé-fueled deal-making session. But this year’s gathering comes during a particularly precarious time in the ad industry. More consumers are using tools that block web ads. Marketers are worried about the transparency of how their dollars are spent by ad agencies. And new media pioneers are producing content on behalf of brands, encroaching on the turf of traditional agencies.

    . . .

    One of the biggest topics at Cannes this week has been how to win consumers’ attention amid a swiftly changing technology landscape and backlash against a perceived overload of advertising.

    Mr. Jakeman said that with the rise of digital advertising and the 30-second TV ad feeling more like a relic of a bygone era, brands feel compelled to churn out hundreds of pieces of work. But that is reducing the quality of the marketing and creating a “digital landfill” of “crap content that gets produced quickly and cheaply and doesn’t connect to the brand’s narrative,” he argued.

    . . .

    [WPP PLC CEO Martin] Sorrell, who runs the world’s largest ad holding company, took the opportunity to defend traditional media. He said that videos on Facebook, where a “view” is counted after 3 seconds and users mostly watch with the sound off, isn’t equivalent to a TV ad.

    “Traditional media, linear TV, [and] newspapers in their old form are more effective from an engagement point of view,” Mr. Sorrell said.

  14. Bob Henry says:

    Can advertising “move the needle” on selling beverages?

    Here’s a case study . . .

    From The Wall Street Journal “Opinion” Section
    (June 20, 2016, Page A11):

    “How Orson Welles Sold Water”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-how-orson-welles-sold-water-1466374112

    [No Byline]
    “Notable & Quotable” Column

    Preface: From the website Priceonomics.com, “The Ad Campaign that Convinced Americans to Pay for Water,” June 10.

    For the first three decades of the 1900s, Perrier supplied Buckingham Palace with “the champagne of waters.” After its founder, British entrepreneur St. John Harmsworth, died in 1933, and later, with the onset of World War II, production all but collapsed.

    Under [Chairman Gustave] Leven, it again began to flourish. Thanks to mass advertising, sales grew fifteen-fold between 1946 and 1952, from 10 million bottles to 150 million. By the mid-1970s, Perrier was the top sparkling water in France.

    Soon, Leven set his sights across the Atlantic. . . .

    In 1976, Perrier opened an office in New York. Leven shared his scheme with hard-charging American marketing executive Bruce Nevins, who had recently left Levi Strauss. . . .

    The hindrance seemed obvious: Who would pay for water when they could get it for free? At the time, the only water people bought came primarily in the form of jugs delivered to homes and offices for use in coolers.

    Perrier would not change this paradigm, many predicted. McKinsey, for one, carried out a study concluding that the sparkling French water did not have a viable future in the United States. . . .

    Perrier’s American transformation began with television ads in the spring of 1977. They were straightforward, but ear-catching and eye-catching. . . .

    “More quenching, more refreshing, and a mixer par excellence,” intoned the rich baritone of Orson Welles in a Perrier advertisement dated 1979, as a bubbling stream cascaded from a green bottle and swirled into a clear goblet.

    “Naturally sparkling, from the center of the earth,” the actor continued. He wrapped up the ad with a single word, the “r”’s perfectly French: “Perrier.” . . .

    Nevins lowered the price of a 23-ounce bottle from $1.09 ($4.30 today) to 69 cents ($2.72 in 2016 dollars)—within the reach of a certain strata of society, but significant enough that buying it still constituted a statement. It rested in that sweet spot of being simultaneously aspirational and accessible.

  15. Bob Henry says:

    A follow-up on the power of a trade “push” campaign involving “boots-on-the-ground” Willy Loman salespersons calling on accounts . . .

    (Substitute the occupations “wine store buyer” and “restaurant buyer” for doctor. Substitute the occupation “wine sales rep” for drug-sales representative. Substitute the manufacturer “winery” for drugmaker and drug companies. Substitute the product “wine” for medicines. Substitute the verb “recommend” for prescribe. Aside from semantics, the relationships still hold true.

    And the gifts aren’t just occasional free meals. Think expensive wine junkets to Napa and Sonoma or Europe.)

    Excerpts from The Wall Street Journal “Main News” Section
    (June 21, 2016, Page A1ff):

    “Study Says Gifts Affect Physicians’ [Prescription] Drug Choices”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/even-cheap-meals-influence-doctors-drug-prescriptions-study-suggests-1466434801

    By Peter Loftus
    Staff Reporter

    It doesn’t take much to get a doctor to prescribe a brand-name medication, a new study suggests.

    The study found that U.S. doctors who received a single free meal from a drug company were more likely to prescribe the drug the company was promoting than doctors who received no such meals. Meals paid for by drug companies cost less than $20 on average.

    . . .

    Critics say drugmakers’ payments and gifts to doctors can improperly influence medical decisions and inflate drug costs by steering doctors to pricey brand-name drugs. In the face of such criticism, drugmakers have tried to rein in some of the more lavish perks, like free golf trips and tickets to hot sporting events. In 2002, PhRMA adopted a voluntary code governing dealings with doctors. It states, for instance, that companies shouldn’t provide tickets to the theater or sporting events, or vacation trips, to any health-care professional who isn’t a salaried employee of the company.

    But the code allows for providing modest meals to doctors. Drug-sales representatives routinely bring free food and beverages to doctors’ offices in an effort to get face time to promote their medicines. They also invite doctors to free dinners at restaurants to hear other doctors speak about certain drugs. The industry says the practice helps to educate doctors about the appropriate use of new medicines.

    Prior studies have shown that large payments can sway physicians’ prescribing habits. The new study shows that even relatively small payments or gifts are associated with increased prescribing of the promoted brands, said the lead study author, R. Adams Dudley, a professor of medicine and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco.

    “I don’t think there is a doctor out there who thinks, ‘I can be bought for a hero or a slice of pizza,’ ” Dr. Dudley said in an interview. But he said it is human nature for a doctor to reciprocate by listening to the pitch of a sales representative bearing free food or beverages, which can influence prescribing patterns.

    . . .

  16. Bob Henry says:

    An excerpt from a Salon magazine article that underscores the sentiment that marketing is not the forte of winery owners/winemakers.

    “Fundamentally, to make great wine you must be a great farmer,” [California technology “start-up guru” and Vineyard 29 winery owner Chuck] McMinn told Salon. “Fifty percent of what great wine is, is where vines are planted, the terroir — right place, right varietal, right root stock. Twenty-five percent is weather, in any particular year. Twenty-five percent is the skill of the winemaker, turning grape juice into wine. That and technology aren’t tightly coupled. People here [California] aren’t anti-technology. They’re a ‘show me’ group. Getting distracted could compromise the quality of the product. They don’t want that.”

    Source: http://www.salon.com/2016/08/14/this-is-how-your-favorite-wine-gets-made-forget-uber-tech-pioneers-are-chasing-the-perfect-cab/

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