The Drugs Don't Work

What marketing are you prescribing?

Welcome to The Beat by Rockstar CMO. I’m Ian Truscott, a CMO, trusted advisor, strategy consultant and Chief Bottle Washer at Rockstar CMO. In this newsletter, I’d like to share a mix of what’s caught my eye from our community, our podcast and our street knowledge blog.


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this in this newsletter before, but we have pizza and movie night in our house on a Friday. Recently, we watched the latest Elvis movie, which tells the story from the perspective of Colonel Tom Parker, who had a dominant influence on his career.

Sadly, any story about Elvis can’t avoid his use of prescription drugs and their contribution to the decline of his mental and physical health and untimely death (we’d also recently watched Priscilla). Still, when I watch a movie, I get curious about the truth and go googling. You know how Hollywood is with history sometimes.

In one story I came across, his doctors, apparently worried by his drug dependency, would give him placebos to try and wean him off. When Elvis got wise to this, despite the doctors working for his best interests, he would fire them and rotate his doctors.

The truth is probably more complicated than this, and I now wonder about using this tragic story as an analogy, but now that I’ve started writing this, here goes….

I wonder; is this how some CEOs and sales leaders view their CMOs or senior marketers?

They are not looking for someone who will do them any good but are looking for the buzz they think they need.

And if they don’t get that buzz, then it’s time to change.

As is often shared about the discipline of marketing, everyone has an opinion about what they think marketing should do and how it works. It’s not like accounting. There is a level of trust involved here. And, of course, (all together now) the tenure of the CMO is the shortest of the C suite.

This is the balance for marketing leaders: implementing things that will be good for the company's long-term health while providing short-term buzz to keep the party going.

As you might have guessed, the title of this newsletter issue comes from The Verve’s The Drugs Don’t Work. Maybe I’ve not exactly nailed the brief for picking a tune to get your marketing mojo working, as it’s slightly down, but enjoy!

Please take a look at some of the articles I’ve picked out below, specifically an interesting take (as usual) from Drew Neisser on LinkedIn.

Enjoy your week!



Ian Truscott | Chief Bottle Washer Rockstar CMO

Street Knowledge

On the podcast this week

Get your Monday Marketing Mojo Working

OK, maybe not the most uplifting tune this week, but a classic…