The current context of marketing – Carlos Guerrero

Carlos Guerrero is an expert in marketing and communication. He was the founding partner – and the only one for several years – of the Marketing and Communication Research Institute in 1986. He has also been a teacher since the nineties at the School of Communication of Seville, where he teaches several subjects besides being the coordinator and speaker of four of his master’s degrees.

His great experience gives him more than authority to reflect and give his opinion, with a great deal of sarcasm, but in a most accurate way, about the current context of marketing.

Share your impressions on how the educational system has changed, the vision of marketing and the digital environment. And it analyzes the real possibilities of success in these sectors.

After almost 30 years dedicated to teaching, how do you think the way of teaching communication and marketing has evolved?

Well, how teaching has evolved, in general. From master classes to classes with audiovisual support and interactivity with the students. It is that there was no other possibility either. I have had acetates -transparencies- until 2006, with no other possibility.

When they inaugurated the new faculty came equipped with projectors etc. that are already outdated. When I took the class to the computer classroom (PC’s and with plastic discs) so they could do a practice on the computer, the students were afraid to touch them, they would not break … And Excel or internet … We did not talk. Because, either they did not know what it was or, simply, it did not exist.


On the other hand, as a researcher, do you consider that the perception of marketing in society has changed in recent years? How?

In the 90s marketing was still the bad capitalist, American, braineater, manipulator. Now it is no longer American and capitalist (according to whom, of course) but it is still the rest.

Of course now there are a lot of neoconvers, located mostly in the digital professions that seem to have discovered the spiritual damask. I have a few exalumns who walk through these networks “lindekiners” as the preachers of the Farwest; instead of wagons they go on blogs and digital pages, but … they say some shocking things!

And society, accepts it as something inevitable to sell. “Everything is marketing today,” they say, as a synonym for advertising hype inherent in any purchase, such as price and packaging, for example.


How has the digital environment affected marketing?

In the end, the same is done. Now they call him with another “digitized” anglicism, but the concept has not changed. I asked an expert lecturer and teacher to explain what the imbound is and what he told me is the same as what I did to favor the sale. Only now you do not use posters, outdoor advertising, etc. ; all this is transferred to digital tools, with their language and anglicisms.

Of course, digital tools greatly facilitate the task and allow you to control the effectiveness of actions… If you know. Because here we should also make some clarifications. Ignorance makes everyone use the analytic without really knowing what they are measuring. A lot of metrics and a lot of google algorithm.

I’ve been with an alumna for a while analyzing the intranet web of your company and without having looked at the google, we have already left the directive exhausted and disarmed, with an open mouth. How will you interpret analytic if you do not know what a variable is, or an indicator, or anything?


“In the 90s marketing was still the bad capitalist, American, braineater, manipulator. Now it is no longer American and capitalist (according to whom, of course) but it is still the rest.”
Juan Carlos Alcaide

He is a founding partner of the Marketing and Communication Research Institute, in response to what this organization was created?

I was the first -and only- researcher in a media outlet in Spain. Every year I presented the results of studies to agencies and advertisers. It gave me prestige and, consequently, demands / offers of work in advertising and marketing research.

I got out of the way and left as a freelance consultant. I had to become a legal entity in view of the demand, and so I started to develop a research institute with the mission of remaining in time as a prestigious brand.


Is it important that the marketing team and the communication team are integrated? What can you learn from each other?

Well, I enrolled in economics because I realized that communication without marketing, did not go very far. Therefore, I affirm and confirm that there must be a total symbiosis. Come on, that the communicator must know marketing / economy and vice versa.

The rest, are things of competitive fights of losers to “divide the Nazarene’s tunic”. It’s like those who are discussing whether the dircom should be at the management level, or if the PR is more than the journalist, or vice versa. Each one is where it deserves and the merit is the result of work, initiative and worth.


He is a co-author of “Marketing for SMEs”, why is marketing important for small and medium-sized companies?

I asked my students for annual jobs -now it would be a TFG- consisting of a communication plan. No multinationals, they have everything and it is very easy to say things. I had to do it from Ultramarinos Pepito, Confecciones MariCarmen, etc. a store in your neighborhood, a company in your town. I want to say that you can do the same, only instead of using TVE you will use TeleTriana or Tele Nazarena. Instead of a press conference, you call the community presidents


How can we keep our customers loyal?

Studying them well and covert heir needs. The quality in the service, the personal treatment, an adequate product and a fast and efficient distribution are essential assets. But each product or service has different requirements, even for the same person. You have to study them, you have to do research. What there are not are magical rules. I recommend you read “Small Data. The little clues that warn us of the big trends “by Martin Lindstrom.


In your teaching experience you will have met many students, how many do you think have reached your career goals?

In the faculties of communication enter many idealists with the desire to be someone and / or do good, which are quickly frustrated. The causes? Plans of studies made by bureaucrats that only look for academic power, a lot of ego or little humility lack of economic formation and an excess of academic offer derived from the need to survive as an institution. How can five hundred graduates per year absorb a market of fifty supports ?!

We must dedicate ourselves to something else that we can serve without too much recycling: community manager, freelancer, digital marketing … But marketing is an economic activity and we are not economists, digital is a technological world and I am not a physicist or an engineer. It is hard but not impossible. There are always gaps to fill.

Fortunately, the same imprecision of our training and the better preparation than those of sciences for communication, yes, it gives us a lot of versatility. And here we are, with many technical deficiencies that we are supplying as we can, but we are.

To the professional objectives, understood as media, agencies, etc. Very few arrive. To the complementary or collateral professions – cabinets, dircom, events, communitys, etc. -, many others (or so many). I do not know how many, but many others, or work in “whatever” (teachers, salespeople, administrative …) or, many of the women, end up in the traditional destination of wife and mother.


What does it take to excel in these professions?

As in all, doing things well, with affection; to form continuously, if possible with objectives to be met so as not to disperse in things that are not interesting; Acquire complementary and confluent experiences to your main objective.

Have an open mind so as not to lose the opportunity, but not to take anything – if you are not in danger of starvation – but all activity will add you to your goal. And … “Good luck, my friend!”

In general, do you think that Spanish companies “do well” marketing?

Marketing is a very proper field for upstarts and hustlers. Of all the levels. To know if a company does it well, you have to study and know how and why you have done it. The rest is speculating.


In relation to the previous question, what do you think about international marketing, what are you doing better than in Spain?

Same as above. There are also hustlers abroad.