Rory Sutherland: When Should You Rip Up The Rulebook?

03 Nov, 2022

The internet didn’t completely rip up the marketing rulebook and marketers ignore classic theory at their peril, says Ogilvy Vice-chair Rory Sutherland.

Marketers should only consider ripping up the marketing rulebook once they’ve studied classic marketing theory, says Ogilvy Vice-chair and MAD//Masters Co-founder Rory Sutherland.

Speaking ahead of the next MAD//Masters By Rory Sutherland online course - which kicks off on 16 November - Sutherland believes that conventional marketing wisdom conceived in the 1950s is still largely relevant today.

“When is the right time to rip up the rulebook? There’s a very simple answer - after you've read it and reread it a few times,” said Sutherland.

"I think that there is a great deal in conventional marketing law that we need to relearn before we start believing that the internet fundamentally changed everything. It didn't. Things that were true in 1950 are still to a large extent very true now. The extent to which - to some extent - young people have claimed that established marketing learning has been essentially superseded, is perfectly understandable thing for young people to say because of course, it removes the fundamental disadvantage of being young and inexperienced. 

"But many of those things that were true then are still true now. Only when you realise that, can you not rip up the rulebook but maybe carry out judicious demands,” he added.

Created by Sutherland, MAD//Masters By Rory Sutherland is an online course designed to enable brand, agency, start-up and b2b leaders to leverage creativity, innovation and behavioural science for competitive gain. Featuring a mix of on-demand lectures, live seminars and a practical assessment as well as an in-person masterclass and networking lunch hosted by Rory at MAD//Fest London, the course combines orthodox marketing theory, rebel ideas and disruptive thinking to help marketers get ahead. A full breakdown of modules is available here.

Click here to secure your place on MAD//Masters By Rory Sutherland and get a complimentary MAD//Fest London (4-6 July 2023) ticket worth £650.

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