Twelve years ago, I was working in the marketing department in the main office of a national chain of an after-market auto parts supplier. I worked in a large room with a dozen other graphic designers, pumping out full-color newspaper circulars. It was a grueling process. We had to keep up with the various price changes and product switches from category leaders, along with the whims and fancies of several vice-presidents in charge of "something or other." These guys would wander through the department and peer over the shoulders of my colleagues and me as we worked diligently on our computers, moving and adjusting our circulars, as per instructions determined in a weekly marketing meeting. In an effort to justify their jobs, a VP would — on the spot — instruct a particular artist to "change that block from red to yellow" ...only switch it back to red an hour later. This would occur on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis, forcing an artist to make a pointless change and carry said change across a dozen different demographic-specific versions. Things like changing the width of a dotted line around a coupon or flipping the positions of adjacent items in an ad were regular and anticipated changes... often made as the print deadline loomed closer. They were changes for the sake of change, mainly to reinforce the ego and control of upper management.
Look, I don't claim to be an expert in marketing. I have, however, been exposed to bad marketing for over forty years. (To be fair, I've seen good marketing, too.) But, it seems that bad marketing is more wide spread. Hell, I worked in a marketing department for ten years under someone who didn't know shit from shit, yet she kept her job when I got let go.
I think that all of these so-called, self-proclaimed "marketing geniuses" should all meet for dinner at this place to discuss their various strategies.
After all, they must have the best food in town. The sign says so! Otherwise, how would people know?