Wilson bemoans state of UK marketing and reveals how his Twitter test filters the best product ideas

Mark Wilson, Aviva

Aviva marketers have just 140 characters to pitch clearly why their product idea is a winning proposition or face it being binned, says Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson.

Wilson says the plan, called ‘proposition tweet’, cuts through and clarifies in a marketing world which is becoming over-complicated.

“If they can’t explain in 140 characters or less why they will win and what their proposition is for their customer I will kill their product. Because if you can’t [sell it in that time] why would we invest?”, Wilson said, according to Marketing Week.

The New Zealand boss, a former marketer and economics scholar, bemoaned the state of UK marketing.

He told the Marketing Society’s annual conference yesterday:  “I could stand here today and say the marketing garden is rosy but I don’t think that is the case. The skills that we need in the different stages of global economic development of marketing have changed.”

He said Aviva had previously become too focused on the distributor rather than the consumer and the company had thought marketing was about ’fluffy stuff’, about advertising and sponsorship.

The 50-year-old Aviva chief said: “Marketing is about customer proposition, it is about financial analysis, it’s is about fundamental strategy, it’s about data, it’s about pricing – that’s what marketing is about at its very core.

“I believe business is a very simple thing; often we make it too complex. It’s only about strategy, execution and values. Nothing else really matters.”