The consumer environment continues to change, and it seems that the advertising industry continues to lag behind. Consumers are tired of seeing digital ads or commercials that do not appeal to them. There are complaints about commercial waste, and ‘ad pollution’, because brands are aimlessly (or at least it seems so) putting up ads in populous places, versus populous places where their target market resides.
Programmatic advertising, though great in theory, has proved to be difficult in application. Yes, brands can trace and identify patterns in which the consumer operates and purchases, but unless the ad or information is relevant, the programmatic strategy morphs into personalized spamming.
Not to mention content – or inbound- marketing. It makes perfect sense and again, great in theory, but now marketing departments are scrambling to build editorial teams within to adopt an inbound model on top of the various other assignments marketing is responsible for.
And what about all the new toys and shiny objects marketing can play with? From infographics, social media, gifs, interactive white papers, online communities, the IoT we mentioned in a previous post, to mobile apps, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), the marketing environment is also a digital and technological playground.
What can a marketer do?
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Easy. Take a deep breathe, and reset.
Why does AdLand need a reset? In case you haven’t been paying attention to the past couple of months, both the brand and agency world are racing to a straight up collision, or a breakdown in business. Also, with all of these marketing tools available, marketing departments and heads are confusing each other on what use, and amplify that confusion by providing benchmarks and measurements that are vague, too easily influenced by other variables, or just overall bad. The following steps are loosely modeled off of David Ogilvy’s “Magic Lantern” he wrote about in Confessions of an Advertising Man, one of our favorite books about creating consistently powerful marketing.
The Marketing Reset
- Back to the drawing board- identify your target market
It is still boggling to see that even in today’s world, people think that ‘the masses’ will buy their product. Yes, it takes time to sit down and narrow the mass market into a target or niches, but it saves time and headaches further down the road.
- List your CA, USPs and Wow factors
Hopefully your brand’s product has some kind of competitive advantage (CA) over the competitors. That can drive the marketing. If not, then using the unique selling points (USPs) of the product in the advertising will help set it apart. Again, these are basics that marketing has strayed from ever since marketing and advertising tried to make things pretty and eye-catching instead of factual and compelling.
- If your consumer isn’t a moron, then don’t treat them like one
If we see one more “buffoon dad” commercial, we’re going to flip. Likewise, putting girls in scantily clad clothes eating a burger doesn’t make sense. Stop with the bad ads and create something actually interesting. Studies show time and time again that sex doesn’t sell (a.k.a. make consumers buy) and in common social circles, no one likes to be seen as inept. Why these themes continue to hit our screens? Not quite sure.
- Consider your target market, and use the tools your consumers would LIKE to see you
The ‘disruption’ model is stupid. The tools and marketing activities we employ need to boost the experience the customer is expecting; not surprise them. A company selling dentures will not devise a SnapChat campaign. A music band will not advertise their concert or concert series on LinkedIn. Not being everywhere isn’t lazy, it’s economical.
- “Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth”
Let your marketing team do their job. If an agency, let the account team work with the client. Limit the numbers and provide some autonomy. Designate an official decision-maker. Too many times something is created, and a “committee” like Ogilvy says, destroys an ad or campaign, but is unable to create one.
Editorial Team- Let them manage the content calendar, blogs, white paper, videos, etc.
Social Media- Let them run the networks
Public Relations- Let them work in conjunction w/ social media squad and editorial staff, while reaching to the various publics
Branding team- setting the strategy, art, and messaging for all accounts/productsIf your team is too small to segment like that, assign specific duties so no one interferes, doubleup, or worse- contradict.
- Set your metrics according to your goals
Metrics and goals go hand-in-hand. Be specific about the goal, and be very intentional as to the metric. Use specific vocabulary for what “engagement” and “growth” looks like. A “sales increase” means what? What does “revenue growth” mean? Be detailed so teams know what to measure, and what success looks like.
- Marketing supports Sales
We cannot forget that the ultimate reason marketing exists is because brands needed a business activity that boosts sales. Marketing makes consumers aware that a product is available that could make their life just that little bit easier or pleasurable. Keeping that in mind will help shift AdLand from artists and designers to strategists and influencers.
Why Our Marketing Industry Needs a ‘Reset’