Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Make Marketing User-Centric.


Is it just me or does that sound remarkably product-centric when marketing should be user-centric? More evidence that Twitter doesn't actually understand its users?

It's the type of thinking that emphasises screen brightness and other fripperies when users are more interested in battery life.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Make Marketing Less Complicated.

“You want to try everything and you can do anything, but at the same time, there’s no model to work off of. There’s no blueprint for success. We’re trying a lot of things and we’re throwing a lot of stuff at the wall. But you have to in this space. Nobody has the formula. Now as we start to see what’s working and what’s not, we’re really learning what our fans want.”
  
A statement from a report in 2014 about the NCAA's new social media "strategy" that I found in my draft posts. It didn't become a post back then because there's no mileage in picking holes in such approaches, but today it echoes the type of prevailing marketing sentiment that worries me greatly.

Overcomplication for the sake of it and a bizarre willingness to admit that they don't know what works (while simultaneously bemoaning their lack of credibility in the boardroom) are marketing traits that I loathe.

We exist to connect product and services to customers who want and benefit from them - it's really that simple and I hope in 2016 we all remember that while it's not easy, it doesn't need to be complicated.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mindless Branding.

From yesterday's London evening paper.

Small business agony aunt Jo Malone explains how to pick the right place to sell your products.
Dear Jo
I have just started a handbag brand.
I need to decide whether to sell my handbags on my website or through another retailer’s.
Should I sell it online until the brand has gained recognition before approaching buyers?
This is a great question and one that many new businesses struggle with.

No, it's not a great question. The writer has not created a handbag brand. They have decided to make a range of handbags. Nobody knows about them. There is no brand value, there is no brand equity, there is no brand.

This is what happens when the words used by marketers seep into public consciousness. Nonsense ensues. You don't start anything with a brand. You start with a user need and, one hopes, potential customers who might like your stuff enough to buy it.

Pretending you're a corporation with a marketing department that's busy finding clever-sounding work by which to justify its existence really isn't the way to go.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

If Your Marketing Needs An Asterisk Revisited.


The claims looks clear enough, but there's one of those pesky asterisks that always bugs me. Does it reveal a small sample size? No, nothing so mundane. It reveals a new reality where 84 equals 85.

What were they thinking of?

Monday, September 21, 2015

It Ain't What You Do.



Not all products and services are glamourous. Marketing them well says a lot about the quality of the marketers involved. If you can make the unappealing, appealing then you're a good marketer.

Bodily functions and ailments aren't glamourous, but that doesn't mean the marketing has to fall into the trap of withdrawing into the dull or antiseptic.

Don't bore on about how you solve the problem, just demonstrate what hardship you're removing from their life. How you can set them free.

How do you make the unappealing appealing?

By focusing on the indirect effects. By using brief, clear copy and an elegant and witty image. By being bright (in every sense).



Monday, August 31, 2015

Design Misthinking.


It looks like a clever solution. But really the designer has put the walker in a precarious position and made their journey more mind-consuming than the quicker but longer alternative.

The design has been given precedence over the purpose. Like much marketing, it's become a goal unto itself.

Much better to place a complete strip/bridge across the grille. It wouldn't look as obviously clever as the pictured "solution" but that's what makes it really clever.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Observations From The Conference Frontline.

I recently heard the odd claim that people love lots of brands that they don't buy. Predictably, the advertising industry audience nodded and wrote down the wisdom. I'm sorry but that's patent nonsense. It's a truly odd type of love that inspires apathy. No, people largely don't care about (let alone love) brands and the sooner we all acknowledge that the better.

You may think you're "keynoting", I think you're delivering platitudes at a mediocre event.

And, if your marketing communication claim requires an asterisk (be that for regulatory or statistical explanation reasons), it's not really worth making.