Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Behavioural Marketing.

I always think I'm stating the obvious in my posts. It really shouldn't be hard to avoid marketing mistakes. But the "data" so often suggests otherwise.

The latest example festoons the walls of the escalators at the City Road tube station.  In the pitch, there was no doubt much talk about leveraging social media. In the cold half-light of civic transportation, this means that every few feet there's a barely legible white on pink mini-poster comprising solely of a tweet from a user.  So far, so meaningless.

It's the latest version of the invasion of movie marketing with ever more obscure five star review snippets. Yes, they may be "authentic" and yes they may all be a truthful assessment of the experience but, as with the movie posters,  the reviewer has to have some credibility before anyone pays attention. Do the marketers really think that we'll sudddenly give credence to the opinions of strangers like those we've spent our journey ignoring?

Presumably so, because they also know that their escalator audience is literally mobile and yet have chosen colours that make it hard to read in the real world. Not that anybody who isn't  a marketer is going to read them anyway because real people are either rushing up the stairs, their eyes focussed on the top,  or they're stationary their eyes buried in their device - ironically leveraging their own social media rather than looking at the one they're being expected to admire.

The first rule of behavioural marketing is to market to the behaviours of those whose attention you seek. So, if you're going to be interruptive, you have at least to make an effort to make it worthwhile.
Fish were the fish are is only part of the equation, you also have to fish when they're feeding and make it enticing.

As Bill Bernbach said "If no-one notices your advertising, everything else is academic." Or part of an overlooked effectiveness award paper.


PS The tweets are for Lumia something - I had to check my notes because I truly couldn't remember.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Parents Know Best?


Why focus your marketing on a single brand when you can dilute it with a second? Because it will play well in the board-room where they strangely believe that customers care about brands and will be reassured by your corporate logo. Especially in a communication that emphasises a heritage from which you were absent for 181 years.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

When is authentic too authentic?


Budget supermarket chain Lidl decided to crowd-source its advertising via customer tweets.  Not a bad idea, but my photo reveals that not all people are copy editors.

Would correcting the grammar have undermined the authenticity? Does reproducing the error suggest a lack of attention to detail and reflect badly on the brand? It's a judgment call.

Lidl apparently decided it's OK to leave the comment to stand on its own merits. Or did they?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Inefficiency.

"This sort of inefficiency didn't vanish the moment it was spotted and acted upon. It was like a broken slot machine in the casino that pays off every time. It would keep paying off until someone said something about it; but no one who played the slot machine had any interest in pointing out that it was broken."

From Michael Lewis's excellent Flash Boys, but applicable to so many areas of the marketing ecosystem.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

100 Marketing Experts Walk Into A Definition.


What do you get if you ask one hundred experts to define branding

You get talk of manipulation, myth building and ratios (whatever that means), you get ego-massaging bios that are often longer than the buzzword-laden answers and you get an overwhelming sense of despair at the state of marketing. But, there are exceptions.

James Heaton rightly says that "A brand is whatever your consumers have in their minds about you" while Lee Cockerell's "Branding is simply the reputation of a product, person or organization" and Noah Briar's  "Brand is the sum-total of interactions a person has with a company's products, people, and communications" are similarly on the money.

Interestingly, most of the respondents choose to answer a different question (how unlike marketers) and try to define the word brand rather than branding. They duck the implicit question of whether you can actively brand something in a meaningful way and Joe Rospars gets close to that when he asserts that "At worst, it's the communications equivalent of searing an ironclad message into the hide of your unwilling audience."

As I have often written here, the mark on a cow is simply possessive and skin-deep and is no reflection of its DNA. To think otherwise is delusional and, apparently, quite common.





 

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Myth Of Data Visualisation.

The real problem with infographics and data visualisation isn't the visualisation, it's the innumeracy of dunces and marketing folk.

Making it easier to see, doesn't mean it's any clearer. If anything, it makes it easier to deceive because we all want to believe that we understand. Even when we don't.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Tone Of What?


I'm a great admirer of the recent Lurpak advertising. Perhaps that's why I scrutinise it  more closely than the usual dross. Thus it was that I noticed a jarring mix of language in this poster.

On the one hand you have  the portentous "Venture Forth, on the other the more than mundane "Cooking Liquid".  You can debate whether either is the appropriate tone of voice with which to address the customer, but the dissonance is striking.

For me, the product name is the weak link. Redolent of brake fluid, it's functional naming taken a step too far - all the more so as it's meant to be an innovation. In light of the excellence of the other executions,  I'm probably being over-fussy, but a lot of lip-service is paid to consistency of voice and it's particularly obvious when you see it in print.