Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Make Marketing Clearer.

Good marketing should share the same mindset as business strategy.

Strategy is about identifying and exploiting a sustainable competitive advantage - a fancy way of saying what it is you do better than anyone else and how you intend to maintain that (either by excellence or manoeuvering).

Good marketing does the same - it's the distillation of the essence of what it is your company's strategy or entrepreneurial instinct has generated and its aim is to convince customers that your product/service meets their needs better than any other.

Now, you wouldn't know about this shared mindset from the bloated mission statements and blandly pompous marketing ideas that are often mistaken for strategy and good marketing. But those tend to be ego-driven rather than customer-driven and overlook the fact that they're about communicating with people. People who make happen the things you want to happen - be they employees who execute the strategy or customers who validate the marketing by buying the end product

Seems clear to me.

Inspired by this post about brand onions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What The FARC?

In 2011, the advertisement above was part of a much-lauded and Grand Prix winning campaign The agency declared that

The powerful, timely and well-located messaging encouraged 331 FARC guerrillas to demobilise and re-enter society—a 30% uplift on the previous year. In challenging circumstances, strategic planning drew together powerful insights to create a core, successful, thought – taking the spirit of Christmas to guerrilla strongholds.

The judges swooned and there were awards all round.

Yesterday, the FARC rebels ended their unilaterally-declared 2012 Christmas ceasefire with a series of attacks across Colombia. This marked a significant increase on the 52 that had occurred during the ceasefire.

 It would be wrong to wonder how many of the rebels had returned from spending Christmas with their families, but it ccertainly reminds us that "effectiveness" is a very odd concept and that the industry can be a little arrogant. Meanwhile,  people die.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Crowdsourced Ethnography.

This minor #ikeascenes meme just appeared on my Twitter timeline.

I'm guessing it started as the sort of online reportage that used to make Twitter great. But, it also strikes me that it would be a smart way to do initiate some quick and dirty crowd-sourced ethnography.

While Google et al have learned to crowd-source translation and other data-gathering via online games and captchas, this ikeascenes meme is appealing to our love of spreading humour. And there's much more truth in humour than you'll find in focus-groups.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Devoid Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Everything.

Renowned London department store Selfridges is soon to open a Quiet Room featuring a number of special versions of well-known products from which "all brand-noise is removed".

Except they seem to have forgotten to remove all but the slightest amount of the "brand noise" from every example I've seen. Which, of course, is the point.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Cumulative Marketing Strengthens Experiential Ties.

On Christmas Day, some Swiss friends tweeted that they were exploring the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I duly Googled and vicariously experienced their day, albeit without the tropical heat.

Obviously, it wasn't the same experience. But, in time, it won't be too different because memories fade and need to be renewed by discussion and prompted by examination of mementoes and photography. Without that, our experiences might well converge.

I've been to great gigs and notable theatriccal events, some of which are mentioned in hallowed terms online. But I don't rreally emember them. Neither the details of the Hollywood A-listers' rare live appearance, nor the detail of the performance that led me to correctly tell the members of the uncredited support act that they would be huge as they handed out flyers outside the venue.

Experience is cumulative - an accumulation of weak ties strengthened by frequent revisiting and re-imagining. Even in the case of the big events. Marketers should remember that.