But a recent study, carried out by Marketing Management Analytics, Financial Executive and Ed See, makes me think that more senior marketing executives should double-check the shine on their resume and perhaps consider a few more networking lunches in the near future.
A very brief summary of that report found in Ad Age frightens me and brings to mind a few courses of action that you can take today, if you find yourself in a similar situation.
A recent article in the New York Times got me thinking about the psychology of marketing again, and how some basic principles are used or under-used in social media marketing.
“Warning: Habits May Be Good for You” explores how an anthropologist turned to marketing experts from CPG companies like Procter & Gamble to help increase the incidence of hand-washing with soap after using the toilet in the nation of Ghana to improve the health of children. Obviously, this was an important effort and I was encouraged to see marketing practitioners as instrumental in helping achieve success in this endeavor.
As I was reading the article, it struck me that many of the techniques used are found in Robert B. Cialdini‘s classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I’d lent out my copy a few years ago and, thankfully, had to buy a new version which includes an epilogue written by Dr. Cialdini in 2007. My re-read then triggered a few thoughts on social media.
If the social media crowd can stop navel-gazing long enough to do some quick research and scientific work, boy will money be made. [More after the jump.]
What’s the value placed on a social media marketing campaign by the marketers that develop the campaign? It’s hard to tell, because one typically can’t get access to the key metrics associated with the campaign, particularly sales attributed to the effort and ROI.
I was intrigued by a new social push by Sony Ericsson for the Z750a flip phone, created by their agency, Iris. The campaign is titled “Bringing Purple Back.”
Well, neither Sony Ericsson nor Iris would give me any objectives for the campaign. Neither was any information or speculation found on unofficial Sony Ericsson blog sites about the campaign.
Being an inquisitive guy, I decided to use the crude but effective research technique of following the money to learn more.
You plan for offensive operations, while you prepare to play defense. You’ll find this concept in both warfare and sports, and it’s applicable in business as well.
I much prefer playing offense, because that’s where you score and generate revenues. A strong business offensive plan also limits the amount of places you’ll need to prepare to play defense, freeing up more resources for–you guessed it–playing more offense.
What’s an example of planning as opposed to preparations in a marketing context?
A great example can be found in the United States Postal Service and the annual postage increases. If you’re using direct mail as a marketing channel, you can be sure of two things:
For the first time in a long time I took a few minutes to run through the Valpak co-op mailing I received last week.
After a few minutes of looking at the offers, I came up with a short list of things to consider if you’re using Valpak (or other co-ops) as a marketing channel. The short list is powered by my own past experience and might stimulate you to think of some other ideas.
Before I get started, here’s a rundown of what I found inside. There was a total of 43 inserts inside the envelope (which featured, bizarrely, a promotion for the television program CSI: NY on the OE and which distracted me from the 1:50,000 possibility that there might be a check for $100 inside). I sorted the inserts into three categories:
National advertisers (19, 44% of the total). These included Netflix, DirecTV, Verizon, Omaha Steaks and others. Of those, 4 (27%) of the inserts did not use the standard 8 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ format and instead paid additional for a heavier and/or different stock insert.
Regional/franchise (8, 19% of the total). Included here were ads for the local Gold’s Gym, Kaiser Permanente and Molly Maids. Of these, only 1 (12%) of the inserts deviated from the standard insert.
Local advertisers (15, 35% of the total). These ranged from local dentists to home improvement providers to Anthony’s, a restaurant down the street–which included some coupons that might finally get me to take the family there!. Only 1 insert (7%) strayed from the Valpak standard format.
Valpak ran one house insert, promoting an offer of $350 to target 10,000 homes for new advertisers, a CPM of $35.
We can immediately see some ideas, just from this basic sort.
A client recently asked me “who can tell me if my website is working well for me?” My immediate response was “your customers and your browsers.” This, of course, triggered a conversation of how it was possible to talk to tens of thousands of (usually) anonymous visitors, collect their insights and then translate that to marketing improvements.
Prior to a large amount of advertising moving to the web, with the associated tracking and analytical capabilities, my response didn’t make a lot of sense. Unless you were the sole proprietor of a local general store or had massive resources to undertake a large amount of expensive primary research, it was really hard to figure out what exactly about your marketing was working for your customers and prospects.
Humans and chimpanzees have a match on about 96% of their DNA. That’s not a lot of difference between you or I in our automobiles, sipping a Starbucks latte while chatting our cell phones and our pan troglodytes relatives in the rain forests of central Africa.
And that 4% is about the difference between dramatic marketing success and dramatic marketing failure.
How can you avoid being a marketing chimpanzee? Just Focus on the Four.