wats the idea

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Proper Profit.

How many corporate marketing plans are created each year using cut and paste?  That is, how many marketing directors open the Excel chart from last year, copy all fields and pasted them into a new worksheet as way to start their budgeting and planning process?  Far, far too many.

Some budget line items will stay the same, others will increase to meet inflation or some corporate dictate, while others are cut. Likely as not, the line items will remain the same year to year. (As will the calculation formulas.) It’s just easier that way.  

Too much of marketing is cut and paste these days. The objectives, the strategies, and the tactical line items.  Few companies want to reinvest in the marketing planning process.  And it’s a mistake. Marketing plans should be revisited in earnest every year. Their depths thoroughly plumbed. Their objectives parsed and reparsed. Strategies discussed and vetted.

New “to task” budgets should be prepared and weighed. And for that to happen there must be serious, accurate and achievable objectives.

Just say no to cut and paste marketing plans. Marketing plans are the blood, bone and sinew of proper profit.



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Innovation in product and service marketing has redistributed wealth for ages. Yet one area where innovation has completely stagnated is messaging. The ads and sales copy developed in the 1880s by Lord and Thomas are the same as today.  Words like “sale, quality, buy, and new” were commonly used then and now.

Why can’t we innovate the message? Sure, we can sing it, animate it, give it life with video. And tomorrow we’ll add more dimension and experiential verve with virtual reality.  But the real innovation in messaging will not be in copy, art or delivery but in how we craft behavioral cognition.  Rather than tell someone what to do, we need to help them conclude they want to do it. Make if feel more like their choice. Facilitate and stimulate the behavior.

The old AIDA principle of selling: awareness, interest, desire and action is still a valid construct. Yet most messaging today concerns itself only with the last step action.  Innovations like Twitch Point Planning and other customer journey approaches account for all steps to a sale. Let’s court our consumers appropriately.




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Friday I posted that face-to-face communication, bolstered by listening, understanding and empathy is a strong way to convince someone of another point of view.

The problem with marketing today is that too much emphasis is placed on pushing product benefits while not enough focus is placed on consumer need. A great salesman, like a great physician, takes the time to listen before prescribing. And to truly hear. But ads don’t have the ability to listen, they are only one way vehicles. The best they can do is recount having listened to consumers in the past and package accordingly. A work around. We tend to flatten out the selling process in marketing by jumping to the benefit which minimizes effectiveness. Consumer are complicated.

The web allows us to unbundle this flattened process and that’s a very good thing. Let’s find ways to listen, be empathic and helpful on the web. Then we’ll move the sales ball ahead. Proceed to check out? Peace.


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There’s an interesting article in The New York Times today on the growth and viability of programmatic ad exchanges – algorithm based, bidding based systems that finely tune ads to consumer behavior.  A buyer of hiking boots might be found on a bowling site, for instance, rather than a bird watching site at a more effective price and click-through, so implies the analysis.

It’s science folks. 

Anyway, if online media is getting more predictive, tied to behaviors and data trails, then it stands to reason creative will follow. Here’s a prediction: advertising production is going to flip in the coming years.   The big TV shops from holding companies will have fewer creatives than will be found at didge shops.  Makers of shorty, bursty digital ads have long been seen as less glamorous than those who create high production videos and network :30s and that may not change.  But banners and towers and leaderboard and whatever is next will become more creative and effective – it’s evolution baby. And the need for more units, especially those tailored to the algorithm’s finding, will generate exponential leaps in the need for creative resources at digital shops.  Creative will never be algo based, though it will be tried. So the jobs won’t be replaced by the machine — not here. 

The tipping point for when creatives at digital shops outnumber those at the BBDOs, Ogilvys and Greys is coming.  I bet it will happen by 2016. Peace. 



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