The new normal is forcing organisations to revamp their unnecessary marketing business functions. Time and again, with the first signs of any crisis, marketing budgets are the first places to look for the thinning.
Are you committing any of these seven deadly sins? Repent, before your marketing function falls foul of budget cuts…
Sin 1: Telling the wrong story
Narration of a fact-checked, relevant and fantastic story enables marketers to enliven a great bond with the market. Copywriting is an essential human experience that strengthens minds.
Historically, storytelling has been the preferred medium used by humans to talk, share, educate and foster connections. To cite an example, think about Suburu’s ads which orchestrate ‘love’ through a well-woven storyline that invigorates a sense of caring for your loved ones, all through a car advert!
Excellent narration of your brand story acts as a powerful advocate for learning. As marketers, we should always strive to understand more about the realm that we thrive in, the people whom we are marketing to and the brands that we are representing. As humans, we learn through experiences, digest it with our perception and subsequently share these experiences through well-crafted stories. The narration also gives marketers an assortment of entry points into your brand. Some resources to learn the art of storytelling:
- Nancy Duarte: How to make a great impression
- Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter Fiction
- StoryCenter Blog: Listen First, Tell Later
- Brand Storytelling Lessons from the Content 2020 Project
- 7 Basic Types of Stories: And what you can learn from them
- Duarte: Slidedocs, Spread ideas Visually
- Seven Myths About Transmedia Storytelling Debunked
- Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story
- Find the Heart of Your Brand Storytelling with These 6 Questions
- Get Storied Manifesto: Building your story
Sin 2: Not being data-driven
With plummeting marketing budgets and value-driven focus increasing, marketers need to leverage the extensive data banks which are available through their campaigns. Data-driven insights from these campaigns help marketers to understand better the customers they are serving, their brand value, reach and impression in their target market.
Furthermore, data-driven decision making is imperative when it comes to changing the course of your actions, find gaps in the messaging and fix it all in real-time with minimal disruptions to the campaign performance.
Sin 3: Ill-defined designs
The secret sauce driving every lucrative marketing campaign is design. Design for a marketer intends to effectively communicate and fortify your organisation’s branding with the core messaging of the campaign in tandem.
Every single speck of marketing material shipped out to the end-user speaks volumes about your enterprise’s brand story. If marketing is considered as a ship, designs are the one sailing your boat. To get this done, design entices your customers to:
- Be told a unique story
- Fortify the core messaging of the campaign
- Increase integrity
- Makes the brand messaging easily understandable
A core design principle is to make sure that the entire message appeals to the eye of the end-user. Put yourself in the shoes of whom you are designing it for. The design needs to take into account the age, responsiveness, factor of appeal and the end goal which your campaign wants to achieve. There are many ways to unlock your creativity and add fuel to your design-centric marketing fire, a few of which are listed down below:
Sin 4: Being analog in a world of technology
To stay relevant in a hyper-connected world; understanding, organising and measuring are imperative for every campaign. From the automation of redundant processes, understanding customer touch-points to collaborating with your product teams, technology has engulfed every single sphere of a marketer’s life.
Sin 5: Misdirected industry knowledge
Marketers cannot be the expert navigators of choppy industry seas unless they have a robust understanding of their product, target market and the business scenario. As an example, a marketer of printing solutions should be able to write the content for the product without any help. To understand how to achieve this goal, today’s marketer needs to wear the hat of a strategist. They need to be as close as possible to the market and product which is being shipped out from their mailboxes.
How do we do this? Listen carefully to the board meetings, sit in with the product teams, talk to existing customers, read more, absorb even more and talk less. Buy a coffee for the technology team member, listen carefully to what they have to say for the product that they have built from scratch.
Sin 6: Wrong Budgets
Do you understand the budgets that are being given to you and your team? It is impossible to build a rocketship (marketing example: $500 spend on YouTube ads) when you have been given the budgets to build a model aeroplane (marketing example: Simple eMail campaign).
How do we do this? Stay consistent and well within the limits of the resources being provided to you, understand where the decision-makers want the most value out of the spend and invest your energy, time and of course, the dollars on the right channels.
Sin 7: Incorrect Strategy
Historically, relevant and comprehensive marketing campaigns have failed to perform because they were not following the right strategy. As we turn our page on the final sin, the rudder of any marketing ship is its strategy. Put on your strategy hat and think back at the bigger picture, ask these simple questions:
- Is this the right channel to reach the customer?
- Do I know what I am trying to make someone else understand?
- Would I buy the product (or service) if I see this campaign?
- Would my grandmother understand what I am trying to say here?