October 15th 2012
Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s right.
Let’s look at shoes one of my personal favourite new things to buy. You see the gorgeous new shoe. You want it. You buy it. It then rubs the hell out of your foot leaving you with numerous blisters.
Then there is the age old question as I soothe my battered feet: Did I really need another pair of new shoes? Could I have just worn a pair of ‘old’ ones that are perfectly serviceable?
Now you may be thinking, ‘what is the connection with marketing?’ Well it’s a case of just because it’s new doesn’t always make it the best fit. Sometimes you have to let something ‘break in’, become all soft and comfy, sometimes you shouldn’t really ‘buy the shoe’ as you don’t need it and sometimes, yes, you really should just leap in and go for it.
Very shocking coming from a bonafide B2Ber. An agency bod who should be pushing all the newly minted technology and latest marketing ideas.
Maybe. But at Marketecture, I think we prefer to ensure we have the right solution, not just the pretty new one.
Take the latest blunders on Facebook. Now there is a double edged sword. So many companies have leapt in, built up a social media strategy because its ‘now’ – it’s what everyone is doing. They’ve rushed out into the world, building away a community of ‘likes’ and followers, embracing the ability to get the WOM factor, and gain ‘real feedback’ from ‘real people’. Really connect their brand with their consumers. Make it personal.
And there’s nothing wrong with this. It does work. Done right… And here’s where the ‘is this the right shoe/do I need a new shoe’ analogy comes in: just because social media is considered part of the modern marketing framework, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right, right now for your brand. And more importantly there is the question of whether you have the right ‘shoes’: when looking at any new development like social media just because its ‘new’ and not ‘traditional’ doesn’t mean you discount the usual checks and balances you would include in thinking through any other type of marketing activity. In fact, I would say you have to be even more conscious of the repercussions, the impact, how people will interpret what you are saying, or presenting.
Otherwise you too could end up like Femfresh – not so ‘fresh’. Check out the car crash yourself if you haven’t already read all about it http://chrisbarraclough.marketingmagazine.co.uk/2012/06/22/how-femfresh-facebooks-page-caused-an-awful-stink/
So how do you avoid buying the wrong shoes?
- Think about what you are trying to do: then think again.
New marketing practices, ideas, technology… all very alluring. But don’t get caught up in the rush to be part of the ‘new’. Think about what you are trying to achieve. Think about your audience and if they are ready or open to it. Lastly think about if this is a direction that matches what your company is about and reinforces who you are. If the green light goes on, embrace. If you have doubts, think again, or think some more. Taking your time is not a bad thing – better to be right than very, very wrong
2. Be strategic: don’t spray scatter gun
If you decide you want to try a new marketing approach, think about how it fits in with your overall marketing strategy. Is there a campaign that would be a perfect chance to do something different? Make sure that whatever you are doing continues to reinforce your overall strategy and doesn’t end up feeling disjointed.
3. Test in small doses - then go big
You don’t have to leap in with both feet. Small can be beautiful. Work out a campaign where you can sub-divide and test various elements to see which has the best response. For example, if social media is something you are yet to embrace, you could split your target data so that you test 30% with a social media campaign, 30% with a traditional direct mail campaign, and the remainder with a mix of the two. Split test messaging as well: you may find that one type of message works brilliantly with social media yet falls flat in a DM.
4. Remember the ‘not for public consumption’ filter
Femfresh definitely fell foul of a lack of filter. Nice idea in a room full of creative types – didn’t translate when out there in the real world. This was an idea someone really should have asked ‘Do you really think people will get this? Do you think your audience could find this a little offensive?’ So make sure whatever newly minted idea or marketing wiz bang solution you decide to go on gets past the common sense filter. It can save you a lot of not so nice back-pedalling!