According to Fast Company the number one reason for failure a new product has no clear or compelling relevance to people’s lives. Companies often refuse to acknowledge a new product or service idea serves no strongly identified customer need, and they try to retrofit their marketing to compensate. I would also argue that the number 1 reason is that marketers rely too much on market research and that too many people within the organization are afraid to say “this is a dumb idea”.
As a consultant I have seen my share of people who are, shall we say, challenged by marketing. They’re not bad or unintelligent, they are just overwhelmed with the depth and complexity of marketing options. The best marketers, I have found, are the ones who have an in depth understanding about what they are really selling and are skeptical around the hype machine that tends to say things like you have to be on Pinterest or have a Facebook page. So what’s the difference between a good and a great marketing person?
Steve Jobs was both an autocratic bully and a business genius but he executed the most successful corporate turnaround so far this century. Steve Jobs teaches us that it’s important to take total responsibility for our products from end to end, and to put products above return on investment. He also taught us not to be a slave to focus groups and that insight alone is priceless.
It’s a new customer world out there which means that brands who really pay attention to their customers don’t need to just compete on price.
Post Summary: Marketers have two priorities in 2014. First we have convince management that marketing is not an “expense”, but rather an investment in the brand. Second, we need to better understand which brands consumers allow in their busy lives and where the decision to become a customer actually takes place.
As I study and learn more about organizations I have found that a lot more companies are adding customer insight departments or groups. At first it sounds like a great idea but unless your organizational structure is ready to implement insights quickly and test them with your audience the insights you gather could be old news by the time someone says “let’s do it”.
I have spent a lot of time pointing out what a lot of brands are doing wrong so I thought I would spend some time on what, I feel, are better brands who are doing some great marketing and getting great results. Keep in mind that great marketing not only makes you feel good it provides results in driving business dollars not soft results like “intent” or “remembering an ad” or “number of fans”.
Digital marketing is not easy. That could be the understatement of the year but the fact is that digital marketing encompasses so many pieces who are always changing and in motion that most brands can’t keep up with the pace of innovation and separate the reality (tactics that will drive share) from the hype (eye candy that doesn’t do a hell of a lot).