Marketing in a ​”I don’t like ads era”

IN SUMMARY: The use of ad blockers is rising, people are time-shifting live TV to avoid commercials and yet marketers insist on interrupting consumers everywhere they go. Yet most brands are ignoring one of the most important aspects of the Internet: the ability to really listen to what consumers want.

Not too long ago I predicted that soda brands were in for a really rough time. Consumers are ditching soda because of all the health warnings yet here was Coke telling us that sales had increased because of new Diet Coke flavors. All I had to do was listen to consumers online talking about soda and I knew that Pepsi (laying people off) and Coke (sales declined) were in serious trouble.

A marketers most valuable resource

Listening. It’s an art as well as a qualitative and qualitative insight provider. I have been in a LOT of market research and while it can be insightful the most insightful resource of information has been my own eyes and ears.

I spent hours, for example, watching consumers in the aisle of a grocery store. I learned that they were actually comparing labels on products and that products on the bottom shelf had virtually no chance of becoming a prospect in a shoppers list.

I also found out that endcaps moved a lot more products especially if they were coupled with an FSI. Yet marketers continue to use buzzwords like “blockchain” as if that’s going to help them.

Influencer marketing = bullshit marketing

Some people really believe in influencer marketing, I don’t. The best influencer marketing has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with a great brand experience so profound that consumers say “thank you” via social media.

Last summer we did some research with consumers to ask them “would you trust product reviews or endorsements if the author was compensated for her review? The answer was an overwhelming “no”. Yet marketers believe that influencer marketing is a pot of gold because some “experts” said so.

Want great influencer marketing? Exceed a customer’s expectations to the point that they say “wow”. Despite all the negative stories about Amazon their customer service is outstanding often replacing items at no cost. Despite the bad things that Amazon does they still put consumer satisfaction on top of their KPI’s.

MBA people love to quantify and use spreadsheets. The problem is that consumer behavior can’t be quantified in a spreadsheet. Mass segmentation has been replaced by micro-segmentation within segments. But hey, blockchain can help.

Marketing in a ​”I don’t like ads era”