Friday, June 28, 2013

Do they care as much as you do?

My heart goes out to my colleagues working in the marketing department. I believe they have one of the toughest jobs on the client side.

There are some lessons I think newbie marketers should know and learn before you become disillusioned.

After years of working with some of the best marketing people in this market, planning, sweating and bleeding marketing strategies and plans and executing them, here are something you should know: 

No one cares about marketing as much as you do. You may know marketing is what sells and long term branding is important, the rest of the departments don’t care and don’t want to care. 

Because they don’t care, they won’t think about the problem that affects marketing. EVEN if it started from their department. To them, it’s a production issue, it’s a trade issue, it’s a regulatory issue, whatever issues. Never a brand or marketing issue. They won’t see and refuse to see how it affects you.

When the other departments agree with you in front of the boss about what they will do? Expect them to change their minds and expect them not to inform you or the boss. Why? Because it is a it’s a production issue, it’s a trade issue, it’s a regulatory issue, whatever issues. Never a brand or marketing issue. They have no reason to inform you. Oh, and they don’t report to you. 

Will they care how it affects you?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How big is the digital world?

Very often when you present something digitally oriented, inevitably someone will act as a detractor. “Oh, my target market isn’t there.” “They don’t use it.” And you will hear a cacophony of reasons why digital should not be deployed.

One does not need to go very far for lessons on when to use digital. When mobile phones first became mass, many marketers shun even simple “sms marketing”. We had clients that ignored us when we said the senior citizens then were reading sms-es and sending them. Well, that has come to pass. You now know your grandma and old aunt sends and reads smses. But that window is now closed.

Digital is here to stay and the pervasiveness of smart whatever gadgets just mean digital mediums have touched everyone.

It’s whether you want to ride the wave or wait it out. To ride the wave you must spot when the wave starts to build. Not when it peaks. 

How small is the analog world?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How big is the analog world?

Everything seems to be related to the digital world now. Everything. Before anyone accuses us of being against using digital medium – remember you are reading a blog entry now. A tiny evidence that we do subscribe to the digital world amongst the other things we do digitally.

Challenge is when people swing to extremes and ignore the analog world - if there is such a thing as the analog world. The analog world – the world we created and where our lives anchor upon. 

What we do and how we use digital must be evaluated based on what happens in the analog world.

Digital is big; no doubt about that, beyond being big one needs to look at objectives and how it is used as a medium.

How small is the digital world?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What if tomorrow this happened?

Your nearest competitor launched a similar product to your best seller with double the A&P budget.

An ingredient in your product is now deemed dangerous.

Someone called in a hoax to the authorities and they raided your factory. Now it’s all over the social media.

Of course it doesn’t always happen. Or the chances of it happening is remote. But a plan for your most at risk product and service? Maybe, just maybe it’s a prudent exercise to do? 

Is it still a crisis if it can be managed?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Are you all in?

Not everything is an “all or nothing” situation.

For example, saving money. Some savings is better than no savings. Or exercise, a little exercise a day has cumulative effects on the body. Might even spur you to do more as you keep on doing what you are doing. Reading is another example, a chapter today, another next week, soon you finished a book. A little more knowledgeable perhaps by the end of the year.

Sometimes the bravado you hear, “I rather go big than to …” is an excuse.

Are you using it as a cop out?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Will you let your brand choose itself?

It’s funny or should I say interesting. There are clients who are still wishy-washy when it comes to using social media or the digital world to spread their brand name. They aren’t too sure.

These are the same clients who get all excited when they find that their brand has been mentioned favorably in some blogs or forums.

Here, let your brand choose itself. Let it build authenticity and trust via the digital world. A fan at a time; over time it builds a lot of goodwill. And that will spread. Slowly but surely.

What are you depriving your brand?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Which passionate idea is still sitting on the shelf?

If you need to choose a day to implement that idea you are so passionate about and work on it? Choose today.

Today is as good as any other day to put that idea on paper. It is a good day to pull it out from the shelf or from your computer files to speak to the boss again. Push it through.

The only reason you have started the business, become the artist or push through the new product is because you waited for permission. 

You don’t need permission. You need action. Whether you work for yourself or if you have a boss; do, don’t talk. Go.

Can you recognize regret when you see it?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What have you been doing so far?

It’s always tough to plan ahead; especially when the boss asks you for a five year plan. What about a one year plan? How difficult would that be? 

Just assume the same thing, use a safe percentage of growth, assume your competitors are not going to do anything out of the usual, get some growth from launching new products. You are done.

You may think that’s not you. But I say, “It is precisely what you do.” 

What are you doing next year?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What would they tell you?

Ask them why they left. Ask them what pissed them off. Ask them how long have they been angry before they decided to say, “Screw this.”

I am not sure if you have the courage. But I think it’s worth it. 

What if you can track down all your unhappy customers?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Do clients want to learn?

Truth is, they don’t. They THINK they do. But they already have their own viewpoints. Trying to prove them wrong isn’t going to work. They will still be right. They have two exits. One, “I am the client.” Two, they can always blame you.

Say what you need to say and move on. Persistence is futile in this case. 

How is your time better spent?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Is your brand worth reading?

From your paid advertisements to stories you paid your PR agencies to shove down the editor’s throat. Why would people want to read about it?

Make it worth their while to read whatever you want to say. Do something worth writing about that people want to read. 

What should you write about?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

When do you stay the course?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin.

How will you adapt?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What can we do better?

Maybe that’s a better question to ask your consumer. I know, your retort will likely be, “we already do that.” Good for you. You can stop reading then.

Trying to market better to your consumers isn’t just about asking them what new things they would like. It could very well be asking them what is wrong with your product or service. A slight improvement to delight your current consumers and make them loyal maybe better than coming up with a new product or service. 

What’s wrong with our product?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What fieldwork have you done?

We have seen this with not just newbie marketers but veterans as well - marketers making far too many assumptions about their consumers. The newbie don’t know any better. The veteran just thinks what they need to know, they already know.

A marketer should be out there in the market, understanding the market. Not in the boardroom.

What makes a marketer?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Are you making assumptions or asking questions?

If you take notice during your marketing meetings, chances are you hear a lot of words and phrases in reference to how to make your brand a success. Very rarely will you hear “this is how we will add value to the consumer.” The reason is likely that everyone on the team just assumes that the product at hand is already of value to the consumer. That’s why it was passed on to the marketing team to sell it and bring in the cash for the company.

That may not be the truth, though. Lots of crappy products get sent to the marketing people. Sometimes you don’t have a say in it because it is the CEO’s wet dream to launch this product. You have the difficult job of marketing it.

So, even though it is tough to do it at this stage, maybe you owe it to yourself to start asking, “What value does it bring to the consumer?”

What true value does it bring?

Friday, June 7, 2013

When are your plans unimportant?

When you don’t plan to execute your plans, your plans are unimportant. We see it all the time. Plans after plans are being devised and revised. But it sits in the boardroom chatted and deliberated away. Never executed.

Sure, some argue that planning is everything. I will add that planning is everything only when the doing is done.

How do you make your plans work?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why should you repeat?

Maybe there is something here for marketers to learn.


What do you want them to remember?