Friday, March 24, 2017

I am the very model of a modern marketing plan.

Yesterday I had two of those excruciating meetings that really rub my goat the wrong way.

They were meetings ostensibly convened to discuss knotty marketing problems and how to solve them. 

The first involved a product that has 0% unaided brand awareness. It has about 5% marketshare and shrinking. And, really, it's worse than that. By my calculations of the real market it has about 1/1000 marketshare.

Still, despite all this, we are told to overcome these issues with banner ads. I was about to write 'small-space banner ads,' but then I realized that that would be redundant.

The second meeting was much the same as the first. A tough marketing problem that the client was looking to solve with banner ads and social tiles.

I sit in these meetings and stew.

When the phones are hung up I ask questions.

"Has any brand ever raised awareness via a month of banner ads?"

"Are you persuaded by social tiles? Do you notice them?"

And my favorite, "Do you like when ads 'retarget' you?"

I got no answers to these questions. Just blank or annoyed looks.

Sometime about 25 years ago when the internet started showing up on people's laps, some MBA somewhere got the notion that marketing nirvana could be achieved without cost.

One-to-one or precision-targeting was going to be the magic bullet. Ads would be cheap and there'd be no waste.

In other words, we'd get something for nothing.

Tenaciously, marketers charged with doing things on the cheap have clung to the notion that something can be gotten for nothing. Each time something-for-nothing-ism is abnegated by real-world (lack of) results, they pull another cockamamie flood of jargon out of their quivers.

Now content will do it. Now inexpensive video. Now search. Now programmatic. Now mobile ads literally the size of a thumbnail. Now six-second unbranded Snapchat videos.

Now, leave me alone.

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