Marketing vs. Sales
If you are one of a group of people who thinks marketing and sales is the same thing: get out. Go here and come back when you’ve read it. The basis of this post has been in my mind ever since I read this article from Geoffrey James on Why Sales Hates Marketing. Even more recently, a friend received a cold-email and because I knew the sender, brought it to my attention. This fueled the…passion that you will read in this post. Maybe it isn’t about marketing and sales hating each other, but more about why confusing the two can lead your brand down a dangerous path.
They would do anything for a Klondike bar
In order for a company to have a consistent brand, all members of that company have to be on-board - especially team members that directly interact with clients and stakeholders. These groups are first-and-foremost customer service (typically dealing with negative situations) and sales (typically dealing with first impressions).
The problem with sales being the first impression is that it can, more often than not, come across negatively. First impressions are dependent on communication. You know who’s good at communication? Marketers. If it’s a sensitive sale (which always depends on the product and the client), doing your research as a salesperson is more important than ever. Don’t ignore brand integrity just to help your numbers.
Think of your brand voice and messaging. Is “cold” one of the feelings you want to evoke with your brand? It will be if you let your sales people make cold-calls/emails. Going back to first impressions, if you send a template email to those 1,000 people and get 30 sales, you have potentially ruined those other 970 recipients’ perception of the brand. It is now going to be extremely difficult for anyone to rebuild that perception of reputation. Which leads us to…
They’re throwing spaghetti at the wall
…leaving a mess for others to clean up. Brand equity comes from successful marketing, which is a long-term process. By a sales team essentially throwing spaghetti to see what sticks, there will be a LOT of spaghetti on the floor. Ain’t nobody got time to clean that up. Sales people need to think long-term strategy in their short-term numbers. This means doing research to generate qualified leads, making a positive impression on potential clients, and not leaving burning wreckage in their wake.
Marketers and salespeople don’t need to dislike each other. In fact, if we acknowledge our differences and play to our strengths, we can kick some serious ass. Even more importantly than that, business owners and managers need to see that one team does not replace the other, and that a unified (synergy!) strategy is vital.
Guerilla Marketing: Science World
Micro-managing value: just stop it.
Marketers aren’t only growth hackers. Some of us (ahem, SEO marketers) may have the formula figured out (or at least think we do), but what about efforts where calculating the formula is less efficient than just doing? Here’s where we should focus more on empowering our front lines as opposed to micro-managing value.
This department of your business is sometimes the only contact between your brand and your customer. It can be initiated by a positive or negative event, but the really important part of this is how each experience ends. Is your customer service team there to answer calls and emails, or are they there to represent your brand?
One of my favourite examples of a customer service win, has become quite popular on the internet as of late. It’s about customers taking the process of ordering a pizza a step further to see if your brand will rise to the challenge. If a customer asked you to ‘draw a dragon fighting a flamingo’, would your first thought be analyzing what ROI you could see from doing this? Or perhaps the time-cost of performing this extra task? Colin knows how to manage his customers’ pizza experience. He owns it.
As marketers, we’re finally getting to the point where social media is demonstrating enough ROI for a lot of companies to get on board. On the other hand, we’re bombarded with so many analytics tools, reputation raters, and stats trackers that our creativity is threatened. It’s not always the keywords that get us mentions, retweets, comments, and likes. Social media is about being funny, controversial, and human.
My favourite billboard campaign of all time is BMW and Audi being comically competitive.
Of course something like this takes time to write, design, print, and post, but social media is instant. You need people who can pull this off without checking with their supervisor, or wondering if their cleverness is an appropriate use of company time. A little while ago I posted this on our Facebook page as an epic win:
Watching brands interact with each other through media is like branded Rock’em Sock’em Robots. It’s personable, it’s memorable, and it’s just plain awesome.
Analytics help keep us on track in the bigger picture of marketing. However, micro-management of our brands’ most social functions will cripple brand voice and ensure that your popularity stagnates. Want to be interesting? Want your marketing to be effective? Let your front lines shine.
Fire. We had our favourite quotes from famous marketers designed and printed on 11x17 posters! This is 1/3.
Anyone think Pantone has over-extended their brand with the nail polishes, holiday ornaments, and laptop sleeves?
Pantone Canvas MacBook Pro Sleeves
Kony 2012: Why It Inevitably Failed
When the group Invisible Children launched their video for a campaign called ‘Kony 2012’, it went viral…and quickly. In 3 weeks, the video had been viewed over 80 million times on YouTube alone (other video sites would push views over 100 million). This is the first time (to my knowledge) that an international issue such as genocide in Africa would garner more attention than nyan cat, Rebecca Black, and keyboard cat. So how did they do it? And why did it flop?
The internet is gullible. That’s why sites like Snopes and Reddit exist. So when every teenage girl shares a video on her Facebook page with the line “OMG this guy is so horrible, you have to watch this video!”, people do. And the story behind the fact that Joseph Kony is a horrible man who has done horrible things is a convincing one. So convincing, that nobody checks their facts. Instead, everybody wants to be the one to save the world…from in front of their computer monitor.
Lack of Context
People who are true activists (not Facebook activists) began pointing out that many “facts” stated in the video lacked context. This is why the stats surrounding the issue that the campaign was built on were so convincing. Thus, making it a successful piece of propaganda.
This is when we see the decline of the Kony campaign. When people started poking holes in the story, it went from inspiring to controversial. Invisible Children exaggerated the role they were playing in bringing Kony to justice, they exaggerated facts to make the video go viral, and this is when people stopped listening to the group.
Though ‘Kony 2012’ went viral with a bang and brought a lot of attention to an international disaster, it fizzled out before the campaign’s main event. On April 20th, communities were to “Cover the Night”, plastering their communities with posters promoting the campaign. In reality, the event came and went with little more than a whisper. The problem? Invisible Children no doubt underestimated the initial response to their video, which peaked and then declined within a week - too long before “Cover the Night.”
So when you’re trying to promote something (especially an important social cause), keep these things in mind:
1. If you’re going to lie, lie well. Nothing is worse than having to weave a web of lies to save your own ass.
2. If your video goes viral quicker than anticipated, keep the pressure on. ‘Cover the Night’ wasn’t a success because everybody had forgot about the campaign by that time.
3. Don’t run around your neighbourhood naked and drunk. Unless it is your intention to get press for yourself, you are taking all of the attention off of your social cause.
4. Be an agile marketer. Accept the fact that things will change. If you under- or over-estimate how your campaign goes initially, have a contingency plan in place. That way you won’t fizzle out as quickly.
Traditional & Digital Media: A match made in heaven.
We may be young and creative, but over the past century, marketing has become easier than ever. That being said, the stationary media our forefathers utilized are still at our disposal - billboards, bus benches, and print ads are far from dead. Our challenge, as young marketers in the 21st century, is to make a stagnant medium scream.
Touch screens, smartphones, and intelligent technologies are hotter than ever. Using these, marketers can create interactive experiences that users won’t soon forget. QR codes are an easy (though often misused) way of incorporating digital media in a print campaign. With devices basically glued to our hands, using GPS to deliver messages is the perfect way to direct traffic to a location in which they are already in the vicinity.
A recent campaign done by Gap fused geofencing with bus ads to encourage smartphone users to visit their closest Gap location through use of a mobile coupon. Compared to straight-digital campaigns, this one yielded impressive results for the brand.
Augmented reality isn’t necessarily brand new, but is finally being used by big brands. Tic Tac executed a campaign involving billboards in Times Square, and print ads in magazines. Once you download their app and hold your smartphone’s camera up to the stationary image, you can play games and interact with it from your phone.
Traditional media need not be wasted. As marketers, we no longer need to worry about reaching our customers (there are too many channels to do it!), but making them remember us. The longer you can hold someone’s attention, the more likely you are to end up in the back of their minds at all times. That is a priceless piece of real estate.
5 sites you have to visit right now as a marketer
Outside of launches and acquisitions, BetaKit writes about trends in the startup industry. As a marketer, learning about these trends will give you and your brand a competitive advantage with users.
I had to include a more traditional marketing/big business site here. If you want to see what the most influential brands around the world are up to, this is where you find it. More than just creative, Advertising Age talks figures that will make your CFO’s heart melt.
Brand New is a blog by Under Consideration which brands are updating their identities, and gives an in-depth look at the decisions behind it, and why those decisions do or do not work.
Design You Trust
Design You Trust is curated content about the best design from around the web. You can find anything pretty here, and is great when looking for inspiration for a new campaign.
Lots of brands are tackling mobile marketing, and Mobile Marketer brings you the best, the worst, and the most controversial campaigns involving mobile.