When did Marketing become a TV show?

I know, I know….I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. Believe me, I have many posts written. In my head. But yet I never made it to the computer. Something always came up.

I can blame the fact that I lost my job in the spring, or the fact that I’ve been busy with kids and school and holidays and birthdays and looking for a new job. And all would be true. But here I am!!

And on that note I bring you today’s post.

I was going to write about the LEAD (you know….marketing’s 4-letter word). Then I was going to write about how you need a Fedex degree in order to fill out their forms. And I suppose one day I will get around to those topics. But for today, I want to focus on a trend I have noticed recently. A trend that, in my mind, has married the marketing world to the TV world. A world where executives are quick to make decisions without considering all options. A world where a show is axed after 2 episodes. A world where instant gratification supercedes tried and true marketing techniques (such as AB testing) for knee-jerk reactions to poor results.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for “going with your gut”. I am a firm believer that playing it safe and successful marketing do not go hand in hand. But, more importantly, I believe that marketing is about learning. It is about figuring out what works and what doesnt. And then tweaking your program for optimum results. I know that what works in Canada doesn’t work in Europe (and vice versa). That Canadians will accept American spelling but not vice versa. I know that, for some programs, a short form is more successful than a long form and, as a result, you have to sacrifice some of the information you collect.

I’m not trying to be arrogant. I KNOW these things because I’ve tested them. Not always intentionally, mind you, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore the facts.

The facts are that marketing takes time. Sure, you can crank out programs at the drop of a dime. You can create email campaigns that generate hundreds of “leads” (yeah…this goes back to the 4-letter word topic). You can go to tradeshows and make a huge splash. You can create the best press release and get tons of exposure.

But then what?

You see, in my opinion, it’s what you do next that matters. Because for every successful email campaign, there is a flop. For every amazing webinar, there is the one where only 3 people actually dialed in. And for every great ad-word campaign there is one with tons of hits, but no click-throughs.

But then what?

If you’re a good marketer you will look at the results of ALL your programs. Figure out what worked. Try to replicate it. Does it work again? Great! Do it again. But don’t abandon what failed! Maybe you sent out an email campaign on a religious holiday that you hadn’t considered. Or maybe your offer/call-to-action (CTA) wasn’t compelling. Or maybe it was simply too long. Or too short.

If you work with a company that’s been around for the last 10 years or so, remember that a lot has changed! Google, Twitter, Linked-In, SEO, keywords, blogging…the landscape has changed. That campaign you ran 5 years ago that was a huge success? Try it again. But also try the campaign that bombed.

The results might just surprise you.

Don’t fall victim to the “ratings war”. Give yourself, and your team, permission to learn.

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