Friday, February 16, 2007

The Superstitious Marketing Syndrome

If Things Aren't Working, It Could Be The Wrong Plan

By David Miranda

Insanity, as someone once described, is doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results. There is a similar insanity going on in marketing today. Even in this digital age of anytime, anywhere personal media consumption, there are those who cling to the old way of doing things hoping the results will be different despite clear evidence to the contrary. There is less viewership of network television, less readers of newspapers, more users of the Internet, more subscribers to mobile and so on and so on. So why the inertia of marketers to invest in new channels and the steady flow of marketing dollars supporting the broken status quo? One answer is superstitious marketing.

Supersititious marketing is continuing to employ the same methods regardless of whether there is a direct correlation between the executed plan and the result. A good example is the much-maligned :30 ad. Is it still as effective considering the growing popularity and penetration of the DVR or user-generated content sites like YouTube. Successful direct mail produces an industry average response rate of 1% to 3%. This is a 97% to 99% failure rate! And what about the new emerging channels, e.g. social networking sites, blogs, mobile, search, etc.? Is your brand prepared to effectively deploy these channels or will you stick with the "tried and true", the status quo? It is not about what a marketer does. It is about what a marketer does that works that counts.

Superstitious marketing is the enemy of success. Marketers must recognize this syndrome by looking in the proverbial mirror and asking some very key questions -How, when, and where is my target audience consuming media?-Does my marketing mix reflect this behavior?-What is my anticipated R.O.M.I. (return of marketing investment) versus actual? Why should a brand continue to fund a media property or channel that does not produce desired results, e.g. sales, market share? Exorcise superstitious marketing from your marketing organization.

Recognize the insanity and exorcise superstitious behavior from your marketing.