Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Marketing Today - The Sky Is Full Of Dogs

There's A Smarter Way To "Bag" Consumers

By David Miranda

An inexperienced bird hunter bought some prized bird dogs from a breeder for, what would be, his first ever bird hunt. After several hours of futility, he returned to the breeder quite disgruntled and demanded his money back. The stunned breeder inquired what the problem was. "Didn't get one bird!", replied the hunter, "not even close." "That's impossible," responded the breeder, "those are my best performing bird dogs." "Well," said the hunter, "perhaps I wasn't tossing the dogs up high enough."

The same can be said for a great deal of the marketing done today. There are consumers everywhere and marketers futily "toss up" marketing effort after marketing effort in hopes of bagging their prey. In fact, the marketing "sky" is full of "dogs".

To "bag" consumers today, marketers must be smarter hunters. The first step is to understand the media consumption behavior of their target audience and design a campaign accordingly. The mass market has given way to many niche markets each with its own unique characteristics. The proof can be seen in the audience erosion of traditional media such as broadcast television, newspapers, magazines, and terrestial radio and the exponential growth of the internet including social networking sites, user-generated content, and mobile.

Here is some advice to smarter hunting:

  • Zero-base your marketing. The marketing landscape is morphing very fast. New channels are emerging that can be more effective and efficient. Don't be married, therefore, to the status quo.
  • Feed what works; starve what doesn't. Set performance benchmarks for marketing efforts. Have a clear R.O.M.I. (return on marketing investment) and hold people accountable.
  • Avoid I.G.T.D.T.T. (I've Got To Do That To). This is the infamous me-too approach when a marketer observes a competitor's marketing initiative and copies it irregardless whether the initiative worked or not.
  • "Do" outside the box, not to be confused with "think" outside the box. Observe consumer trends and behavior in the marketplace and adapt accordingly and quickly. Today, preference is perishable and consumers are literally only a mouse click away from a competitor's offerings.

Here's to smarter hunting!