Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today's Roadrunner - The Elusive Consumer

Marketing Lessons For The Marketing Wile E. Coyotes

By David Miranda

We have all enjoyed the futile exploits of Wile E. Coyote in his relentless quest to catch the elusive Roadrunner. Episode after episode, Wile E. concocts ingenious schemes which always includes gadgets from his favorite supplier, Acme, and always unsuccessful as the Roadrunner always escapes in a "beep, beep" and a cloud of dust. You must admire, however, Wile E.'s work ethic. Despite being repeatedly blown up, flattened by trucks and trains, burned to a crisp, and long swan dives into deep canyons, he always picks himself up; devises a new plan, and gets a new shipment from Acme.

Some marketers today have a great deal in common with Wile E. Coyote in their pursuit of the consumer, their version of the Roadrunner. Today's consumer is a smart and elusive prey. The Wile E. Coyote marketers devise ingenious plans to entice consumers and their Acme (media) supplies them with television, radio, print, outdoor, direct mail, the internet, and mobile to name of few. But more often than marketers would like to admit, they are less successful than anticipated. So like Wile E., they dust themselves off, look for a new agency and try again.

Wile E. Coyote marketers could use some sound marketing advice.

  • Even creative geniuses need to be reminded of the real objective-capturing the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers. Don't let a seemingly great idea distract from the real objective - getting a consumer to buy something. Sometimes marketing campaigns may win advertising awards, but fail to move the revenue needle.
  • Stop trying to come up with that one big idea that will produce spectacular results. Good marketing should build equity with consumers - engage them, create a relationship that generates lifetime value for the brand.
  • Be the consumer. Put yourself in his or her shoes. Understand their behavior, their characteristics, their perspectives. Get oneself outside the ivory tower of isolation and insulation.
  • Learn from one's mistakes and quickly. Learn from one's successes and quickly.
  • In today's diversified media landscape, extend your brand across all channels relevant to your target audience. It's about content, context, convenience, and control for the consumer.

In summary, to capture today's elusive Roadrunner consumer adapt accordingly, or prepared to hear the dreaded "beep, beep" as they disappear, not in a cloud of dust, but to smarter competitors.