Friday, October 16, 2020

Lessons from Mobile Matters: Silver Bullets for Marketing Don’t Exist

Let’s be real, we all love to look like we have it all together on social media. And even if we say we don’t care, I think we all care a little bit. I have found the same is true with marketing. No one likes to post about their marketing failures, rather they like to post about successes. But is that really helpful? Mark Wanczak, Director of eCommerce at Innovative, shares his thoughts on this and how there isn’t one “right” way to do marketing on his episode of Mobile Matters.

Marketers Should Help Other Marketers

As marketers, we all know how frustrating marketing can be. You can come up with a whole new marketing strategy, and then it gets thrown out the window (shoutout to 2020). Or invest in a new technology that you think will make sales skyrocket, and then it falls flat. We have all been there, and if you say you haven’t then you’re lying. So can we start being open about it? The faster we can get over our own marketing egos and start being real about our experiences, the faster we’ll learn and grow.

Stop Chasing Shiny Objects 

I am a sucker for new technology. During Apple’s latest product release event I was ready to go out and buy everything they were showing me. If you want to be like me and chase after shiny objects in your personal life, go for it. But when it comes to marketing we all need to promise to stop getting distracted by shiny objects. Say it with me “I promise to stop chasing shiny objects”. Now stick to that promise!

I totally understand it can be difficult to resist, especially when you have outside pressure from senior leadership asking why you aren’t doing what your competitors are doing. But trust me, following every new trend will lead to an aimless marketing strategy. So instead, take some time to assess if the new tech is going to benefit you, look at results that other brands see from it, and make sure it is actually sustainable. Once you have data to support all of those things, then full steam ahead. Voice and Augmented Reality (AR) are great examples of this. When voice controlled devices were first introduced (think Amazon’s Alexa) no one knew exactly how it was going to play out. But now, a voice strategy can be a very powerful marketing tool. Exact same thing happened with AR. AR is the definition of a shiny object because let’s be honest, it’s pretty fun to use. But one year ago, brands that adopted AR technology often used it as a toy, not something that offered real value. Now, in the world of social distancing, AR is providing real value.

The Art of Saying No

Sometimes, one of the hardest things you have to do is say no. Whether it be to the bowl of ice cream calling your name or in marketing. But learning how to say no is one of the best things you can do for your career. Mark was the first to admit his marketing team has over invested in digital in the past because not enough people said no. If you start to say yes to every new digital platform, you will have all of these tools that aren’t really impacting the bottom line. So instead of blindly following trends and competitors, you need to be able to look at digital platforms and technology with a critical eye, and  say no when something isn’t going to benefit you. This will make your yes much more valuable.

Marketing Isn’t Always Glamorous 

Everyone has this idea in their head of what they think marketing is. Constantly coming up with new campaigns, making things look pretty, creativity, etc. This is definitely a part of marketing, but there’s also a nitty gritty side that most people don’t see. This is the operational stuff like figuring out how to improve your data, integrate your CRM with other platforms, and learning the marketing basics. While this doesn’t always sound like the “fun” side of marketing, it is important you lay this groundwork so you can start creating new campaigns, sending out personalized videos, or creating your mobile messaging strategy.

Mark had a lot of insight to share about the world of digital marketing. The biggest takeaway here is that there are not silver bullets for marketing. What works for you competitors isn’t going to always work for you, and not all marketing trends are actually successful. If you want more insight from Mark, you can listen to his full Mobile Matters Episode here.