I'm astounded and frightened often when speaking to "marketing experts" who, in truth, do little more than deliver a deluge of marketing buzz-words.
So many people from the SEO and PPC space are calling themselves "experts in marketing" (they're not) or "Gurus" (run away from anyone who calls him/herself a Guru) despite not having any ability to see the marketing forest for the trees.
And they all say marketing has dramatically changed. But has it really?
Maybe marketing hasn't actually changed (at it's core, at least)
Marketing success doesn't come from a new and flashy medium. It's part of the equation (and a very important one), but only part. Success comes when you deliver the right message for the right product/service to the right person at the right time in the right medium.
When it comes down to it, despite the constant emergence of new media (and subsequent hype), marketing at it's core hasn't changed. The secret sauce isn't in the medium alone, it's in the overall strategy. It's form serving function.
Sometimes it can be so plainly simple.
Free Marketing Advice for Bisquick, and a lesson for all other marketers
I apologize for three straight posts about food, but that seems to be where my marketing mind is lately. This Easter morning I woke up and made my three kids pancakes for breakfast. I got out the griddle and put it on the kitchen island so they can watch, and they always love it. I add food coloring to the batter to make it a little more fun.
Being Easter, today I decided to make egg-shaped pancakes, and we ended up with purple, pink, blue and yellow egg-shaped flapjacks. The kids thought it was fun, I enjoyed watching them smile, and we had a nice family breakfast.
But I couldn't help but think Bisquick (which I used to make my pancakes) is missing out on a great opportunity for differentiating their product and finding a creative way to sell during the holiday. And there's a lesson in it for all other marketers.
With a minor tweak to the packaging, the company could add pictures off colored, egg-shaped pancakes to the front of the box, instructions to the back of the box for making them, and put food-coloring droppers inside. With display on the shelf they could push more product through seasonally.
But let's go back to our principles above. Marketing is about the right: Message, Product, Person, Time and Medium.
In this case, the message, product and person are fairly universal. "Everyone loves Easter-egg pancakes with Bisquick" is a message relevant to most Americans. Who doesn't love fun and pancakes?
Timing is a challenge Bisquick faces. You buy more batter mix when you A) run out or B) need some for an event or meal. But by packaging the boxes for the season and turning the process into an experience they are creating the timing and creating the demand.
And the nice thing about doing marketing right is that it can thrive in a myriad of media. This message resonates in a point-of purchase environment. Coupon promotion would move the meter. Television and display works. And social media could make it explode. Thousands of moms (or dads in my case) would post to Pinterest (as I did for testing purposes), share on Facebook and Tweet on Twitter.
In the end, done properly for a few years, Bisquick could become PART of the season itself.
But remember, they key is that ALL areas of the marketing process were factored in. Not just the latest media fad.
Don't let yourself get sucked in or fooled by the buzz. Don't listen to those telling you it's all about the media, or the technology or the secret methodology. That's like saying baking a great cake is ALL about the oven.
It's about the right message about the right product or service to the right person at the right time in the right medium. And lately, it seems to be about the food.