I’ve done it.
We were testing if a small business owner would get a postcard from a tech service provider and happen to have a QR code reader app and then scan it and go to a web page and signup for service. Well, it didn’t work, and when I say it didn’t work I mean not one person took that action. You learn from every advertising/marketing mistake you make and what I’ve learned about the importance of teams vs. technology over the last 19 years demonstrates how its marketers are getting smarter – faster than the technology.
Here are some of the phases of marketing I’ve seen.
Phase 1: Spray and Pray!
Spray and pray was big in the early 2000s (and it may even kind of still be in cheaper channels). You needed a marketing/ad team or agency that could develop creative on brand via a playbook that you spent 2MM dollars developing and then pay a media agency and publishers 20-30MM to slap those banners on “targeted” sites that tied to the behavioral personas of your potential buyers.
We all felt like advertising Mavericks when we got a response rate of .0002%
Phase 2: Personalization!
We finally started using the brains of data scientists and not just relying on big media shops to tell us who to target. Marketers started using actual customer behavioral and demographic data to create segments. However, we found a way to overcook this too because we thought we needed 1000 different creative messages to target all of these super unique types of people that were going to respond differently to our brands.
Phase 3: It has to be Omnichannel!
Omnichannel marketing is the new personalization. It’s a fancy way to say target people where they are likely to engage with your brand and learn to be efficient with your ad dollars. You don’t need fancy new tools (some can help) to do this you need marketers that understand data and channels. I’ve seen marketing teams start to build their expertise around data and move away from folks that only learned how to create the message.
In summary – messages and reaching customers with the right content of course still matter, but it’s so nice to see engineers and scientists becoming marketers. This evolution creates a more balanced scientific approach, we just have to be careful now not to overspend on our technology. More to come on how!
– Rob Dennison