Marketing without a message

By Elizabeth Marriott - 2nd June 2017

I know ABM is all the rave but let’s take a step back for a second and just think about the whole concept of marketing. In years gone by, marketers would create amazing campaigns that really stuck in the memory, in fact, in years gone by famous movie directors would create commercials. Who is old enough to remember when Ridley Scott created the Apple Macintosh 1984 advert which was premiered at the Superbowl? It cost $900K and shows how good it is if we (basically just me) are still talking about it today.

So, what’s my point? Imagine, if they created a great commercial but the message was bland and uninteresting? In the current day and age when we have so many channels to activate across and are inundated with data, it’s easy to focus on the tactic e.g. TV commercial, and the data rather than the message we want to communicate. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I love MarTech and data, but I do see a big change in a lot of marketers where they care less about the message and more about the tactic and the data proving the success of the tactic.

I appreciate this may seem like another holier than thou post from an agency bod trying to sell creative services and that couldn’t be further from the truth (a little bit at least). In London, we see an average of 6,000 advertising messages per day, on the train, tube, bus, billboards, at our computers, on our mobiles and when we get home. As I work in marketing, you could forgive me for experiencing ad blindness but the other day an advert caught my eye. It was so clever that it took me an age to work out, see what you think of it….

Anyway, I’d never heard of the company but loved working out the ad, my point is that as this was on the tube (metro for anyone from the USA), they had carefully thought about the short time people had to view the ad, their message and even a relevant promo code. They had built their excellent creative message for the channel.

In the world of ABM, companies now are focusing so much on the tactic that they are forgetting on the power of the message they are communicating. A common issue we hear is from marketers who have tried ABM but it hasn’t worked. Usually it’s because they tried using a MarTech provider and supplied them with the same old content, same old message, but expected some miraculous new results.

MarTech providers like Demandbase use data to help them inform their tactics and that is vital, they can deliver amazing results if they are given the right material to work with. However, expecting providers to generate business out of content and messaging that hasn’t worked previously is setting them and yourselves up to fail.

Don’t worry, help is here. Use your data on content consumption habits to help build great creative and content to really engage the audience. Arm companies like Demandbase with great work, and they’ll take you the rest of the way.

A bit like the Kevin Costner classic ‘message in a bottle’ (come on, everyone remembers that film), imagine if it had just been a bottle without a message?


Elizabeth Marriott

Senior Marketing Manager

Category: Insight



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