Marketing experts around the world are struggling to find innovative ideas, sometimes we have to face a very fast changing society, our target audiences are not always were we think they are, or are more or less likely to react to our messages, and why would they? At the end, we are crowded by marketing messages everywhere, we can’t read some articles in certain sites, because of the annoying popups and invasive banners all over the screen of our devices, we can’t use those free apps because we have to see those takeover banners or disturbing landing pages, billboards in our highways, product placement in music videos, annoying TV commercials during our favorite shows, and all of them tell us the same, buy, buy, buy.
Lately, marketing has been very important for lots of industries, however marketing is changing, and as marketing experts we need to take a step back and write a marketing plan according to the needs of our target audience and our organization.
So, what should we do?
First things, first… get to know your real customers, real users, real buyers. What does it mean? Get off your desk, go to the streets and do what a sociologist would do, study your subject. I studied communications and one of the key subjects of my career was sociology, unfortunately, I didn’t found it very useful, until today. As a marketing leader I understand the importance of knowing how certain group or community relates to your brand, their environment, religion, the community itself and even the government. Sadly, I have never had the chance to work with a sociologist in my career, but I believe that every marketing leader should at least have one as an external consultant, because understanding the way a society behaves and relates is key to develop a successful campaign.
The social studies are more important than ever before, with tools like social media, empowering almost anyone to create a message and destroy a brand, we have to be able to understand how our target behaves, communicates and their feeling towards our industry, brand and business model.
I remember always the very first episode of Mad Men (when it was more advertising), Don Draper is at a restaurant, and asks a man: why does he smokes, he replies “I love smoking”.
Getting to know our target audience the real ol’ way…