Why must people repeat the same mistakes over and over? Nowhere does this statement apply more than in the advertising industry. It seems no matter what great media and creative vehicles are developed, advertisers find a way to ruin them by using the same ineffective strategies they used with old media. Look what we marketers have done to the great communication vehicles of the past 100 years: print, mail, phone, TV, digital and now social have been overrun with ads. Instead of communicating with consumers, most advertisers just push ads at them asking people to buy stuff, or insist that their product is something people can't live without.
Does it work? Sure, it works to some extent, but the real questions are: is it efficient? And, is it the best return of a brand's advertising dollars?
I think we all know the answer to these questions are no. Sure, digital media has allowed us to micro target audiences, and easily push messages at people, but it still isn't as efficient as we all want. We might optimize CPM's and CPA's, but we still have no real idea how all our media vehicles are working together or how we are driving people through the sales and post sales process with our brand. We might all say we know what is going on, and what is working, but most of the time we test backward into it our guesses.
Even worse is that most advertisers have no real idea what media vehicle they should use and why. You deal with a digital agency and digital will be the answer to everything, a creative agency and video and big budget creative will be the answer or a social agency and it's all about word of mouth. Most of the time these different groups of people, whether internal or external, not only don't work together to develop integrated plans, they actually fight against each other for budget and creative control. I can't imagine anything less efficient or effective than this group of marketing gurus fighting one another.
I've often wondered why this is. Is everyone in the advertising space simply an egotistical bastard? While we do have our fair share I don't think that is the sole cause of this fighting. The reason they fight is because most agencies and brands don't plan their tactics strategically. Sure, they have a high-level strategy that says they want to achieve a certain level of brand awareness, sales, etc. and then have individual strategies for each marketing vehicle. But, the problem is marketers almost never work together to develop out an integrated tactical plan where all media vehicles and creative tactics work together. Even the very few companies that build marketing and advertising plans based off the traditional marketing funnel do so without considering the complete consumer path customers have with their brand.
47Harmonic exists to fix this marketing planning struggle. We do this through the use of the Harmonic Marketing Cycle that puts the customer at the core of the entire marketing plan, working around them and making it easy for them to do business with your brand instead of trying to push something down a crazy funnel or guessing at what media vehicles to use. Is the Harmonic Cycle and 47Harmonic perfect? No. Is it better? Definitely, and I'll explain about how we go about executing this in the next post.
In the meantime, I'd love to hear any stories you have about fights between different types of marketers so please share them in the comments below.