Marketing budgets are allocated in the hands of individuals like you and me. Which means they care more about their image than their brand. You know it’s true because there’s no selflessness in advertising. And sometimes (an astonishingly high number of times, rather) there are no set guidelines, no expectations and no targets either. In those times, there are just moods and tantrums. Because the business is just about looking good.
“You disrespect my authority? We want a six-month review. So what if we had one a month ago? What do you mean there are no alphonso mangoes in December? MAKE.IT.HAPPEN.“
But for every 7* of these outbursts, there’s a- “paint me like one of your french girls…”
“Create buzz for my brand”, more specifically is a success metric.
“Our management only sees facebook as a medium for digital marketing.”
“Why do we need to spend money? Why can’t people just talk about our brand?” says an industry veteran while you wipe away the tears from your eyes.
One of the fastest growing industries in the world if not the fastest, the digital medium sells its marketing efficacy on the basis of metrics. Data sets of number of people reached, detailed targeting say what kind of music they like, food they eat, people they judge, which hand do they use to scratch their privates. You know, the important stuff. (Marketing is watching you… ▲)
But the costs are much higher and engagement’s much lower for extremely refined targeting. At this point we still haven’t mentally accommodated the rationale that the particular group might not be interested in the product at all OR the fact that users on social network don’t pour out their heart on the medium as if drinking whiskey with a mate.
Much more open targeting is cheaper and gets engagement from people who no one’s really sure why they engage with what they engage.
(Ever get that random like on an inside joke from someone you didn’t even know was on your list? That’s the kind. Brands love paying for that!)
Targeting to irrelevant audience gets irrelevant reactions leading to the notion of
“The online consumer is not smart. We need to educate.” And the schooling begins, considering the amount of dropouts in the industry, education is a word that stimulates most marketeers. Educating means one or all of the following things: “we can start slow, we can experiment, we can blow their money for sometime without the expectation of an early result, bide time to make something up for their next marketing endeavour.”
Post promotions (running ads on social platforms to reach a specific target audience) are planned in terms of money and not users. In those intimate moments, brand managers don’t ask media planners to promote the post to reach 100,000 active users, they ask them to put Rs. 100,000 on a picture of the brand instead. “It’s really a beautiful picture!”
In an era where number of likes is a personal gratification, the higher the numbers for a brand the better. It doesn’t always matter if those numbers contain people who really care about your product. What matters is the size of the number.
“Mine is bigger than yours” “Oh yeah, mine is bigger than yours during Diwali.“
Somewhere in this power(point) struggle, one braveheart squeals out “But mine is more effective.”
The entire room turns around in pin-drop silence. Stares at the brand in the eye, realising they’re friends with AIB.
Waiting for a sound to break the tension an optimist rises, “We won the best-use-of-best-uses-in-the-history-of-firsts-on-any-social-platform-involving-non-android-smartwatches-and-web-banners at the first annual DIZZY judged by Prasun Pande and the Oasis of Optimization.“ The mic drops while a bamboozled account manager convinces an enraged brand manager that “we’ll win the big one!” What the big one is is beyond anyone’s knowledge or even concern. “As long as it’s bigger than theirs, we better have it!”
*Don’t hold me on those numbers, I’m not too big on them.
Regardless of what you may believe, this isn’t a client-bashing, nor an agency-bashing. While reading this piece if you pictured even a single individual from your work life, you know what I’m talking about. Why am I being so self-explanatory on my own personal blog? I’m job-hunting so things need to be idiot-proof. Even if I’m the idiot in question. Cheers!