Jennifer Beck

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Jennifer Beck
VP & Gartner Fellow
15.5 years at Gartner
32 years IT industry

Jennifer Beck serves digital marketing leaders, specializing in multichannel marketing across digital and offline channels. She offers advice to CMOs and CEOs on how to competitively position their companies, create and manage their brands, enter the digital arena and maximize marketing and sales investments. ...Read Full Bio

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Are you guilty of drive-by marketing?

by Jennifer Beck  |  September 4, 2012  |  2 Comments

Ever feel like you’re not busy enough? Is the pipeline of incoming suggestions and ideas in danger of drying up? Of course not. Most marketers are working way too hard for the results they produce. Why? They haven’t mastered the art of multi-channel, multi-media campaigns in compressed timeframes built around one simple idea.
Oh, you’re plenty busy – with ad words, SEO strategies, e-mail campaigns, the trade show boondoggles, TV ads, store promotions, partner events, sales incentives, some thought leadership pieces, another website refresh, a brand overhaul, a new product launch, a sprinkle of automation here and there, and some cool new metrics to make the next round of budget negotiations not feel so much like a root canal. But you’re traveling at 60 mph, spraying precious ammo at poorly defined targets, never to return to the scene of the crime. And you’re adding to the white noise created by the convergence of multiple buzzes that is your marketplace. No one can hear you, even if they’re listening.
Let’s revisit some basic psychology. Think about how you learn a new term, and then think you see it everywhere. Or how you discovered some new product. Like most people, you have a preferred way of consuming information. Maybe you’re mostly visual – got to see the pictures. Or you like to read about things or need to discuss with others. Maybe you’re the type that has to get your hands on things, kick tires, experiment.
Most of us have a preferred mode of learning. So hence the need for multi-media approaches that cater to those preferences. But we also tend not to form an opinion or take action on that new knowledge until we’ve been hit from multiple angles – hence the need for multi-channels. But we also need that information in very consumable chunks. We scan more than we labor through dense content now. We Google-search, we don’t research. So now there’s a need for simple, memorable, appealing and interesting ideas that resonate. And they have to matter to people. Think about why certain things go viral and others die out. Why do you forward a YouTube clip or follow certain blogs? Humor? Creativity? A feel-good moment? An accepted concept turned on its head? That’s the stuff that industrializes word of mouth.
And finally, we’re a society of multi-tasking, super busy, immediate-gratification-isn’t-soon-enough type consumers that want it our way or no way. So if you’re going to get their attention you’d better be lining up all that media utilizing the optimum compliment of channels, around one compelling concept – and deliver it in a compressed timeframe.
Take stock.
1) Have you aligned everything you’re doing to an overall business goal? Not the measurement madness of just lead volumes, conversion rates, website hits, social media traffic, media mentions, and the like – but the accumulative benefit of a well choreographed effort to attract a specific number and type of new buyers, or to redefine a market category, or grab market share from a competitor.
2) Have you been smart about reuse and leverage of marketing assets including content? Not a series of one off creations in response to an opportunity that stray off in entirely new directions from the core brand storyline.
3) Have you catered to the basic psychology of how people learn and act? Not another drive by attempt characterized by random shots that riddle some second tier city sidewalk with lead, never to return to the scene of the crime.

2 Comments »

Category: digital marketing     Tags: , , ,

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David Fontaine   September 5, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I agree with your insights. Content marketing – the cultivation of thought leadership through unique, multimedia content across different channels and platforms – requires marketers to take a step back, take a deep breath and ask whether all that activity is simply for the sake of showing execs that Marketing is really busy. Demonstrating and tracking engagement with your brand and content is more defensible than a to-do list in my opinion. Of course, I could be wrong. I am interested in other opinions and input.

  • 2 nest   November 29, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Marry me and I’ll never look at another horse\!

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