Marketing and Thanksgiving: A Tempest of Myths and Facts
I am sure everyone has been following Adobe Marketing Cloud’s zany #MetricsNotMyths campaign quite closely. If you haven’t, the videos not to be missed are the ones where marketing “gasbags” get zapped with the BS detector; the digital media consultant gets assaulted till he agrees that social media ROI can “definitely” be calculated, and the robot that gets fired after 5732 days on the job as it was “good on the math but not on the analytics”.
With all the talk about metrics, I thought my blog could focus on the facts that will carry us forward. This took my mind to think of other realms where myths often overtake facts. I pondered over many aspects of history, religion, and culture to finally realize that the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect starting point. While the history of the celebration is usually accorded to the “good harvest” feast shared by the Pilgrims with natives in 1621, the word ‘thanksgiving’ is said to be associated with the celebration is in 1623 whereas there exist claims of earlier thanksgiving celebrations such as a religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598, or a Spanish feast in Saint Augustine, Florida in 1565.
Many debates also rage over the turkey being the essence of the feast. Records ascribe the tradition of eating turkey to Victorian Thanksgiving feast (who incidentally also made it a national holiday!). Over the years several people have tried to separate the myths from the facts about the origins of Thanksgiving, but I guess no one summed up all the debate more summarily than James Baker who called it “a tempest in a beanpot”.
Now while Adobe has successfully created more than just a miniature tempest with the myths campaign, here is my take on the facts that will govern our digital marketing efforts through the next year:
Fact # 1: Your data needs your attention if not your love too. Irrespective of whether your challenges lie in dealing with Big Data or with just a gigabyte datamart, enterprise marketing data across the globe is yet to be of acceptable quality and integrity. The marriage of lead data with campaign data at the one end and with sales conversion information at the other is still a distant goal. How much of your time next year, do you plan to devote to getting data right?
Fact # 2: Investment and strategy for display campaigns can be continuously optimized. With constantly changing target audience behaviour, more channels of reaching them, increasing global reach of brands and newer avenues of placing your ads, the world of digital advertising was never as abuzz. As a result there will be a constant need to test the waters, assess the results and thrive in the vortex of optimizing ad spend.
Fact # 3: Social media will be a part of your mix and its ROI can be ascertained. Since the marketing consultant in the slap video threatens to call the police on the customer, I am not sure if he understood how wrong he really was. Social media sites are here to stay. While some may fade away, there will continue to be some big and popular players who will attract a large portion of your target audience’s digital ‘share-of-time’. So marketing on social media will continue. The question you need to ask is how mathematically you intend to do it.
Fact # 4: You will need to address more customer / visitor segments. More products, new geographies, more smartphone / tablet users, constantly intermingling world, new marketing campaigns, and more data – the future only holds out more of everything for the marketer (as our CMO, Ann Lewnes, said in her blog – “There’s never been a better time to be a marketer.”). So you will have to continue segmenting your target audience and address them in a customized manner.
And on a related note,
Fact # 5: You will deliver marketing experience and not content. With the fundamentals of your digital marketing landscape satisfactorily laid out, you will need to deliver personalized digital experiences to known target segments through webpages and campaigns.
Fact # 6 anyone? Do add your thoughts on myths and facts in the comments section. Till the next blog!