No less than a dozen brands are vying for the consumer’s attention every waking minute of the day. Some pleading, some enticing and yet others imploring him to give them space and preference.
In such a situation, brands and even more importantly those managing these brands need to work extremely hard for their communication to register. Despite being aware of the acute attention deficit some marketers go ahead and release sub-par communication, products and sub-optimal support.
Now one may argue that effective marketing need not necessarily be intelligent but it sure needs to be hard working. It cannot be denied that marketing must eventually end up moving the needle as far as a brand’s awareness, recall, preference, premium, profits, share etc. are concerned.
Often though marketing managers fall into the trap of creating a go to market plan simply because there must exist one. Succumbing to the pressures of fighting the competition, maintaining the share of voice, launching with full aplomb, keeping the channel partners satisfied do tick box but this approach is what breeds “Lazy Marketing”.
So here are 3 ½ signs of Lazy Marketing to watch out for. They might not exactly be as fundamental as the 4P’s but they are a good set of lead indicators if you are in the planning phase.
Bigger, better, faster, more
If a product is just about being bigger, better, faster, more as compared what competition has to offer then you know that there is little differentiation involved. So if you hear better mileage, smoother ride or larger, brighter display you know!
Most marketers seem to have forgotten about using pricing as lever. If ever they do it’s a defensive move which more often than not says “Hey I am not really sure if my product is better than the other guy, but I am lower priced”. When they do price higher they go on a justification trip. Pricing should signal value and if it doesn’t someone is being lazy.
Feeding the Fad
Let’s face it there are only so many ways of doing things and innovation is a stranger who comes into town very rarely. But the worst thing all of us as marketers can do is feeding the fad. Can’t come up with a good activation “Let’s do a flash mob”. Want to get some consumer interaction going “Let’s get people to post selfies!” Ideas do not need to be novel nor do they need to be in vogue, they need to relevant.
And now for the ½ sign
Leave it to the celeb
Marketers must work hard if they want to get this piece right. Yes the decisions get made based on the wisdom at their disposal but never ever should a product or brand allow itself to be carried by a celeb. History is replete with examples that shout out “If the product isn’t great or the story is weak the celeb cannot do it for you.”