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Marketing’s Silver Bullet

When we think of silver bullets, we know they were a symbol for the Long Ranger. And, they certainly killed a Werewolf or two, but I can’t think of a silver bullet that solves all of our marketing and communications challenges.

There is no silver bullet in marketing!

I know a lot of people thought social media was going to be it, just like we thought websites were going to be it too. But, there is no silver bullet.

I’m a big believer in integrated marketing and perhaps even more importantly, integrated thinking. I don’t believe there’s one solution. If you look at your tactical options, it’s important to understand how your target audiences consume media and how they use particular vehicles for gathering specific types of information. After all, the message you can deliver in social media is very different from the message you deliver in a TV spot, which is different from radio, different from print, etc. You get the idea!

Back to that integrated approach. How do you make sure all these elements or channels are working together?

There’s not one single communication that can dominate a program. That’s my own personal view.

So think about your target audience. Not only about how they consume media, but also their experience with your brand or your competitors’ brand.

It’s important to understand that ultimately, when you develop your strategy, you need a clear idea on what you want to achieve. Is it about building awareness? About changing attitudes? Influencing behaviors? Or motivating your customers to do something? That is what drives your messaging and ultimately, your channels of communication.

But let’s not forget strategy or the creative brief.

I believe in garbage in, garbage out. If your strategy is off, everything else after that is going to be off. I don’t care how good you think your communications are; they’re going to be off strategy. This is often the reason brands test their advertising concepts or final campaigns before implementation. After all, it’s more cost effective to confirm that your communications are on or off strategy using copy testing research at this early stage than figuring out they’re not working once you’ve invested thousands or even millions in your media buy, not counting the cost of creative development and production.

Spend more time on strategy. So many times, brands don’t spend the upfront time to gather the insights, analyze their competition and to truly know their customers. There’s a rush to get the campaign launched. Take the time to develop the right strategy and let it drive your overall communications planning. And think about the arsenal of communication channels and how your target audiences interact with them.

If you disagree and think there is an adverting and marketing silver bullet, then Hi-Ho Silver, Away!

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