Does fast marketing simply create customer indigestion?
Like fast food, ‘fast marketing’ may appear to satisfy customers across the digital equivalent of a takeaway counter. But, with a limited menu and ingredients that may be lacking nutritional value, does it cater to the needs of marketers more than customers.
Fast marketing happens when marketers are institutionally influenced to choose quantity over quality, and convenience over content. When engagement assets, landing pages, outreach or conversations are simply quickfried with little culinary skill, the results can leave customers feeling hungry or, worse still, with a bad aftertaste.
Across client-side and agency environments, four aspects appear to have contributed to a rise in fast marketing:
Professionalisation of Marketing Operations – introducing rigid, process driven leadership into marketing planning.
DevOps, Pivot and Agile Marketing – encouraging a ‘test/fail/learn/adapt’ approach to most disciplines in marketing.
Marketing from a platform – new build, automation and monitoring tools enable non-marketers to have marketing involvement.
Agency left-braining – agency culture and expertise has been skewed in favour of exploring tech possibilities ahead of – and often in absence of – content and creative considerations.
In an ‘all you can eat’ digital marketing age it would be wrong to imagine that markets and customers are so hungry for content that they’ll consume anything. It’s far better to assume they have the time and discernment to look for something more satisfying. And if you can feed them content that forms a healthy diet, they’ll not only be happy to digest but also keen to come back for more.
Extending the analogy further, imagine catering to an extended decision making group (typical of the tech sector). The CIO wants an appetiser of tempting strategic advantages, a main course that has an aroma of innovation and finally, a selection of tasty testimonials. IT tend to prefer meat and potatoes with a gravy of integration and lifecycle benefits. And the CFO? He or she may want to spend longer comparing menu prices before making a final selection.
Four fast marketing fails that create customer indigestion
Mystery menu – brand and product marketing fail to describe what’s on offer and why it should whet the customer’s appetite.
Cold takeaway – call-to-action and sales enablement assets lack the intellectual rigour that may be baked into thought leadership, business case, use case, and other assets.
Bland flavours – marketing serves up undifferentiated messaging that lacks any distinctive flavour.
Confusion cuisine – paid, owned and earned content programmes provide a baffling buffet of themes, arguments and messages.
Fast marketing may be perpetuated by the speed and immediacy of a digital marketing age which continues to mature. Compare this to the introduction of fast food some six or seven decades ago and you realise it may take some time yet before we fully realise the downsides of convenience over quality. In the meantime, let’s not be too pious about the occasional equivalent of a takeaway content kebab or a McMessaging proposition but continue to strive for quality over convenience.
‘For a balanced diet of marketing – and one that’s trusted by leading tech brands such as Cisco, AT&T and Xerox – contact The Rubicon Agency.