Three Myths of Great Marketing

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with a leader in the local advertising/marketing community. Part of our conversation veered toward the fact that, too often, Iowa companies feel the need to go to other markets – places like Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis – to get good creative.  Our conversation sparked questions about some myths of great marketing.marketing-guru

Myth #1:  Great marketing is driven by the marketing department. Great marketing strategy doesn’t just happen.  It evolves when an organization’s leaders do a great job of defining the challenge.  Too often, marketers do a poor job of defining their challenges.  What do they end up with?  Tactical and reactive marketing that doesn’t advance their brand (see the AT&T rebranding effort – even the biggest marketers in the world get caught up in tactical and reactive).

Myth #2:  Great creative is great marketing. There are two types of creative in this business.  Creative execution is designed to grab your attention.  The AFLAC duck.  The Burger King.  Tiger Woods for Nike.  Danica Patrick for GoDaddy.com.  Then there’s creative strategy. Too often, marketers are “wowed” by the creative execution – the visual – because that’s the glamorous part of marketing. It’s the part everyone sees.  And because of that, they choose creative execution over creative strategy.  The problem is, it’s not creative that sells products.  It’s creative strategy. (example: this new approach by SoBe Water).  Creative without strategy is art.  Creative with strategy is advertising.

Myth#3:  Great marketing should make everyone love your brand. Truth is, you can’t be friends with everybody. What would Apple be without Microsoft?  Coke without Pepsi?  Bud without Miller?  Batman without the Joker?  Even the best brands in the world understand that every battle has an enemy.  Show me a brand that has no enemies and I’ll show you a brand that is dying a slow death. Think of your brand as a personality.  Not everyone is going to like your personality, but somehow, your personality should be strong enough that people notice you and have enough charisma that people want to engage with you, learn more about you and talk about you.

It’s easy to overlook local marketing talent or dismiss it as not sophisticated enough, but if you consider the fact that central Iowa marketing firms represent some of the most prominent names in agriculture, healthcare, insurance, food, construction, energy and financial services, maybe it’s time to take a good hard look and decide it might not be something else that’s holding you back from marketing success.

Author: Tom Flynn III www.lessingflynn.com add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook