Advertising, especially digital, in Bangladesh looks more and more like satire with each passing day. A huge telco is trying to push into the youth segment with a word [swag] from 2013 while the actual youth keep laughing at them. You're now wondering what this skill is that will stop such disasters from taking place. The answer is infuriatingly simple — marketers need to be skilled at thinking.
“WHY?” IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TOOL
Your boss tells you to shoot an email to all your customers wishing them Eid Mubarak. You do that and the next day, you lost a chunk of your subscribers because it's just plain spam. No one wants a sterile Eid greeting from a company. Rather, take a step back and ask yourself why you would do that. Are your customers expecting one? If so, then by all means, go ahead. Send them flowers, dates, and dates with flowers.
A marketer always needs to keep sight of his objectives. If your job is to generate sales, don't tunnel-vision about entertaining your customers only. Educated customers know what they want. As David Ogilvy himself said, “The consumer isn't a moron. She is your wife.” So don't think singing and dancing will let you get away with anything.
DO YOU REALLY NEED THAT TREND?
A trap marketeers often fall into are trends; especially the non-functional trends. I remember from 2016 to 2017, all clients were asking for GIFs or those “tap to see” image meme sort of content but at the end of the day, they had no function. GIFs are meant to encapsulate a moment from a video, usually in a loop to use as a meme or a reaction. GIFs are not meant to carry brand messages or call to actions. But who cares about that, right? They exist, so they must be used regardless. Rather than thinking how the brand will fit into the trend, think how a trend might fit in with your brand.
So where are the branded GIFs and tap to see images now?
ACCOUNT FOR POSSIBILITIES
At Rantages, we deal with a lot of volatile crowdsourced content. Starting from people clamouring about their posts not getting approved to morally questionable content, our moderators wear a crown of thorns. So how is it that we have survived 9 years not only handling such delicate content but also distributing it to an audience segment that truly appreciates what we do and supports us every step of the way?
We try to know what we're doing. When we see a piece of content, we ask ourselves how it might be attacked from the audience. Starting from the design, the copy, to even the placement of the watermark, we take extra care as to not attract criticism. Content, especially on the internet, is extremely delicate because people can criticise or shut it down with little to no effort.
As such, when we formulate a strategy, it is essential that we create a mind-map that shows the consequences of said piece of content or strategy.
USE THAT DATA
If you don't know your customers or don't have the necessary tools to figure it out, stop being a marketer today. Data is the compass that points towards the right customers and your strategy is the map that gets you there. Marketers of today all over the world are armed with data and analytics to boot and not only that, they understand data. Unfortunately, I have seen way too many people become dazzled by the wealth of data they see here. Instead, look at the data with a cynic's eye and check whether it's relevant or not. The worst thing you can do is think that your customers are just numbers that you need to push up. It must always be kept in mind that customers are human beings and human beings are not logical like numbers are.
READ A BOOK
The worst possible habit marketers have is that they don't read. Instead, they just watch case videos and articles. Articles don't do justice to complex ideas and critical thinking. They will spoon-feed information to you in a manner that becomes hard to retain over a long span of time. Books on the other hand do a great job of drilling in valuable information. If you think you don't have the time to read, then prioritise and at least finish one book a month that you feel is worth the time. Knowledge facilitates thinking.
I am not even kidding when I say that if you follow these five points, you'll not only be a better marketeer than the rest of them but a better human being too hopefully.
Rumman R Kalam is the founder of Rantages and uses his 9 years of digital content experience to help brands envision their content strategy. You can reach him for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org.