Delusions of Brandeur, Tips and Your Tattoo

Friends and colleagues,

Like many of you, I’m delusional. Or I was. I thought we’d just snap out of it. I believed prospective customers would make decisions rationally and predictably again. I was sure people would respond to campaigns the way they used to. In short, I was betting that people would behave as they did before a global pandemic shook us all to our cores. But the truth is, we’ve all changed, for better and for worse. We’re all acting differently than we did before. Priorities have been reexamined and reset. We call it The Great Reassessment. And our archers are working feverishly hard with our clients to understand how best to capitalize on a world in flux. Ok, that not-so-spicy hot take served and hopefully consumed, let’s move on to the entrée.


  1. Analysis paralysis, The Sequel?  The Googlers (yes, they call themselves that) are giving you the keys to a tricked-out hot rod, an analytics platform that allows you the ability to customize your analytic output.   You have until July 2023 to make the change from Universal Analytics (your reliable commuter car) to GA4 (the aforementioned hot rod) but if you haven’t already started to transition, we strongly suggest you get crackin’.  Why? First, you will lose historical data if you don’t export it.  Second, it’s an entirely new interface.  Third, there are lots of new KPIs you’ll need to test-drive.  And yes, there’s a fourth, fifth and so on.
  2. K.I.S.S. U.X.  So here’s how 95% of us process information on screens (i.e., digitally):  We look left to right, top to bottom, large to small, bright to dull, depth to flatness, graphics to type, humans before things, less to more. Given these verities, you should be able to make at least three improvements to your user experience, design and content that better reflect what users see and comprehend first.  Intimidated?  Confused?  Verklempt? Contact a swarthy archer who can quickly get you aiming higher.
  3. Compare, contrast, confuse?  We do a lot of research for clients, some of it geeky, some artfully simple.  We compare one period to the next, one group to another, one variable against a “control”, looking for trends and hopefully generating insights that facilitate smarter decisions.  But when the world turns upside down – during say, a pandemic, and researched groups get squirrely and disoriented, drawing meaningful conclusions gets tricky.  Comparing the 2nd quarter of 2020 to the 2nd quarter of last year or 2022 is like comparing a radioactive apple to an orange covered with Purell; they simply hit different.  So what’s the earnest marketer to do?  This, my friends:   For every quantified comparison provide extra contextual qualification, clearly disclosing what you know (we’re all a bit sideways) and clarifying what you don’t (that may be the New Normal) .
  4. Kondo-ize your user experience.  Marie Kondo, of Netflix fame, is known for helping people declutter their homes and simplify their lives.  Her method of organizing, known as the KonMari method, involves collecting all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and keeping only those things that “spark joy”.  Website designers and user experience architects should take note since many in this community work first on what they want to tell and sell prospects which often leads to bloated content, graphical overload and extraneous links.  In short, clutter.  Marie would suggest they pivot to their single-minded focus on meeting audiences’ needs, stripping out unnecessary navigation, design and copy, evoking satisfaction and, yes, even joy.
  5. Read – and steal from – out-of-category communications.  Let’s be honest, friends, most of us track our competitors and our category and not much more. But here’s the thing ground-breaking innovators like you know:  Category marketers tend to revert to the mean in their industry.  Review marketing communications in your industry or read a trade publication and you’ll find that folks start to sound like each other, look like each other and use hackneyed, insider jargon.  And often they have no idea they are swimming in a lukewarm sea of sameness.  They don’t realize that the emotive pull of an ad targeted to new moms can be applied to website design for an industrial products company (yes, this happened, and it’s a great success story).  To quote a guy named Jobs:  Think different.
  6. Hey, you! Part Deux.  You’re walking down a crowded street and someone yells your name and your town.  What do you do?  Turn around and look, right?  Well, the same thing works with marketing communications, specifically email.  Personalization – which is now much easier to deploy thanks to the oxymoronic marketing automation systems many of us use – improves response and conversion as much as 25-50%.  So use names, interests and/or recent behaviors in your email subject lines and the body of your messages.  I bet you a box of surgical masks, you will markedly increase your open and click-through rates.

As always, if I can do anything for you— make a connection, share some experience, help you figure out how to remove your “Crypto 4-ever!” tattoo—please let me know.

Thanks again for your patient indulgence.



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