That seed in my teeth; gaps to watch; news; and archer hats

If you look closely – and why would you – you can see the seed in my teeth in my LinkedIn profile picture.  The picture was taken by my son who knew the seed was there after watching me wolf down some stale bread before dinner.  And because he is my progeny, he didn’t tell me this even when my wife and I decided it was a rare, good picture of me that I should use to update my embarrassingly outdated profile shot.  I have of course omitted him from my will.  But the bigger point here, friends, is that it’s right in front of you – the problem, the solution, the truth – if you focus.  Seed planted.

In any event, I can see that you’re hungry.  Pull up a chair, you know, proverbially speaking, and dig into these tips and trends assembled by our archers.

Tips and Trends

  1. Whither industry experience.  It happened again last week.  A prospective client asked if we had experience in a very specific sub-vertical.  They wanted to know we talked like them, walked like them, understood them.  Makes sense, right?  The ramp-up will be quicker; the process will be frictionless; the results should be, well, better.  But here friends, is the danger:  You develop campaigns that are on-message for the industry.  They strike all the right chords.  They read and look… just like everyone else’s.  And perform accordingly.  So may I make a suggestion since we’re friends and colleagues:  By all means look for staff and external partners who “get it”, but also consider people who don’t and ideas that don’t fit nicely.  It’s never been more important to be different and differentiated.  That thump you heard is me jumping off my soap box.
  2. Programmatic is problematic.  Precision targeted, cost efficiency, real-time optimization?  What well-raised marketer wouldn’t hitch their wagon to that runaway train of goodness?  Put your hands down people.  Programmatic advertising has significant, potentially career-altering risks and limitations.  The lack of transparency in fee structure, actual target audiences, where your ads are being placed, the accuracy of data reported, etc. (and by etc. I mean there are five or ten other downsides) should lead you to this conclusion:  Just say nyet.  Don’t agree?  Want to fight me on this? I’ll see you in the octagon (ok, maybe just the inbox).
  3. Mind the gap.  The city slickers and mass transit mavens among you are already doing this.  Literally.  But let’s get figurative, shall we?  If you’re not keeping a close eye on the words and phrasing prospects use to find you on search engines, you may fall into that gap (remember we’re in figurative mode).  A keyword gap analysis can help you discover opportunities to improve your visibility by targeting keywords that competitors are ranking for, but your website is not. By addressing areas where your competitors have a stronger online presence, you can capture a broader audience and drive more traffic.  Literally and figuratively.
  4. We all feel the need, the need for speed. Ok, fellow UX nerds and Top Gunners, this one’s for you.  But really, both right- and left-brainers need to heed the siren song of speed.  Why?  We’re all increasingly impatient.  Our attention-spans are compressing exponentially.  We want what we want – especially in the digital landscape in which we all frolic – quicker and easier.  One obvious way to deliver that is to fine-tune your website and app for fast loading times. Use techniques such as lazy loading, content delivery networks (CDNs), and optimized images to reduce loading times and improve overall performance.
  5. Use FUD for B2B and IFS for B2C.  This acronym-packed tip is less about advice and counsel and more about what we’ve repeatedly experienced in-market the last 18 months across a range of verticals and categories.  Here’s the straight dope, whatever that means:  For business-to-business campaigns messaging that addresses businesses’ fears, uncertainties, and doubts about the present and future is soundly beating communications that paint a pretty picture of what’s possible.  The converse is true for our business-to-consumer campaigns which speak to our deep desire in our day-to-day lives for safety, security, and prosperity, our Ideal Future State.  I could editorialize on the reasons why, but for now I will let the data do that work for me.  Plus, admit it, you’re getting tired of me.

Not So New News

  • You should maximize your 2024 marketing budget.  Duh, Jay.  But here’s how.
  • Our Assisted A.I. Content service is up, running, and thriving.  Our human archers work with our favorite language models to generate customized, high-quality blog content – and image selections – at a fraction of the cost. Your error-free content will be vetted for brand alignment, grammar, tone, and plagiarism.  And it’s 100% yours to use (and re-use!) Interested? Reach out for some free sample content.
  • We are now focused intensely and intently on our core markets.  Read more by clicking enthusiastically here.
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