Blog PostsStrategyMarketing StrategyYour marketing analysis is probably quite stupid

Your marketing analysis is probably quite stupid

Five basic fails in your marketing analysis.

Is your marketing analysis stupid?

I see many brands getting their marketing analysis wrong. It’s one thing to recognise an obvious insight when it’s staring you in the face.

But understanding insights and getting your analysis right are two very different challenges — especially in a digital first media landscape.

Here are five typical mistakes in marketing analysis:

No, you shouldn’t be posting often and everywhere

The “revolutionary” marketing insight: Anyone can post anything almost anywhere.

So, what’s the ‘marketing analysis’ that follows from this insight?

No, it’s not that your business should take advantage of this fact and just go ahead and post everything everywhere.

From a publisher’s perspective, the notable result is that we now need algorithms to do most of the heavy lifting in sorting out all the information.

The business analysis portion of this insight is that it’s better to be in charge of an algorithm than being in a position of trying to beat someone else’s algorithm.

So, how can you put yourself in the driver’s seat?

Well, by having your very own brand community that exists across all those paid, earned, shared, and owned platforms.

Control the community, control the algorithms.

No, you’re not suddenly interesting to more people

The “revolutionary” marketing insight: People connect around shared interests.

So, what’s the ‘marketing analysis’ that follows from this insight?

No, it’s not that your business will have some magical opportunity to get people to gather around your brand in reverence and awe.

People talk about your brand because they care about their community and more specifically about how they themselves are being related to by this community — not because they care about your brand.

It might be somewhat counter-intuitive, the business-relevant analysis of this outcome is that your business must learn to win the heart of the few before even attempting to win the hearts of the many.

Scaling in the world of online algorithms means going for a niche that’s so small that you can realistically establish business dominance. And then you scale upwards from there.

The journey to growth starts with winning the hearts and minds of the few.

No, it’s not business critical to be more ‘social’

The “revolutionary” marketing insight: People spend lots of time on social media.

So, what’s the ‘marketing analysis’ that follows from this insight?

No, it’s not that your business should be more ‘social’ on social media or “be active where your consumers are hanging out”.

Think of YouTube. Most people spend time on YouTube to consume creativity and culture produced by a relatively small minority of content creators.

Yes, there’s a bit of social interaction going on in social media, but the name ‘social media’ is actually quite misleading. In social media, there’s just more media consumption than social interaction.

From a business perspective, the ‘social’ aspect of social media is more about behavioral data informing the algorithms about ‘social objects’.

The fierce online competition renders one main conclusion:

Focus your baseline marketing resources on business data. Those who venture into online publishing should compete with quality and consistence.

In a winner-takes-most arena, choose only battles where you can dominate.

No, it’s not obvious that you should be a content creator

The “revolutionary” marketing insight: Digital information spreads fast and virally.

So, what’s the ‘marketing analysis’ that follows from this insight?

No, it’s not that your business should always strive to insert its own messages into the daily flow of virals, memes, and trending topics.

Think about this: If all business accounts and all business updates suddenly disappeared from social media today, not all that much would happen. People are totally fine with doing their “social media thing” all by themselves.

The real marketing insight here is that people can go to your store in a split second — from anywhere. Potential customers can connect with existing customers to learn more. And people are publicly showcasing their behaviors, their needs, their preferences, etc.

For any business, the biggest marketing value in social media is listening.

Consider the marketing of hugely successful tech-driven companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Google, Facebook, and WordPress.

They’re not online talkers, they’re silent miners.

No, your marketing personas won’t do you any favors

The “revolutionary” marketing insight: Lots of consumer data is made available.

So, what’s the ‘marketing analysis’ that follows from this insight?

No, it’s not that your business should hold on to the idea of creating ‘marketing personas’ — despite having access to more data.

A marketing persona is basically a stereotype based on demographic data. While that can be useful sometimes, it’s not very useful when it comes to communication. Because demographically similar groups have surprisingly diverse communication habits.

Instead of segmenting your market based on target audiences, use data to segment publics (based on actual communicative behaviors) instead.

Don’t guess what stereotypes will do, track what real people are actually doing.

Photo by Thomas Chan on Unsplash.


Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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