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Your Marketing Analysis is Probably Quite Stupid

Five basic fails in your marketing analysis.

Is your marketing analysis stupid?

Many brands get their marketing analysis wrong. The reason is simple: Marketers often go for the obvious.

It’s one thing to recognise an obvious insight as it stares you right in the face. But recognising basic marketing insights and getting your analysis right are two very different beasts — especially in a digital landscape.

I’ve listed five such typical mistakes in marketing analysis:

1. “We must post often and everywhere!”

“Anyone can post anything almost anywhere. And many of those who does really well posts often.”

Not so fast, hold on.
What’s the proper marketing analysis here?

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.

2. “We are super-interesting!”

“People connect around shared interests. We should ask them to connect around us in the same way.”

Hold that thought.
What’s the proper marketing analysis here?

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.

3. “We must be more social!”

“People spend lots of time on social media. So, we should be more social, too.”

Take it easy for just a second.
What’s the proper marketing analysis here?

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 behavioural 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.

4. “We must be content creators!”

“Digital information spreads fast and virally. Our content will now spread fast and virally, too.”

Hold your horses.
What’s the proper marketing analysis here?

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.

Ponder 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.

Your marketing analysis is probably quite stupid
Right?

5. “Data will give us better marketing personas!”

Lots of consumer data is made available. We should use that data to create marketing personas to understand our customers.”

Slow down there, tiger.
What’s the proper marketing analysis here?

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 demographic data 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.

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Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.org/
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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