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The Day Ethics in Marketing Died

The Day Ethics in Marketing Died

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

This week I spoke at a Martch conference, I have to be honest I’m not a big fan of Martech, which if you didn’t know is short for Marketing Technology.

Martech in my view isn’t actually an advance, it is actually a backward step, why is this?

We all hate interrupt and broadcast marketing, nobody gets up in the morning and says “today I’m looking forward to being pitched at”

In my presentation I asked the audience of about 250 to stand up. Then I asked them to sit down if they remember the last three adverts they had seen. Of course nobody sat down. We all hate adverts. We fast forward through the ads on the TV, we switch radio stations when the ads come on. The way we work today is we filter this stuff out as noise. 

Following my presentation, I then had to sit through a presentation from Sky about how they serve ads to me, the presentation was applauded as grown breaking. Have you spotted the problem yet?

Like corporate content where companies tell us how great they are, how brilliant their founders are, how they are number one, how they are are the market leaders. We don’t care and just filter it out, again, just like adverts it’s noise.

So What has this got to do with Martech?

Well Martech, is basically analogue techniques in a digital world.

When I started work, we had a typing pool, I remember probably 5 years later my first 386 laptop with Amipro. (We had Amipro as the IT department said that Microsoft Word will never catch on.) My art in sales was crafting letters. It was years before email became accepted as a mechanism to communicate. At the Martech conference, the Forrester speaker recalled when the internet came out she put in a business case for a Financial Services company to register their web domain. The Board rejected it. I have a friend who submitted to a Board the business case for an email system. It was rejected. In both cases the internet and email were seen as “flash in the pan” and they will never catch on.

It is against this backdrop of the analogue world that Martech is basically an ability to send more and more emails. Or you can get software that will go out and find details or articles on a person or company you are going to visit. In this case it’s just automating what we can do already. None of this is new and none of this is amazing.

But of course, these systems and data can give you power.

Spiderman said “with great power comes great responsibility”. So back to the speaker from Sky.

The speaker from Sky, the UK Satellite TV Broadcaster said with great pride. Even though we have customers that have opted out. So they have ticked boxes that say, they don’t want to be called, they don’t wanted to be emailed and don’t want to be approached by any marketing means. In other words, they won’t to be left alone.

Sky, through their Adobe Martech system and buy data so they can track customers down on social networks and serve them ads.

I was opened mouthed. Have people lost their minds? You mean you are telling me that I have told you I don’t want to be bothered but you are hunting me down on social and bothering me.

This is of course, the same audience that I asked to stand up and sit down if they remember the last three ads and nobody sat down. It’s like saying you are a vegetarian restaurant but then saying you will cook me veal if i wanted it.

This flagrant pissing off or people is unethical and has to stop!

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Stop taking the safe option by investing millions in adtech

Stop taking the safe option by investing millions in adtech

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Someone drew this to my attention recently, it’s a schematic of how Martech and Adtech “play together” and the value that they can add to a business when aligned.

What is isn’t really getting to the crux of though is that people do not like to be advertised to/sold to and that improving efficiency in this area is kind of missing the point of progress.

It is NOT about whether you can turn a profit by using these techniques – PPC is better than display advertising, Facebook ads are more effective than Google Adwords (usually) – and the increased efficiency they offer but more to the fact that they are fundamentally broken.

Should you manufacture vacuum valves for electronic applications? There’s lots of profit in the long-tail for sure, but to me it seems like a fundamentally bad idea as the market is shrinking. Same with advertising (the market isn’t shrinking of course) but the ROI is. The ROI on your Facebook (or Google, or Twitter, or LinkedIn) ads isn’t as good as it was. Why? Because prices are rising and attention is falling. The industry (advertising as a whole) is arguably in the long-tail.

It strikes me that the thing about the agency model (and consulting too in many occasions) is that the client doesn’t want to do the work that they know they need to do.

Need more leads/customers? Employ an ad agency, telesales agency, marketing agency to get them. Need to change the way you do things? Engage a consultancy to tell you when you already know. This is often hidden behind the narrative “we’re too busy” or “we don’t have the skillset” but the reality is it’s not usually true.

We’re too busy for example, ask yourself if companies like Altimeter Group (with Brian Solis) or Virgin (with Richard Branson) or FaceBook (with Mark Zuckerberg) find it easier or more difficult to conduct business when they have someone “famous” in the organisation?

The work required to become famous is the work that everyone in the organisation needs to undertake because THAT is where the value in good staff lies. 

Steve Jobs once said “we don’t hire smart people so we can tell THEM what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell US what to do” and your job as a company is to hire smart people and let them become famous and your job as an employee is to become famous as that’s how the company will make money and raise it’s position. If you don’t think this is true as yourself this; as a buyer is it more attractive to be well-targeted with your advertising or more attractive to happen-upon a company where everyone looks more brilliant. I think you know the answer.

So stop taking the say option by investing millions in adtech and campaigns and start adding value to the organisation.

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Why Martech is Like a Pair of Ripped Jeans

Why Martech is Like a Pair of Ripped Jeans

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

We have all seen them, they have appeared in shops a few years ago. Jeans ripped at the knees. They now seem to be everywhere but give it a few years and they will be all gone.  Just like flairs they will be gone and nobody will admit wearing them. Just like Martech.

Let’s not forget that jeans are a commodity, if you want to sell jeans you have to keep coming up with new ways for me to buy them, or of course we end up using the old pairs and then all the retailers would then close down.

What has this got to do with Martech?

Martech was the promise land. We can take peoples data, play fast and loose with it and then send irritating emails to us or retarget us. Down load a white paper expect a call from somebody trying to close you on a demo!

We all know that nobody looks at adverts but people still commission them. None of us read Cold outreach emails anymore and GDPR has killed that activity. Cold calling also is dead. We hate being sold to. This is the new reality, no something in the future, this is the here and now.

This is where (or is it wear) Martech and Ripped Jeans are similar.

Martech was just a phase, just like ripped jeans. Designed for people that dont understand social media, social engagement and the way buyers buy in todays world. A way to keep the marketing tactics and values of the past. Like sending emails, lets buy a tool where we can literally machine gun people, with no relevance its a numbers game after all. Just like ripped jeans software suppliers have to sell software the same jean manufacturers sell jeans. Brand stretch I think its called.

Over time or through legislation in the case of GDPR people will understand this is a fad. Selling and buying has moved on.

We now need to be responsible with peoples data and people dont want to be bombarded with irrelevant information about products and services we dont want.

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Social Apps Don’t Work? Try Changing Your Social Culture Instead

Social Apps Don’t Work? Try Changing Your Social Culture Instead

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

I recently spoke at a sales kickoff and one of the things we try and do before speaking in front of a large audience is get an understanding for what that audience thinks about social media, especially in the enterprise B2B (business-to-business) space.

One common comment we get is: “How do we streamline apps to ensure the best return on time? It’s too easy to become all consumed with social media.”

It’s true, we often find companies obsessed with tools and apps, rather than social selling as a process.

In fact, in our social selling training, while we do use LinkedIn as an example, if Facebook became the market leader B2B professional network, our training would easily translate to the other platform.  Our training is not about a tool, but empowers people to begin social selling.

In other words, there is a big difference between social selling and LinkedIn training.  LinkedIn is only 30% of your social presence for example.

So how do people streamline apps?  We have been into clients and been told “we purchased XYZ apps” but nobody uses them.  Or we purchased these apps and it does not seem to have made a difference.

No here’s the rub.

To be honest, you can buy as many apps as you want, but social selling is a process and culture, not an app. 

You need some fundamentals in place first:

Do you have a personal brand?

Does your organisation have senior management buy in and are they are also part of the journey?

What are the objectives and the desired outcome in revenue?

Do you have a social culture or plan to get one?

Then there needs to be a clear view on how the apps will add to that plan.  If there isn’t, cancel them.  Or if they are not being used, cancel them.

The real trick for all companies is that social selling should not be yet another thing that sales people have to do during the day.  If it is, it won’t be treated as a priority, just like updating the CRM isn’t seen as one.

A social culture is critical and I’m sorry, but you won’t get that from an article on the internet.

We are a social only company with just 12 people. We don’t advertise, we implement social selling principles and get three pieces of inbound every day.  Just imagine the transformation you would achieve if you scaled that across your organisation?  Plus the 20 – 30% sales revenue increase.

Sounds good?

Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.