Down with marketing curmudgeons

Published May 30, 2017 8:05 pm by LoSasso
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Everyone sing along, the times they are a-changin’. If you’re a Boomer-aged marketing professional, like me, chances are you’re familiar with those powerful lyrics penned by Bob Dylan. Though they address the changing social and political climate of the turbulent 60s, I believe Dylan’s timeless poetry still speaks to us today. And I’m not just talking politics here.

Let’s be honest, marketing is now a profession driven by exponential innovation and whiplash change. But, sadly, many senior decision makers are slow to join in the revolution. After all, those of us born in the Age of Aquarius are wired for a different marketing landscape.

We were raised in the golden era of advertising. A time when more film footage was shot for commercials than for motion pictures. Animated critters and comedic pitchmen entertained us nightly as we gathered around a single screen. Once we emerged from business school, or landed our first gig, budgets were lavish, creative was king and TV spots were a silver bullet.

Ah, yes, the good old days.

Uh, no.

In the age of digital distribution and disruption, if you’re not on board the change-train, you’re in danger, Will Robinson. Trust me, this is no time to pine for simpler times and fewer channels. As Dylan put it, you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone.

So, what’s a dazed and confused senior marketer to do?

Believe in the basics
The fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed. Differentiation and a well-defined audience are still the bedrock of any successful program. And although the path to purchase has evolved, the psychology behind buying behavior remains the same. Connect emotionally, convert rationally.

Stay upstream
Don’t be distracted by the lure of shiny new objects in the shallows (or in this case, the hottest new technology, app, channel or platform that a random blogger says you must employ). You’re a leader, focus on the big picture. You know your category and, hopefully, you really, really know your customer. Set your objectives, your general strategy and your KPIs. Then work with your staff or agency team to map out appropriate paths to success.

Never, ever, fake it
These days, it’s pretty easy to take a few years off your appearance. Taking years off your mindset is a different kind of challenge. It requires curiosity, diligence and discretion. Your Millennial minions can spot an oldster in hipster clothing in a second if the talk doesn’t match the look. One misused tech term or digital reference and your epic fail will spread faster than a celebrity side boob. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t talk. Listen. It’s as golden as the Clio you won back in 1991.

At LoSasso, we welcome marketing professionals from every generation – especially the ones who appreciate Bob Dylan.