I've been immersing myself in the world of content marketing on social media and I'm finding a lot of, er, rubbish.
Survey after survey has shown that marketing people are out of touch with the rest of the world. They use i-devices where normal people watch telly. They multi-screen where normal people don't. They're on all the latest social media channels and think facebook is old hat.
And worst of all, they think everyone has the same media consumption habits as them.
That's perhaps why you hear gems like this from the CMO of Levi:
“Our biggest challenge today is delivering tailored messages to our consumers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year across an increasingly complex communications landscape.”
Great. Just what I wanted. Personalised messages about jeans 24/7.
But it's not just the marketing high and mighty that get tied up in knots and lose their common sense. It's all of us.
One of the biggest areas we lose our common sense in is following marketing platitudes without thinking through whether that advice works for our particular clients and products.
One week we'll hear that USPs are vital. So the founder of a startup with a brand new product leads their marketing with all sorts of technical stuff when instead their potential buyers just need to know what the thing actually does for them.
Or the reverse: we read that it's all about the emotional benefits for customers so we start wobbling on about how buying our hammer will make you feel.
Or we start making videos for TikTok to attract our corporate clients. Because, well, it's the cool thing these days.
Mea Culpa: I absolutely fall for this. Again and again.
But thankfully, one benefit of spending a bunch of time analysing marketing content on social media is that you see all the nonsense all in one go and it's easier to recognise it for what it is. Platitudes and hype.
So my suggestion for you, said as humbly as I can because I'm not good at it, is that whenever you're about to launch a new bit of marketing, run the rule of common sense over it.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes. Would this make sense to them? Does it talk about what they care about? In language they'd use? On a channel they use regularly? Does it deal with the kind of questions they might actually have about your product?
Those simple questions will help you move past the platitudes.