Marketing Epiphany?

7 05 2014

I subscribe to the Marketo Blogs and I get emails regularly from them on marketing topics and ideas.  I very much appreciate them and look forward to reading them.  

IDJ Waldow posted a blog/article on May 7 talking about Instagrams and Haircuts.  DJ’s article pointed out how impressed he was with this one particular barber shop and how that barber shop used Instagram to build a strong relationship with its customers by posting pictures of people getting their hair cut e.g. before and after pictures.  Barbershop meet technology!.


But he went further and said that what was really needed by the barber shop was a concept he called (paraphrasing him),  “continuous marketing (social plus email) with a touch of integration.”   

This is very interesting and made me think.   Most of my readers know that as a CMO and COO, I have a 360 view on solving problems and I don’t subscribe only to the latest fad or fashion.  Fact-based decision making and a disciplined approach continues to serve me well.  I am a businessman first and foremost using the right tools to drive profitable revenue growth.   And I don’t subscribe to the theory that you can solve all marketing and business problems with the same approach.   You have to look at context, competencies, competition, and customer needs.  (My four C’s).  I have presented a marketing as an integrated program many times and will do so again at the Marine Education Association at Camp Pendleton next week.  Here’s what that schema looks like:  And as most of us know, there are MANY tools that support traditional and social/online marketing.


Reading DJ’s blog got my juices going, so to speak, because I have seen companies believe marketing is a) easy, or b) just social/SEO, and c) is based on reading the latest blog or book and implementing what I call the “marketing program of the month club.”  I don’t believe this approach does companies justice.

The subject of continuous marketing is not that new- it has been the premise behind marketing, advertising and branding for decades. You have to repeat the message in many venues over a period of time for the message to take root.  The point about different and integrated marketing programs is also not novel.  Flanking on several different fronts is key because people hear and read messages differently.   Yet, in this world of “social” that we live in, I would bet that most “new” marketers are uni-focused, i.e. marketing is only though one channel or one type of tool or one type of marketing program.  In fact, I have seen that many times.   Worse yet, companies believe that since “social” is the current buzz word, finding a CMO or head of marketing means finding the next SEO guru only.  (Some of my readers may disagree but I have actually heard company CEOs tell me that to my face.)  Well, I currently work in the social media and networking space and I know that is clearly not the case.  Sadly these companies are missing the point about good marketing, i.e. bringing a 360 view of the market and competitive landscape and developing programs using a variety of tools. More important, companies don’t get the results they expect.   It’s similar to a football team that only runs the ball and ignores the pass.  Balanced offense seems to work better in football over a long season.  And a balanced marketing plan normally works best to help a company grow.  

I also believe that marketers who use a single approach will ultimately fail when facing more complex business problems and marketing challenges.  This not only will affect their reputation but helps denigrate our marketing profession because bottom line results are not achieved..    

Is this a marketing epiphany?  Did I all of a sudden get wise and saw the light?  I doubt it.  It’s a businessman’s view, my view, of marketing and how to grow profitable revenues with a good “go to market” plan.  Glad to hear different viewpoints.





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