Marketers and Ghastly Decisions

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It’s late at night and you’re walking home alone through a neighborhood most people avoid during daylight hours. You decide to take a shortcut down a cluttered alley, lit only by the dim yellow light from a streetlight half a block away. Something flutters just in the periphery of your vision. A ghostly voice echoes behind you “that Miley Cyrus costume is so last year”. Lucky for you it’s October 31st and the voice belongs to your friend Doug “Star Lord” from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Halloween highlights the importance of understanding consumer trends and decision-making. Heavily influenced by pop culture, determining what will be popular each year requires marketing gremlins to keep a close eye on trends, monitoring social media, and understanding their zombie customer base. This is easier said than done. Who would have guessed that a Norwegian comedy group would have been a major influence on Halloween costumes? It’s amazing what a few hundred million YouTube views can do!

The truth is identifying trends and addressing customer needs is not the frightening guessing game many marketers make it out to be. The Relevancy Group’s new From Acquisition to Advocacy study shows that marketers, much like those wearing a Miley Cyrus costume this year, sometimes make ghastly decisions. They found that marketers are more likely to pursue hauntingly “rudimentary social tactics” instead of scarier “tactics such as channel attribution, placing value on social advocates and leveraging social listening competitive intelligence tools”. All of which would help marketers make better decisions and understand what their customers are looking for.

This study also found the top 5 priorities marketers report for improving ROI are all analytic or data-based, and related to optimization and improved relevancy. These are common themes each year, but hopefully, more marketers will peek inside the closet and see there are no scary data monsters lurking inside. They just might see what promises to be a much more family-friendly Halloween season with the likes of Olaf, Princesses Anna and Elsa, TMNT, and Star Wars Rebels.

Author Bio

Marc Shull

Best known for bringing a clear vision to client marketing challenges, Marc brings together the best of marketing’s left-brained analytics and insights with right-brained creative and strategy to develop highly effective marketing solutions. Prior to joining Yes Lifecycle Marketing, Marc was a founding partner of Marketing IQ, Inc. and has held various agency roles. Over the last 19 years, Marc has worked with businesses ranging from regional non-profits to large multi-national corporations across a diverse set of industries including Visa, Party City, Aetna, Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, General Mills, Miller Coors, Proctor & Gamble, Prudential Capital Group, Polska Grupa Farmaceutyczna, Wrigley, Safeway, and Wal-Mart. Marc has a B.S.B.A. in Marketing from Ohio State University and a M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.