What’s important for doing proper marketing?
The Blogfather bowls into Fortnum & Mason to send chutneys flying as he blows open what is truly essential, with influencers getting both barrels, just for a change, but marketing strategists getting his blessing.
If we place hospital/care workers at the top of the scale on 10, and, let’s say, food critics at the bottom of the scale at 0, then I put influencers at 0.7, just behind clowns on 0.8.
Essential. That word has taken on both heightened usage and debated definition in the last year (as has the word ‘pivot’, anyone else noticed that? It’s a ruddy bloody career change, morons).
It was whilst on a lockdown walk through a 28 Days Later-style deserted central London that the definition of ‘essential’ started to swirl in my mind, specifically as I turned onto Piccadilly and encountered the warm glow and welcome of the open doors of Fortnum & Mason. Naturally, I was a shade surprised to find it open. Presumably because they sell foodstuffs, they can stay open. Is this truly essential?
Ah, but then I remembered all those episodes of Ray Mears when, after hours of not eating in the wilderness, he reaches into his backpack to pull out a Fortnum & Mason hamper, and gorges himself on a Sir Nigel’s Vintage Marmalade Amphora, like Winnie the Pooh with a pot of honey. Without so much as a serviette, the animal.
True, it is somewhat subjective as to what is essential. For example, I think it is essential that Mrs Brown’s Boys is taken off TV permanently and all the cast put in prison for crimes against comedy.
This debate around what is essential has seeped a little into the marketing realm, most notably a few weeks ago with many influencers being criticised for travelling abroad and claiming the trips were essential for work. Perhaps most memorably was the Fitness influencer Sheridan Mordew, who appeared on the TV show This Morning to state, without so much as a hint of irony, that her trip to Dubai was “essential for her mental health” and for creating content to motivate her followers.
So, to help Sheridan and us along a little, I’ve devised an ‘Essential-ometer’. If we place hospital/care workers at the top of the scale on 10, and, let’s say, food critics at the bottom of the scale at 0, then I put influencers at 0.7, just behind clowns on 0.8.
This then got me thinking; within our own crazy bubble world of marketing, what is essential? Reading a recent blog by friend of the show JP Castlin served as a timely reminder; strategy.
(A trivia titbit: JP is, to date, the only person to appear on our Call To Action podcast twice. Keep that under your hat for when the pub quizzes return).
After all the guff about how important Millennials are, it appears that Gen Z is the bullshit heir apparent.
JP is one of the best strategists in the business, and like us at Gasp, knows its importance. This current blog speaks specifically about ‘Emergent Strategy’. I’ll let JP elucidate:
“Emergent strategy, from my experience, is a foreign concept to many marketers. Unlike traditional (deliberate) strategy, which plots a specific course, emergent strategy follows a direction but discovers the path along the way, arising in response to unexpected opportunities and challenges as the competitive reality in which the company acts changes over time. Or, to put it more colloquially, it adapts to what is found to work instead of stubbornly staying with what ought to have worked based on theory or forecasts.”
J.P has recently launched his own newsletter. It is essential you sign up if you want to see the marketing light.
What else is essential for us marketers? Not being hoodwinked by the latest shiny tech/fad/buzzword/social media platform (no doubt someone is losing their shit over what they can do on Clubhouse right now).
Again, another timely reminder of this was a recent newsletter by Bob Hoffman, AKA The Ad Contrarian, entitled; ‘Next Generation of Horseshit”. As Bob says, after all the guff about how important Millennials are, it appears that Gen Z is the bullshit heir apparent:
“But facts never seem to be an impediment to idiocy, and we are still being treated to the same generational baloney we had to suffer through during The Great Millennial Scare of the last decade. This week Business Insider published the transcript of a suicide-inducing podcast by VCs Andreessen Horowitz that gives us thrilling new Gen Z nonsense direct from the mouth of a 23-year old Gen Z CEO.
First, we learn that Gen Z has $143 billion in spending power. This is supposed to overwhelm us with amazement. Apparently Ms Gen Z CEO isn't aware that people over 50 have $7.6 trillion in spending power. And that Gen Z's spending power isn't even 2% of that of old fucks.”
It is also essential that you read Bob’s newsletter and listen to his Call to Action podcast episode.
So, there you have it. Some essential reading/newsletters for you. If, after reading all this, you are still intent on targeting Gen Z via a strategy centred on influencers, then I’ll send the boys round (JP and Bob) to have a little word in your shell-like.