I've written about shiny object syndrome (SOS) on this blog a number of times - just do a search and you'll see. Many others have also shone a light on the folly of SOS over the last few years. But it's not changing behavior. B2B Marketers have yet to take it to heart.
Fournaise Group reported in January that Over 70% of Marketers (Still) Got It Wrong in 2013. What they mean by this is that 70% of marketers didn't deliver the performance with their marketing programs expected of them by executive management. There was not enough measurable contribution to sales, market share or sales-ready prospects.
Want to know why?
If you're thinking SOS, you'd be right. Apparently marketers chose to invest in new media platforms, marketing automation, big data and other technologies thinking that new technology is the answer for content distribution and engagement.
So far it sounds like marketers were on the right track. But it didn't work.
According to Fournaise Group, marketers didn't assign enough importance to their messaging. They failed to communicate a valuable enough message to stimulate the performance their campaigns were tasked to produce. Essentially, their programs lacked relevance.
This seems ass backwards to me. But it shouldn't, not really. I see it a lot. Cart before horse. I love technology more than many marketers I know, but it deserves more respect than it gets. The promise of easy gains with technology seems to enable us to overlook and undervalue the work that must happen to support the outcome.
It's common sense and we all know that it takes people, process, content and technology to pull digital marketing together. Digital marketing needs the emphasis to remain on the marketing part first, with digital coming second. And effective marketing must focus on customer-first.
So why do we get it backwards?
Somehow, we've convinced ourselves that SOS is a Silver Bullet Strategy.
That the push of a button will allow us to achieve the results we want without all that pesky, time consuming:
- Strategy development
- Angst over value propositions that align with our personas
- And damn good content that takes research, effort, editing and elbow grease
Unfortunately, in my 30 years of business experience I've yet to find a Silver Bullet Strategy. Oh, there are times when I've had hope, but quickly realized I was nuts - thankfully.
Here's what we need to get: Technology is a resource, like any other. If used well, it's a killer resource. However, as with all things worthwhile, you get out what you put in.
With technology, we can finally:
- "See" more about our prospects and customers than ever before
- Gain the ability to gather vast quantities of data and ask questions we'd never have gotten the answers to before
- Reach more people, more easily than ever and deliver them compelling and relevant content about stuff we've learned they care about
- Start becoming predictive, rather than reactive
- Prove our performance by proving our contribution to revenue
- Earn a seat at the strategy table.
But not if we expect the technology to do this without out help and hard work.
Why aren't we doing this?