There’s some marketeers who think marketing is an art, other say it’s a science. We think it’s both. Seth Godin says ‘that’s the problem.’
To a prescriptive and analytical mind, it is data, numbers, testing and measuring are all key to success. For a more artistic take on things, colours and creative, storytelling and experiences present the bigger draw. Striking a balance between the two is the real challenge brands and businesses face. How do you come up with something that’s been reviewed, evaluated and tested, that’s also carved out its place in the market, with a beautiful story, that looks good and engages with the consumer? The answer is what makes marketing so interesting and exciting.
Dictionary.com defines marketing as, ‘the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising’ but when you work in marketing like we do, it’s not that easy to define. Marketing is an all-encompassing part of brand and business behaviour. It matters more, now than ever before because the consumer is now armed with information at touch of a button and can see through the smoke screens and mirrors.
One of our favourite brands, Patagonia, famously once declared that brands ‘can’t reverse into purpose’ through marketing. We agree. Alex Weller, their EU Marketing Director talks openly about them ‘anchoring the brand firmly in environmental activism,’ and in an interview with Marketing Week, goes on to say that ‘Patagonia is committed to take an unconventional, mission-driven approach to retail success’ and it’s this stance and their reputation as a brand living by their purpose that’s got to the leading brand position they now enjoy.
It’s not just fashion and beauty businesses who reply on marketing to get to the next level, take Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list and book accommodations around the world. Founded in San Francisco, California in 2008, the simple platform has gone on to become a global phenomenon with 1.5 million listings in more than 34,000 cities worldwide.
When you look at Airbnb and delve deeper into the driving forces for their move from unknown platform to household name status, many believe their explosive global success is, in a large part, down to social media. The business dubbed their #OneLessStranger campaign a “global, social experiment,” where they asked their community of hosts and property owners to carry out random acts of hospitality for strangers – from leaving a local delicacy to booking restaurants and adventures, and then take a video or photo with their guest and share it using the campaign #. Just three weeks later, more than 3 million people had engaged, created content, or were talking about the campaign, and they were all over the world!
When it comes to good marketing, there’s no cookie cutter approach that works every time. It’s why there are some many hundreds of thousands of books out there on marketing and each of the skills sets under that. Each brand and business comes with their own challenges and each campaign and project needs time, thought and development.