I want strawberries.
I want strawberries.
I want strawberries, dadddddy.
My three year old regularly uses the same old marketing approach still in wide use today: say it enough times and people will believe it. In the days of limited media choice there was some truth that idea. But, there is today nearly unlimited media choice and for marketing saying it does not make it so anymore.
Share of mind as a concept of taking ownership of consumer’s attention is getting to be an expensive proposition. Marketing is sales. Sales is persuasion. Persuasion as a marketing exchange happens when you capture the consumer’s imagination.
I advise clients that unless we can carve out our own space in their mind, we’re just another float in a passing parade of pretty floats. Ownership is an option: own a medium–television, radio, outdoor, etc. If you can’t own it all, own one outlet–say a radio station. Can’t own the station? Own a daypart. Own a day. Own something. (And be consistent with it!)
General Motors takes it to a whole new level with an aggressive ownership of the Tonight Show and integrated promotion on several other programs. Lauded as innovative and aggressive, their strategy is really an old trick from deep in the bag.
It’s a prime example of marketers seeking to create mass impact in a world of declining mass reach outlets.
This is also marks retreat for Chevrolet from failed efforts to “blog” the new HHR vehicle they’re hyping in the campaign; new tools blew up, so they return to the proven path…
Earlier Chevrolet tried to create incidental product placement by hyping the new HHR vehicles with a faux grassroots campaign; a fan at a ballgame holds up a sign promoting what seems an independent blog for the vehicle. The camera lingers on it, announcers comment and product placement is successful. Almost.
The tricky part of using web marketing–especially blogs–is the hyper-sensitivity to fakery. It turns out that grassroots blog was actually bought-and-paid-for by Chevy and was largely populated with art and stories penned by their marketing team. What’s worse, the chance camera visit was arranged and the announcer’s spontaneous reaction was scripted. Visitors quickly smelled the sneaky rat, felt betrayed and the campaign went bust.
Profit from Chevrolet’s lesson: if you fool one person on the web, they’ll tell everyone else. Anything less than real isn’t. Consumers today want real. Be real and tell your real story. You won’t get every customer, but you’ll own the ones you get.
[Originally published 4 Sept 2005]