The Emperor’s New Clothes or a handful of magic beans - Which is your 2016 Marketing Strategy?

Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse

It’s panto season and it seems like the perfect time to stretch a thinly veiled metaphor to breaking point, so here it is: Someone pitches you an advertising campaign but do you see Jack and the Beanstalk or more a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes?


Marketing and advertising can have a huge impact on your business but not all campaigns are created equally. Sometimes the newest shiniest thing might, like the Emperor’s New Clothes… leave you feeling cold (your accountancy firm probably doesn’t need Snapchat at the moment) but equally your old standby may be comfortable but distinctly frayed (you’ve been doing Newspaper ads for 20 years? How’s that going these days?). It’s important to regularly appraise your methods to make sure you’re getting the best you can, and to be open but critical of new ones when they present themselves.


What may look on first sight to be a few beans could be how you’ll reach your very own golden goose. A test campaign or a small change to your marketing mix might make all the difference to your strategy for 2016. From small beginnings you can change the way you work forever. Perhaps a case in point is mobile apps. Traditionally of course apps have primarily advertised online, but with the rise of ad blockers dominating marketing news for much of 2015 it looks like many of the old options are closing up. Some are turning to TV in a bid to counteract this or to gain a crucial edge in an increasingly competitive market. But apps aren’t meant to be seen from a distance, apps are meant to be touched. Why would anyone want to put them on TV when they could let people play with them at experiential events? Why, like the Emperor of New Clothes fame spend a fortune only to be left with your cheeks burning in shame as you... fail to get the coverage you need? Not when you could try a different method allowing you to directly track sign ups on the spot or via promotional codes?


To leave the world of fairy tales, it’s unlikely that only one method will be your golden goose (unless you’re on the ground floor of the next Unicorn, not to mix metaphors). Nor are many ideas likely to leave you holding your Widow Twankey in your hands, they all have value even if it’s only experience. But a good experiential campaign or strong promotion in a high footfall location might just slay your giant, rub your magic lamp, be the right foot for your glass slipper in 2016.


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