We will never take 100% credit for the success of a marketing or advertising campaign.
I’ve worked in marketing for more than two (ok, fine… three) decades on both the agency and client-side. And from role to role, audience to audience, product to product, I’ve been charged with driving campaign success. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of wildly successful campaigns at Red Lobster, Sandella’s, and for many clients as an Account Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi and as the managing partner at Response. I’ve also seen campaigns with airtight research, breakthrough creative, and a media plan that attracted all the right eyeballs, die on the vine. So what gives? Is driving a successful marketing campaign like catching lightning in a bottle? While there is a certain alchemy required for campaign success, I’d posit that it takes more than just the pairing of sound strategy and creative executions to create a business-changing campaign.
The truth and perhaps most important thing that I’ve learned in my career is that marketing alone will not save you. There is no magic bullet creative or media plan. I’ll admit that I love when clients give us credit for successful campaigns, but the reality is marketing is only a third of it.
What’s really needed to launch campaigns that move the needle is this:
Great product or service + solid operations + creative marketing
What Happens When There’s Only Creative Marketing
You can draw an audience with marketing, but if operations can’t deliver, it means nothing for your business. If the product sucks, they’ll never buy it again. And if the pricing is too high or low, your audience will either devalue your offering or run as quickly as they came.
There are countless examples from the recent past, but one of the most famous is WeWork. As Fast Company reported, “WeWork’s valuation was based on little more than hype and unchecked fervor. The WeWork board and investors sold a concept of a co-working space that would change the world without ever stopping to measure at each funding round whether the model was still optimally positioned to win. They invested billions of dollars using decision bias rooted in very traditional management theories for a concept and company purely bred in a new millennium that needed more current methods of winning. If the company’s board of directors had resisted the lure of biases and measured their execution readiness early on in WeWork’s expansion, they likely could have prevented many of their problems. Perhaps the company could have even lived up to its original sky-high valuation. Instead, the board drank in the enthusiasm over the brand’s image until they were drunk on the potential of a massive return—a potential that had no chance of playing out because they weren’t measuring their ability to execute their ideas.”
What Happens When There’s Great Product, Solid Operations and Creative Marketing
Magic happens. We’ve got plenty of case studies to prove it. Here are links to just a few.
- Stony Creek Brand Relaunch. We rebranded them, they reformulated their beers and moved into a killer facility. They surpassed their year 3 sales projections in less than 12 months!
- Scandinavian Tobacco Company. They developed fantastic new packaging for their high end cigars, allowing them to be sold anywhere, not just at a tobacconist. We let the world know and their sales shot up.
- Uncle Julio’s created an amazing, unique dessert, the Chocolate Piñata and executed it flawlessly in every restaurant. We marketed it through video media and it became a smashing success!
- McAfee has award winning security software, but needed a brand boost. Our idea to create a branded podcast, Hackable?, created brand love never seen before between the brand and customers.
Do you have a great product or service that you execute on day in and day out, but just don’t seem to be getting the traction you deserve? Then you’ve landed on the right site, because this team can do it for you. Give us a shout!