What is the key to a successful marketing campaign?
Seth Godin espouses permission-based marketing. Andy Sernovitz preaches word of mouth. David Ogilvy emphasized research. Avinash Kaushik focuses on analysis. Aaron Wall pushes SEO. Jeremy Schoemaker backs affiliate marketing.
Get all of these guys in the same room to build a marketing strategy for your company, and you could come away with one hell of a campaign.
There is also a strong chance these guys teaming up would lead to abject failure.
Becoming a specialist often means sacrificing other disciplines.
There is no doubt, Seth Godin is a master at building a community, but he clearly does not understand SEO. Aaron Wall pointed out Seth Godin’s deficiencies in this area, but Aaron regularly admonishes paid search while talking up the benefits of SEO. Andy Sernovitz focuses on building a conversation, regularly omitting any metrics or analysis linked to the conversation. Conversely, Avinash can get so lost in the details, he misses the big picture.
It would take quite a bit of humility for each specialist to assign another marketing discipline equal or higher value than his individual specialty. Unfortunately, real world marketing (as opposed to lecture series marketing) involves integrating multiple aspects into a campaign and assigning different worth (usually budget) to each area. There are only so many pieces to the pie.
A word of mouth campaign that gets people talking/blogging/tweeting could be great or it could be a waste. Tough to know without budget for post mortem analysis and tough to improve upon without testing.
A community of evangelists is great, but ensuring potential new customers can readily find your product is also important.
Not to continue to pick on Burton, but the snowboarding company has a great brand, a loyal community of ambassadors, and creative marketers, yet nobody hears about their contests or giveaways because Burton likely did not budget for SEO & site usability or develop a social media marketing strategy.
The key to a successful (i.e. measurably successful not “creatively” or “virally” successful) marketing is an integration of multiple aspects: traditional & online; paid search & SEO; brand awareness & analysis; research & execution.
Over the next couple weeks, I will break down specific tactics to integrate the different aspects of your marketing campaigns.
For now, recognize that marketing “experts” are typically just marketing specialists. Generally, you are the best expert to tackle your company’s dilemmas. The rest of us are merely tools for you to succeed.