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Welcome to Marketing Myth-Perceptions

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The WINNER of the author-endorsed book "Using Behavioral Science in Marketing" written by Nancy Harhut is Rachelle (Shelly) Marlowe from Churchbridge Credit Union. Congrats Rachelle, it's an awesome read that you and your marketing team will love! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

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Test your Smarts

Test your Smarts. Spot the Myth

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1. Marketing doesn’t influence the bottom line. Truth or myth?

A: Myth

Let’s say that a goal is growth in one (or many) areas of your business. If you look at a financial statement, you’ll see it provides clear growth numbers – in black, white, or red.

 

Marketing methods and tactics may not always translate directly onto the financial statement; however, marketing can have an influence on these numbers.

 

How so? Well, marketing can ‘bring the horse to water’ so to speak by creating marketing sourced opportunities.

 

So, that Facebook post that drove traffic to your website > where the individual took a desired action > which resulted in an opportunity for your employee to have a conversation > which resulted in an increase in business = absolutely has an impact on the bottom line.

2. Marketing can’t be measured. Truth or myth?

A: Truth and Myth

Marketers wade in a sea of gray. It can be difficult or daunting when presented with a request to prove the ROI (Return On Investment) in marketing when some actions don’t have a direct financial number. But it doesn’t have to be impossible. There are things that can be measured.

 

For example, here are a handful of things that marketers can measure:

  • Website landing page views, conversions, and traffic sources.

  • The number of instances where a meeting is booked as a result of marketing efforts.

  • The number of instances where marketing provided internal support for member/customer facing teams.

  • Social media and email engagement.

 

Through these measurements, we can see how frequently the message was put in front of the intended audience, and the action that was taken. This increases the opportunities for your employees to have conversations with members/customers, which helps them meet their goals, and ultimately the goals of your organization.

It’s also worth noting that some marketing tactics are meant to provide more reach and awareness, for example TV or radio spots. Whereas other tactics are better for focusing specifically on converting people which could be measured by actions such as clicks, downloads, or registrations. Unless you’re employing sophisticated brand tracking, the latter is much easier to measure.

Read more about Marketing Metrics that matter to your CEO.

3. Marketing campaigns need immediate results. Truth or Myth?

A: Truth and Myth

A tricky part of this, is that not all results happen in a short time frame. In some instances, marketing is about the long game. It's important to know the difference.

 

Short time frame examples could be: if you are hosting an event and focusing on only the attendance, that’s easy to measure the results. If you are running a contest and have a certain period of time for entries, that’s easy to measure the results in a short time frame.

 

But what if you want to grow your business? Enhance your wallet share? Introduce a new service? Let’s think about this - Do people make major financial decisions in the 3 or so months the campaign is running? Granted, some do, but not all. Sometimes it can take months and even years to be considered.

 

So, we need to focus on BOTH the short- and long-term results. Here’s why.

 

If we only focus on short-term results, it can lead to reluctance in investing in long-term strategies. The result of this can lead to a gradual decrease in awareness, sales, and growth. This creates a greater problem requiring a much larger investment down the road or drastic measures, such as down-sizing.

 

Another hardship of reduced marketing investment is reflected by putting added pressure on the marketing team, making it very difficult for them to effectively drive business growth. And when they can’t do that, it spirals because then it’s harder and harder to make effective impacts to the bottom line.

 

4. Marketing is a cost center. Truth or Myth?

A: Myth

This one breaks my heart, and even more so when it’s the first budget line to get cut if times are tough. Does it cost money to market? Absolutely. However, as we are learning, there is a positive and often significant impact to the bottom line of the organization when it’s done right.

 

5. When budget cuts need to happen, marketing is the best choice to red circle. Truth or Myth?

A: Myth

When times are tough, this is actually when you need to double down on your marketing efforts. When everyone else is making like a recluse spider, that’s the time you need to burst free and be the one in the hearts and minds of your audience.

 

If you reduce your marketing budget, you are creating an opportunity risk. That is, you are creating an unfavourable outcome for your business, because when you want to be considered for a product or service, and the individual doesn’t have you front of mind, they will choose another.

 

If you think this only pertains to new customers/members, you are wrong. This 100% applies to your existing membership/customers as well. We all know that businesses from every walk of life, including your competitors, are vying for a piece of your customers'/members' wallet. And if you go dark and they don’t, who do you think will be first in the person’s mind?

This blog post covers this topic in more detail

 

6. The marketing department only does what they are directed to do. Truth or Myth?

A: Myth and Truth

This is a myth because there are some organizations who welcome direction provided by the marketing lead as to ways of achieving their corporate goals and priorities.

 

This results in opportunities that may have never been considered because marketers have knowledge of the marketplace, audience, trends, economic environment, tools, resources, corporate goals, departmental priorities, behavioural science, and the list can go on, that others don’t have the depth of knowledge on.

 

In fact, in a survey completed by McKinsey and Company in October of 2023, they state “CEOs who place marketing at the core of their growth strategy are twice as likely to have greater than 5 percent annual growth compared with their peers.”

It’s also a truth because some organizations have structured their marketing professionals to only take direction based on what the leadership says. Leaders instruct their marketers to “Create a Mortgage Campaign” or “Promote this investment rate” or “We need to be on Tik-Tok”.

 

The tough part about this, is it is so reactionary. And if your marketers don’t have the depth of knowledge as to why these requests come, your marketing can be like a boat without a rudder - aimless and trying its best to get to shore while in the middle of a vast ocean.

 

An additional roadblock to this, is that many leaders are not deeply trained in the field of marketing. 

 

Also, when marketers are tasked with proving the value of marketing, they are put in such a tough spot because they may not know what to measure or why. And then, marketing looks like a cost center. This is a true cause-and-effect story (see myth #4 "Marketing is a Cost Center").

 

So, what can be done? Make sure your marketers have the training and support to deepen their business and marketing acumen. I know of many, many individuals who sit in a marketing role who may not have training or experience in marketing. You can help them.

 

When you invest in your marketers, support, and encourage them, and place them in an influential position, you open a world of opportunity you may never have considered.

 

7. 123 Business is on _________, we need to be there too. Truth or Myth

A: Myth

It’s interesting to me, as to how many times this has come up over the years - whether it be a social media platform, attending an event, or chasing after a shiny new thing. If you are encouraging your marketing department to jump into this pool, the request needs to be met with a series of questions before this is even considered.

 

  • Why do we need to be there?

  • What corporate goal will it meet and align with?

  • Is that where our audience is?

  • What will be the benefit (short/long term) of us being there?

  • What are the resources required to effectively make this work?

  • What can we give up to make room for this?

  • Aside from initial costs, what are the ongoing costs to maintain and be effective (which include human resource time)?

  • Will this set a precedent for the future?

 

8. “Marketing can put that together in no time”. Truth or Myth?

A: Truth

It’s a truth, because sure, anything can be done with a limited amount of time. But let’s think about this and if it’s worth it.

 

When you consider project management, there are three pillars – Quality, Money, and Time. If you sacrifice one of those pillars, then the other pillars also get sacrificed.

 

I think of marketing like project management. If you ask for a marketing output but don’t give sufficient time, then you must be prepared for an increase in expense, or a decrease in quality.

  • Expense increase because some or all of the project may need to be outsourced, or overtime may need to be put in.

  • Quality because the marketers are handcuffed by the clock and can’t dedicate the deep insights or opportunities that could otherwise have been leveraged.

 

Did you know that a professional 5-minute video can take up to 40-50 hours to prepare. Campaign planning can take between 10-15 hours. Social media can take several hours per week. Now don't get scared about the time commitment, but do recognize that to get the outcomes you want to achieve, you have to give your experts time to get it done.

 

9. Marketing is about getting the word out. Truth or Myth?

A: Truth

This is totally a truth. A big part of what we do as marketers is helping to educate audiences. We are connecting members with products, services, and knowledge that will help them in their lives.

 

Here’s a question - how are you leveraging the marketing knowledge within the area you oversee at your organization?

 

I’m going to walk you through a scenario to help paint this picture.

 

Let’s say you are planning to host a special event within your department for your members. You and your team have been meeting over the past 3 months to plan it all out – the venue, guest speaker, even the food. You’ve got it all covered, now you just need marketing to do up something pretty to mail or email to your members, and you need it by next week.

 

This is where you are short-changing the effectiveness of your event.

 

Had you included marketing at the beginning - 3 months earlier when you first started to talk about this - you may have learned about a target audience you hadn’t considered, different approaches to reaching them, positioning that would resonate, certain words that make sense to them, and ways for your teams to help engage members in conversation, to name a few. This is a lot more than a pretty invitation, isn’t it? And the result – possibly thousands of dollars in new money because you’ve exposed and engaged your audience in a way you may not have considered. By the way, this was a true story example from my experience.

 

10. Marketing can be done well, even when divided with other roles. Truth or Myth?

A: Truth and Myth

This is a truth, because many marketers do it with additional support from others within the organization or through out-sourcing support.

 

It is also a myth, because often these roles are divided with other roles that impact the focus marketing gets. Often, marketing duties can get back-burnered due to the pressing nature of their split role. This creates so much pressure on your marketing person.

 

The role of marketing has evolved exponentially. With so many fields of practice, it can be very demanding with pressures put on to excel in all areas of marketing, including:

  • strategy, planning, data and insights, analytics, advertising, brand management, content marketing, digital marketing, event marketing, research, communications, social media marketing, graphic design, procurement, website design and management, community engagement, public relations, product development, product insight, and survey development just to name a few.

 

Marketing is a BIG job and can make a BIG impact to the bottom line of the organization. As leaders, it’s important to understand the complexities involved and provide training, support, and time for your marketing people. It’s a tough job to do well without that.

 

11. Marketing does their thing, we do our thing, life is good. Truth or Myth?

A: Myth

Imagine that you are working in a garden and your job is to look after your row. Your row looks amazing – it’s flourishing and there isn’t a weed in sight. You are so proud of your row that you’ve been hyper-focused on. But when at last you look up, you see that the garden is being eaten up by insects from the outside in and the whole garden is in jeopardy.

 

This is what can happen when we don’t work together – your garden can get overtaken, and it’ll be too late to do anything about it.

 

You might be thinking – great analogy Lyanne, we know this, but what does this have to do with marketing? Ideally, the marketing initiatives have a direct link to the corporate goals – also known as your garden. And since you are all working toward success of the organization, your goals (or your row in this analogy) are important and impactful to the marketing goals as well.

 

What can working with marketing look like?

  1. Extend an invitation to your marketing lead to join a team meeting

  2. Share your department’s annual goals with your marketing lead. This is more than only the financial numbers. This includes any events you want to host, or those you want your team to take part in. It could be the number of referrals you are striving for. It could be having stronger conversations with members. Whatever it is, share it.

  3. Invite your marketing person right at the start when planning an event or tactic. You may not consider the member impacts like your marketing person can.

  4. Leverage the marketing collateral that is made available to you. There is a strategic reason plus costs to place an ad, go on the radio, or build that website landing page. Those are there to help your teams have conversations with members. Use it! Build it into your weekly meetings.

  5. Establish a recurring monthly meeting with team leaders, which includes marketing to share what is happening within the departments.

Read more about being a "CCO".

 

12. Strategy only comes from executive leadership, not marketing. Truth or Myth?

A: Truth and Myth

Truth because the strategic direction of the organization needs to come from the board of directors and executive management team. And those organizations that integrate marketing insights into the strategic planning process will find a better connection to those they serve – the members/customers.

 

It’s also a myth because that’s not the only strategic direction in an organization. There is also marketing strategy that needs to come into play. And that needs to come from the marketing leadership. Marketing provides a much greater value than only the tactical execution.

 

The value of a strategic marketing plan is that it gives clear direction to ensure that time and money is not wasted on tactics that may not align to the organization’s corporate goals, priorities, and values. Essentially, a marketing strategy eliminates rudderless marketing, or marketing that doesn’t have a direct line to results.

 

The lack of a clear marketing strategy is one of the most significant causes of inefficiency in marketing for business.

Read more about building a strategic marketing plan.

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This isn't an all-exhaustive list, but it is one that I have found helpful in my ongoing learning journey.

~ Lyanne

Resources that will help you and your marketers

Resources
Terms and Conditons

Contest Rules and Consent

Official Contest Rules

  • The contest dates are March 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024.

  • Entry submissions must be received by 11:59 pm Saskatchewan time on March 31, 2024.

  • Submissions will be accepted when submitted through the contest entry via www.bluedragonflystrategies.ca/myth-or-truth

  • Entries will also be accepted by postal mail and must be post-marked no later than March 31, 2024. You must indicate that you want to be entered for a chance to win the book “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing” along with your first name, last name, email address and phone number.

    • Postal mail to: PO Box 1441 Shaunavon, SK S0N 2M0.

  • One prize will be awarded, which is a signed copy of the book “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing” written by Nancy Harhut.

  • Chances of winning will be determined by the number of entries within the contest period.

  • The winner will be selected by a random draw.

  • The winners will be contacted 3 (three) times between April 15 to April 21, 2024. In the event the winner cannot be contacted, the entry will be forfeit and another draw will be done. This process will continue until a winner has been awarded the prize.

  • The winner grants permission for blue dragonfly Marketing Strategies Ltd. to publish the winner’s name and/or photograph as it sees fit without remuneration for blue dragonfly Marketing Strategies Ltd.’s website and social media.

  • No purchase is necessary to enter.

  • The winner will need to answer the skill-testing question of (4 x 10) – (8 + 1)  = ____.

  • blue dragonfly Marketing Strategies Ltd. reserves the right to terminate, amend or suspend this Contest at any time and without prior notice should any factors (virus, bugs, computer, electronic, or system malfunction, or any other factor(s)) adversely affect the administration, security or proper conduct of the Contest as contemplated by these Official Rules.

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