Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

2008 Top 10 Pieces Of Advice For 2009

We’ve come to the end of the road.  Starting on the 22nd of December I’ve been providing 1 top 10 list every day.  The lists have been a lot of fun and a lot of work to put together.  Until now, all of the lists focused on 2008.  For example the top 10 commercials in 2008.  As we get ready to close out 2008, I thought it only appropriate to look forward to 2009.  Here are my top 10 pieces of advice to marketers in 2009.

  1. Embrace Data: I love watching my creative team looking at Google Analytics.  Data, reporting, metrics, and measurement aren’t one person’s responsibility.  It’s everyone’s, because we’re all accountable for the end result.  Don’t be afraid of the data when your campaign/site/program isn’t performing as well as expected.  That’s the beauty of data; it tells us exactly how we’re doing.  The key though is to make sure you’ve set aside time and dollars to optimize.  It’s never a good thing to know your site is underperforming and not be able to fix it because of limited funding.
  2. Remove The Buzzwords: It’s not about baffling with bullshit.  Really, its not.  Clients are getting smarter.  Heck, all marketers are getting smarter.  There’s no need to dumb down the conversation.  When we use buzzwords, do you know what we sound like?  We sound like we don’t know what we’re talking about and that our only knowledge comes from AdAge.
  3. Extend Interactive Marketing Beyond The web: The nice thing about 2008 was that we got to see technologies like Microsoft Surface offer a glimpse about what INTERACTIVE can really mean.  Interactive marketing is no longer just about emails, banners, and web sites.  We’ve evolved.  Digital billboards can be interactive.  Television can be interactive.  We need to think beyond the web site and start thinking about all the other ways we can bring interactive to the people.
  4. Nail The Fundamentals: The web is old enough that we should never ever miss the fundamentals.  Please buy multiple variations of a URL.  Make sure you have a paid search campaign in place when running TV.  Ensure tracking tags are in place.  The list goes on and on.  It amazes me that marketers continue to overlook the basics.
  5. Educate Legal: It’s really easy for legal for shoot things down, appear uncooperative, or seem difficult when they don’t even understand what they’re reviewing.  My personal POV is that legal should never make a decision; they’re role is to advise.  However, many brand managers don’t view things that way.  Legal is a security blanket that often has far too much power.  The best way to leverage that power is to influence it.  The easiest way to influence things is to educate.
  6. Leverage All 5 Senses: For too long we’ve focused on just site and sound.  The iPhone brought us touch.  While the ability to actually taste and smell through a flat screen monitor is a few years off 🙂 it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to delight all 5 senses.  There’s plenty of research to show how visual stimulation can impact taste and smell.  As digital progresses, figuring out how to connect with me through all my senses will become a game changer.  Yes, I used the buzzword game changer.  Do you see how dumb I just sounded?
  7. Hire Well, Retain Talent, Compensate Fairly: It’s not easy to find solid talent.  When you do, hold on to that talent.  Don’t let it go.  If you lose good talent to a competitor it’s a double whammy.  Compensation is always tricky…well unless of course you abide by the golden rule: pay people based on their value to the company.  Let’s say person X is making 50K, but the market puts his worth at 70K.  If person X is a great performer and you won’t give him/her market value or close to it, you’ll lose person X and have to pay 70K to an unknown.  Think about it.
  8. Don’t Wait For Nike And P&G To Do “It” First: When I was working on Kellogg’s, Similac, Healthy Choice, and just about every other consumer packaged goods brand our recommendations for new, different, and innovative ideas would be met with stone walls.  That is, until P&G or Nike did exactly what we were recommending.  It seemed that once P&G or Nike did something it opened up the door for other brands to do “it.”  You can be innovative.  You can do things first.  Often times losing out on first mover advantage can set you back years or in some cases, you’ll never get any traction.
  9. Look Beyond The Usual Suspects For News: AdAge, AdWeek, Wired, and Fast Company are great publications.  But, if those 4 and some of the other publications that everyone is reading are your go-to reads, you have a problem.  This world moves to quickly to wait for a weekly or monthly update.  Real time information is where it’s at.  Places like TechCrunch, Engadget, and iMedia give that and more.  Broaden the horizon…your competitors already are.
  10. Get Involved: Start a blog.  Join Twitter.  Engage in a message board.  Create a Facebook account.  Build your own social network on Ning. Many of these things are simple to do.  Once you starting joining in on the fun, you’ll start to see the marketing possibilities.