Mia Fileman 0:05
This is Got Marketing? – a fad-free, fluff-free, no-nonsense podcast for marketers looking to work smarter.
I’m your host, Mia Fileman – a marketing strategist with over two decades of experience, and an entrepreneur.
I’m tired of marketers telling you what you want to hear. Instead, I tell you what you need to hear. During the show, I chat with creatives and strategists about all the aspects of marketing, but especially marketing campaigns. Unpacking and dissecting marketing campaigns is what I do for fun.
Got Marketing? is brought to you by Campaign Del Mar – the marketing education platform where marketers and entrepreneurs go to upskill.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Hello everyone! Welcome back to the Got Marketing? Show!
I’m your host, Mia Fileman.
Today, we are going to talk about whether marketers have become lazy.
To have this chat with me, I have invited back one of my dear friends – one of the first people I ever had on the Got Marketing? Show – Erin Morris.
Erin is the founder of Young Folks – an independent marketing agency using business as a force for good. They are proudly a certified B-corp with carbon-neutral credentials verified by Climate Active. They give back to 1% for the Planet.
Erin believes in using marketing as a vehicle to get radically better results.
Welcome back, mate!
Erin Morris 1:41
Hey! Thanks for having me! I’m so glad to be here and be chatting with you!
Mia Fileman 1:46
I know! So much has changed since you were on the show about a year ago when literally nobody was listening. Now, we’re a Top 20 Marketing podcast in Australia! Woop woop!
Erin Morris 1:58
Honestly, I feel glad I still make the cut now that you’re so famous.
Mia Fileman 2:06
Oh. Gosh, I wish. No, not at all.
You are such an insanely clever marketer. We probably should have started recording 20 minutes ago when we pseudo had the chat before we even pressed the record button, and now we have to do it all over again, but I’m very, very excited for this conversation.
You sent me a bunch of DMs while you were out for your walk with this epiphany. You have a bit of a hypothesis about Meta and Google. Let’s hear it.
Erin Morris 2:40
I do have a hypothesis. I have observed that I believe that we are witnessing the demise – or the beginning of the demise – of this Meta and Google duopoly. By that, I mean, for such a long time, a lot of marketers have been heavily reliant on Facebook and Google platforms.
When I think about Meta and Google, we have got within the Meta stable WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger. There’s a lot in that mix. Within Google, you have got Google Search, YouTube, Google Ads. There’s a lot in there as well.
You have got a mix of organic and paid in both of those platforms. They are certainly the places where there are the biggest audiences that we can target as marketers, but marketers could be leaving money on the table by not considering other channels as well and by really executing that omnichannel marketing strategy.
Mia Fileman 3:37
Totally. I’m a big, big advocate for omnichannel, but what’s causing this demise of the duopoly? Is it the introduction of TikTok? Is it the fact that LinkedIn has seriously raised their game and is essentially now the new Instagram? What do you think that contributed to this?
Erin Morris 4:01
I think it’s a couple of things.
I don’t think that they’re going away. I want to clarify – I don’t think Facebook and Meta and Instagram are going to disappear, and I don’t think Google is going to disappear either.
It’s more that our attention as individuals is heading to other places. Possibly that’s because of some of the decisions that the platforms have made – particularly Meta – around how they present their apps to their audiences.
Instagram has kind of became TikTok, but TikTok is still doing it better. You look at audiences gravitating towards TikTok or towards LinkedIn. There’s been a whole hashtag thread on Instagram about people that want to bring back more of a photo-sharing app.
I’ve talked to a lot of people – millennials – they’re 30-plus people who just want a photo-sharing app. If you read through the comments when Instagram did their latest update on their App Store, there are thousands of negative reviews about that. There’s definitely something happening there.
I zoomed out and had a bit of a look at what’s happening within those platforms on a macro level. If you look at Meta, they are really going deep into the Metaverse. Everything that they are doing is evolving to take us deeper into the virtual world whereas Google have just launched Digital out-of-home – out-of-home being your billboards and everything. Google is almost going deeper into the real world.
They are both diversifying their platforms in different ways. I think people are responding to what Google are doing better than they are responding to what Meta is doing – certainly anecdotally. With the rise of other platforms, like you said – TikTok, LinkedIn, even Reddit. You can go deep on Reddit in subreddits and connect to your community there. Quora or even Spotify ads or Twitter ads.
There are so many different ways that marketers can reach their audiences and engage with them. For such a long time, a lot of marketers have relied on a two-pronged approach to their marketing and not considered that omnichannel approach.
Mia Fileman 6:11
Yes, the Instagram hashtag is #makeinstagraminstagramagain, I think.
It was Kim Kardashian that came out and said, “No, I don’t want this entire platform to be Reels. I want it to be a photo-sharing app.” That actually got Meta’s attention because she has the biggest following on Instagram than anybody else. Definitely look that up. That’s fun.
Loved what you said about Reddit. One of my favourite brands is Notion – the minimalist software company that’s a project management tool. They have built a Reddit community like no other. They have really mobilized their evangelists and turned their fans into evangelists using Reddit. I really like that.
Are you saying that, if people are not enjoying Meta platforms and Google – I am not enjoying Meta platforms – it’s probably the right time to go and fish in other ponds? Or are you saying that we should continue on those platforms because they still are massive but that we should also spread out the risk across other channels?
Erin Morris 7:25
The second one, yes.
We see this in real time in an agency setting, looking at the results for campaigns across a wide variety of industries. We’re very fortunate in that agency position to have a lens on a lot of different things and a lot of different industries and business models and products and services.
It’s not just one thing where we’re saying, “Yes, Facebook Ads still works.” We’re saying that, across a spectrum of different industries, it’s still working, but what we’re seeing is other places are working too.
In a way, if you think about that question that we’re unpacking here – have marketers become lazy? – I would say that, in some ways, some marketers have become lazy because we’ve become extremely reliant on two platforms.
We should always be considering the fundamentals of marketing which is taking your offer or your key message and taking it to your target audience wherever they are in order to maintain that ongoing brand awareness so that, when they are ready to purchase, there you are at the top of mind, ready to serve them. That’s where we need to be heading back to, I feel.
Mia Fileman 8:38
Yes, absolutely! That’s right.
You’ve found recent research that Byron Sharp – the professor of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute – wrote, was that right? He was talking about this. Can you take us through that?
Erin Morris 8:55
Yes, I love this article because it really went into it. There is research and development around marketing. A lot of the time, marketing can feel a little bit like throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks, but it doesn’t have to be.
Testing and experimenting is an important part of marketing, but it doesn’t give you a license to be chaotic because you’re always testing. There needs to be an element of structure and strategy to any kind of marketing work.
What I thought was really interesting about some of the points that he makes in the article is that things like your paid search, your in-store display, your price promotions, he talks about special offers, and all of those things.
The way he phrases it is that they catch people when they fall, but people who aren’t in market don’t see them, and most people are not in the market. When we talk about in market, we mean essentially ready to purchase.
I love thinking about this in practical terms because that’s a little bit marketing jargony. The way I explain this – and I ran this through with our content producer, David, to be like, “Does this stick?” before jumping on this call – and the way I see it is, if you could track the conversions that are generated by the Dare Ice Coffee and doughnut offer that’s our point of sale at 7-Eleven during trading peak hour, it would probably be pretty.
You can’t necessarily track it unless it has a QR code on it. But if you knew every time that flyer worked to get a purchase, you’d be pretty impressed with the marketing results from this. What actually got the trade into 7-Eleven in the first place is brand awareness. That’s what this whole report from Byron talks about.
Marketers have become obsessed with performance marketing because it’s measurable at the expense of remembering that brand awareness activity is often the thing that makes people convert via performance marketing in the end anyway.
Mia Fileman 10:52
Yes, now you’re speaking my language that marketers have potentially gotten quite lazy with performance marketing in lieu of long-term brand building.
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One of the things I want to talk about is how we define brand awareness. What exactly is brand awareness? Is it just that people know who you are? Or is it also that they know what you offer?
Erin Morris 11:56
That is a great question.
I think there are many aspects and layers to this. If we were talking to someone that works in media planning, they would have layers – like, “There’s brand awareness. Then, there’s brand recall. Then, there’s brand uplift,” – and so many different ways to measure this.
But I like to think of it as the purpose of building brand awareness is to generate demand. It’s to get someone to know to go to 7-Eleven – that you have doughnuts and Dare Ice Coffee. But then, you are really generating that demand to make sales easier in the future.
You still have to have other things happening like sales enablement. You don’t want someone to just know 7-Eleven exists. You need them to know that 7-Eleven exists, and that they sell these things in order to get them to consider coming in.
For me, I define brand awareness as someone having the ability to think of your brand when they – or somebody that they can influence – is ready to make a purchase decision.
Mia Fileman 12:54
Love that! That’s so good.
Please take note, personal branding people who just talk about themselves and all their success signalling. I know who their names are, but I don’t actually know what they sell at all or what they offer or how they can solve any of my problems. I’m seeing this play out spectacularly. Brand awareness is not just me knowing your name. It’s also understanding how you can solve a real problem.
What are some examples of brand-building marketing? Who does this really well?
Erin Morris 13:31
We were talking about this earlier, right? Often, when you think about brand awareness, the things that come to mind first are often your FMCG or big retail brands that have big budgets to invest in making sure that you never forget them.
You think about Nike. You think about Coca-Cola. They all have a really clear promise. They have a clear visual identity, so that they are recognizable. Something that came out of this report was this argument by Byron that you need to be brand awareness always on marketing all the time. I tend to disagree with that.
If it’s always on marketing, it becomes quite bland. That probably works in an FMCG category. Maybe it works for certain aspects of marketing. You can always think about the taglines and the catch cries of big retailers – like, “lowest prices every day!” or “lowest prices or we’ll beat it by 5 percent!” or whatever it is. You know the brands that they come from.
Just saying that, I’m sure you can imagine the big grey warehouse. If you know, you know!
Mia Fileman 14:38
Just the beginning? Lowest prices are just the beginning?
Erin Morris 14:42
I remember working on a big retailer when their tagline changed from “the works” to “big ideas, lowest prices.” They’re such a big thing. They’ve got these big taglines. They run these big campaigns to make sure that you never forget these things. We often think about these big brands in that.
But I also think there are some less big brands that are doing a spectacular job of this, too. One that always comes to mind is Modibodi. They are so fantastic at aligning their message. They do all the things like a big brand does, but they do it always like a guerrilla marketer in a way.
Instead of having TV ads running 24/7 and radio ads running 24/7, they have got this incredible mix of content marketing and digital advertising and brand storytelling and evangelist activation. There are all of these things that they do, and the campaigns that they run are not them saying the same thing about having period-proof undies.
They did this incredible campaign around putting images of women post-partum on Getty Images to even the score. There were no images of post-partum women available, so they saw that opportunity and jumped on it. There are some great examples. Look to big brands, but also look to savvy smaller brands that are really making waves. Challenger brands often do really smart marketing.
Mia Fileman 16:06
Do you know someone who I don’t think does very smart marketing at all? That is Hello Fresh.
Being a millennial woman with a family, I am the number one target audience for Hello Fresh. I receive every single communication that they have, and a million freaking coupons in my letterbox. I get all the retargeting and everything, but none of it is particularly good.
Their latest TVC is supermarkets aren’t that super. It’s quite creative. You see a woman pushing a trolley, but you can only see her legs. She is moving around the supermarket as if to intimate that she is going around in circles. Literally, that’s all it says. “Supermarkets aren’t that super.”
That’s cool, dudes. But there are many meal-kit companies. You haven’t given me a reason to choose yours. It’s almost like they’re marketing for the category. I don’t know.
Erin Morris 17:04
I think it was a failed tagline in a way for a campaign because it’s almost like looked to Aldi and said, “Aldi said they’re different.” I’m like, “Yes, but Aldi said they’re good different.” They still said what was good about them.
Hello Fresh have just said supermarkets aren’t that super, but they didn’t say what was anything good about them. They didn’t tell us why we should consider them. They just said supermarkets are bad, and we’re like, “Yes, we all know that.” They’re annoying as, but they’re still convenient. I can still go in there and get what I need.
Mia Fileman 17:31
Exactly! It has left me scratching my head because I’m like, “Great! You’ve told me something I already know – which is that supermarkets are frustrating. – but you haven’t convinced me why I should consider trying Hello Fresh or even one of your competitors.” Anyway, we digress, I’m sure.
Erin Morris 17:48
I think you raise a really important point there about brand awareness marketing. If you are going to put the effort into building brand awareness, best make sure that you are building brand awareness around a clear no-brainer offer.
Give people a reason to choose you so that, when they are ready to make a choice – and, as Byron says, when they are ready to fall – there you are at the top of their mind with that great clear offer. Then, they can see your point-of-sale flyer or click on your Google Ad or click on your Facebook Ad. It’s all lining up and it all makes sense. It’s like the stars have aligned and it’s so easy to buy from you.
Mia Fileman 18:25
I think that’s the point I was trying to make earlier about brand awareness. It’s not awareness at any cost. It’s the right awareness, for sure.
Also, if anyone’s listening and they’re like, “Yes, but you recalled the name, Mia. It obviously worked on you.” Guys, I’m not exactly the average consumer. I consume TVCs like you consume Marriage at First Sight. This is what I do for fun. Of course, I recall these.
I’m definitely not the average consumer here. Campaigns are my life.
Interestingly, in the Byron Sharp article, I thought it was really good that he throws some serious shade. We’re going to link it in the show notes. It’s something I did absolutely agree with. I see this all the time, especially with when I’m watching SBS On Demand or any of those streaming shows.
I watch the same ad for the entire episode. Every ad break, I’m watching the same insurance TVC or the same thing. They’ve gone and they’ve purchased all the spots in a particular show then they disappear. You don’t hear about them for months. That’s really bad media planning, don’t you think?
Erin Morris 19:40
I would say that is lazy programmatic marketer. Here we are on the podcast to call out which marketers we think have been lazy. There are a few people in our firing line so far. Programmatic bias. It’s so bad.
Brands are so lazy with programmatic. It’s because it’s in digital, so it doesn’t – in a lot of brands’ minds – warrant proper media planning. Throw it on the digital budget. Throw it on programmatic. They will just buy all this remnant inventory that’s left on programmatic bias. Then, throw whatever asset we’ve got in there. I think that’s when brands and marketers forget that consumers are consuming all of their creative – their content, their advertising campaigns.
I honestly felt like I was developing a knot in my stomach listening to you talk about experiencing watching the same ad over and over again because I feel the same. It makes me want to frisbee my laptop. I will just stop watching the show. The worst bit is, in online streaming, often if you mute the ad, it stops playing because it’s like the platform is forcing you to watch the ad.
Yes, that is classic lazy programmatic advertising.
Mia Fileman 21:04
Or when it doesn’t buffer then you need to stop it. Of course, the minute you stop it, the ad is back, and it’s the same ad. They should measure what that does to brand value because I believe it’s deteriorating it.
We’ve lost a whole bunch of podcast subscribers today – programmatic marketers and performance marketers. Good times, Erin! You’re always welcome back on the show! Any time, really!
We’re moving to a cookie-less future. Whether performance marketers listening to this agree or disagree with us, a day of reckoning is coming anyway because they better get comfortable with less data. Am I right?
Erin Morris 21:50
Yes, things like Apple really running the privacy angle and eroding a lot of the ability to track that marketers have had for a while – even into email marketing.
Now, you can sign up for an email with your Apple account and mask your email address from the brand. There are lots of things that Apple is doing that’s impacting a bigger conversation around privacy and big tech. That’s influencing the ability for marketers to track activity.
Even regardless of that, it’s always been quite challenging to stitch together the wholistic picture of all the different touchpoints that have influenced somebody going ahead and purchasing because marketers like to describe the customer journey to purchase and then retention as a funnel or a bowtie. But, actually, it’s more like a squiggly hot mess. It’s almost like a drunk person running around at a festival, seeing a lot of different acts.
Consumers go everywhere. This is where media planning has always been so important historically. If you cast your mind back to Mad Men era of marketing, there wasn’t tracking like there is now. Advertising in marketing still worked. It was extremely effective without any tracking. It was because we had a deep understanding of consumer psychology, behavioural psychology. We planned out media.
When you think about media planning, I want to make sure that everyone listening understands that that is the process of thinking about your target audience and making sure that, from the minute they wake up in the morning to the minute that they fall asleep at night, you have considered all the possible touchpoints that they could have with media and marketing and if it’s appropriate for your brand to be there. If your brand is going to show up there, it’s making sure it shows up there with really great creatives.
Historically, you would see a media agency working with a creative agency or a marketing agency or an advertising agency. Media would plan how to get to them, and creative would plan how to say what you want to say when you get to them so that you are representing the brand in all the right places in the right ways. I think we know we can exist without a cookie to tell us if we’re doing a good job.
A lot of marketers get so obsessed with their metrics that they’ve got in front of them that they forget the most important metric which is probably the one their client or their boss or the CEO is looking at – did we make more sales? That’s it!
Like I said, marketing is the vehicle to get you from where you are to where you want to be. If you’re not doing the job of getting there, it doesn’t matter if you had the best click-through rate ever on an ad. If you didn’t get more sales, then you best be able to explain why.
If that was because you generated amazing brand awareness and those sales are going to come in the future because you’ve secured that attention and that recall, that’s great. But you need to be able to articulate these things.
Mia Fileman 24:58
Yes, and I might be showing my age here, but I’m really excited about this because I believe that it’s good for humanity that we have a more private future; but also, I’m really excited about ideas being the future of marketing and not data.
That Mad Men era I’ve romanticized. I don’t miss the chauvinism and the chain smoking, but I do miss so many of the campaigns that came out of that which were so unifying. If now someone pitched “Got Milk?” or “Think Small” by Volkswagen, people would be like, “No, that’s out there. That’s not specifically targeted enough.”
I really urge people to consider campaigns like Qantas’ Fly Away or UberEats’ Snoop Dogg one where he sings or pretty much any Nike campaign ever. That is not about precise targeting. That’s mass marketing based on a really unifying, emotionally charged idea. As a result, they are able to mobilize lots of different segments and very different customer groups because the campaign idea is so delicious.
Erin Morris 26:14
Absolutely. I love that summary and I feel equally excited about a future of marketing that will probably make for advertising and creative that’s a lot more interesting to consume. I know we both love that.
I’m the person that sits on the train and is like, “Wow! That’s a good ad!” looking at the little sticker above the train seat, the tiny little advertising banner there. I really am observing advertising absolutely everywhere.
Mia Fileman 26:44
I realised I went off the deep end because I do sunrise yoga with a bunch of business friends every day at 6:00 am. We were doing a YouTube yoga – like a Yoga with Adrienne – and the LNDR campaign came up which was “we are LNDR” which is one of my favourites.
I wouldn’t let Odette skip the ad. Everyone was like, “Who is this person that we are doing yoga with that wants to watch the ad at 6:00 am?” I was like, “Hit me.”
Erin Morris 27:15
They are a great brand to bring up as an example of a not-as-massive brand. I think they’ve gotten a lot more massive, but I’ve been observing their marketing – maybe for four or five years now. I have many pairs of their leggings. I’ve been convinced by the activity.
They do a great job with a little bit of guerrilla marketing campaigns. I know a lot of your listeners might be thinking, “Great. You’re telling me I need to run TV ads and become Nike?” No, we’re not saying that. Those principles will work at different scales of operation as well.
It’s about looking at defining your message, defining your no-brainer offer, defining your target audience, and then mapping out where are the places that you can reach them. Then, you look at the budget. You have them go, “Well, what are the most reliable or the lowest-risk places for me to go and reach them first?”
If you only had $1,000 a month, or if you only had $300, you could still apply this thinking and use the principles and fundamentals of marketing in a lean way to get the results that you are looking for – to build the brand that you want to build so that people understand who you are and they know how to buy from you.
You might not have 300,000 people want to buy from you tomorrow, but do you need that right now? Or can you get there over time if you even want to?
Mia Fileman 28:32
Totally. Of course, you can apply these principles to small businesses!
The one that comes to mind as you were talking with the Get Chris to Cowra campaign from the Cowra Tourism body which probably has no money, but they came up with this insanely clever guerrilla marketing idea of getting Chris Hemsworth to Cowra because he’s a Tourism Australia ambassador.
They used really clever copywriting and this really scrappy grassroots approach. It was covered by every media outlet, including Sunrise, and Karl Stefanovic went to Cowra. Then, Chris Hemsworth said, “Yes, I’ll come to Cowra. That sounds great!” This campaign went bonkers because the idea was so insanely clever. We can absolutely apply these things.
All right. Well, that’s probably all we’ve got time for, Erin, but are there any final thoughts you wanted to leave people with today?
Erin Morris 29:26
Final thoughts? I think it’s really around don’t be obsessed with just the things you can track. Be obsessed with creating marketing that makes your brand unforgettable.
Mia Fileman 29:40
Love that. That’s the perfect way to end. Thank you so much! It’s always a pleasure.
I will link everything below, but I could not sing Erin and Young Folks praises higher if I tried.
Thank you so much!
Erin Morris 29:56
Thank you for having me!
Mia Fileman 30:00
You listened right up until the end, so why not hit that subscribe button and keep the good marketing rolling?
Podcast reviews are like warm hugs. They’re also the best way to support a small business. You can connect with me, Mia Fileman, on Instagram or LinkedIn. Feel free to send me a message! I’m super friendly.