The marketing world needs to stop being so afraid and start solving problems, according to Cindy Gallop, an entrepreneur and consultant whose prescription for growth calls for synthesizing creativity and data collection.
Gallop, who spoke at Mashable Connect Saturday morning, critiqued the current state of marketing, which she believes is driven by fear. “Fear is the single worst dynamic in business,” she said. “Decisions made out of fear are always very bad decisions.”
Such trepidation, predicated by the economy, has caused marketers to become much more cautious, hence the emphasis on data collection in lieu of risk-taking. In Gallop’s view, though, this array of data has caused paralysis. Lacking any single standard for tracking data, marketers are merely analyzing. To get over that, Gallop recommends a DIY approach: “You should decide what you are and what you want to measure,” she said. “Design your own metric system.” After that, she says marketers should tap that data to improve their marketing. “The new creativity is data-informed,” she said.
A self-styled system should also be more transparent about its data collection. In an age of transparency, Gallop says marketers should approach their relationship with clients on social media the same way they’d do it in real life. “When you meet someone you like, you want to know about them, so you ask them and you tell them things about yourself,” she says. “You reach a point where essentially on both sides you’re saying, ‘I want you to know me.’ That’s the relationship you want to reach with consumers.”
Yet Gallop thinks transparency alone isn’t enough, noting that advertisers are now judged by actions, not claims. As an example of this new type of “action branding,” she cited Levi’s decision to raise $2 million for the down-on-its-luck town of Braddock, Pa., in 2010 and feature it and its young mayor in an ad campaign.
It’s unclear how effective such solutions are in the real world. Though there were doubtlessly other factors at play, the ad campaign seems to have helped Levi’s sales — the company’s 2011 revenues rose 8%. However, a similar program from Pepsi appears to have had a disastrous effect on sales and that brand recently abandoned the approach.
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