Doesn’t modern marketing practices and spiel really get you on your high horse… or should I say ‘Unicorn’? When marketers start talking about mythical beasts to best describe their consumer strategies, it’s time to head for the hills. See you shortly at Big Buddha.
Marketing is now an integral part of our lives, and indeed actions, whether we like it or not. Over the past decade there have been dramatic advancements to ever-more intrusive approaches to engage consumers and how marketers now view user actions as an essential pawn on their chess board. So much available content, especially in the digital realm, appears to be free. But believe me… ‘If we’re not paying for the product, we are the product’.
It’s about personal data, eyeballs, shares and consumer advocacy. Trending software and AI algorithms have taken over the marketing world, and, as a result, ours. From personal experience working for major US movie studios, I was introduced to an ex-MIT data analysis team who had built their own highly sophisticated user profiling platform. Using a range of external paid data sources and their in-house online behaviour tracking software, they can literally pick a random individual in the US market and instantly know intricate details on their lifestyle choices. What they spent where and when, whether the family have pets etc. All to create a marketing ‘target’ profile of each individual and push bespoke, (ir-) relevant content at every possible opportunity.
I spent far too much of my time in marketing boardrooms of many of the big players in this space, usually with a mix of disbelief and amusement by the terms concocted as a thin veil to qualify their activity. Apparently, if it sounds ever-so-slightly academic, the practice now has integrity. Such silly buzzwords have explored myth, metaphor and the methodical to find a message that sticks, and have gone from the high brow scientific to the down right ridiculous.
Let’s take a look at few. How the ‘experts’ would describe it, and then let’s consider what it actually means.
Unicorn – What they Say:
Pertaining to feelings of perpetual bliss, Unicorn marketing is about identifying the best performing content or messaging and utilizing this success by promoting it across all media channels, as well as re-purposing it in different forms including videos, infographics, presentation decks and any other platform they can think of. A ‘Rainbow Unicorn’ describes a really, really, really popular content piece. Ok.
What they mean: The creative team are on holiday, and we can’t think of anything else remotely as good. Let’s just run it again, besides our audience are too stupid to notice.
Low-hanging fruit – What they Say:
Low-hanging fruit refers to those consumers who are easiest to engage with new initiatives or products. As example, repeat buyers or local customers. Focusing efforts on this group maximizes the effectiveness of new marketing campaigns. Marketers certainly didn’t coin the phrase, but they can take full credit for now turning the sane into gibbering wrecks upon hearing it.
What they mean: Let’s just target the really gullible ones that will go for anything.
ToFu, MoFu and BoFu – What they Say:
Apparently marketers like to abbreviate, so they have more time to use as many other abbreviations as they can in an excruciatingly drawn out meeting agenda. These terms refer to the ‘funnels’ used in marketing channels. Top of Funnel, Middle of Funnel, you’re getting it.
The upper part of the funnel serves to spread awareness and develop prospects. Once they’re aware, the Mid-funnel content marketing uses targeted blogs, case studies etc. to nurture the audience’s further interest. And finally the bottom is where you’re left with highly interested customers who marketers or sales teams are looking to close by explaining why that product is better than anything else on the market.
What they mean: Absolutely no comment needed. Let’s just imagine a middle-aged man in a wide pin stripe suit saying, “Could we analyse the Tofu figures against the MoFu, and then compare it to the BoFu?”
So there we have it. I rest my case, your honour. Armed with the understanding of such ridiculous terminology and whence it came, the power is back in your hands. Let’s all pray that the actual influence on any of us to buy into these hocus strategies is equally mythical.
If you could all now just CLICK HERE and answer a short questionnaire, that would be just dandy.