According to research undertaken by Les Binet and Peter Field, The Long and the Short of It, marketing is becoming less effective. We’re over-relying on short-term tactics that are easy to measure and provide instant gratification for our increasingly impatient hunger for results. But this is not delivering long-term growth and our industry’s primary function is suffering as a result.
But by making decisions based on what people do rather than what they say, and understanding the context in which they behave, we can evolve our marketing and drive better outcomes, for everyone.
The boardroom’s demand for quick, visible ROI and an increasing reliance on sales activation campaigns have contributed to a rise in short-term thinking and tactics.
Underneath the surface is a conflict between two forces: data and humanity.
Marketers have more data to make decisions than ever before and, used correctly, this can pave the way for huge opportunity. However, the need to prove instant impact has put marketers under great pressure to stand out and make a difference, leading to the current, fast-moving trends culture. Persona marketing, influencer marketing, millennial and Gen Z segmentation of this continual flow of new approaches feeds an ongoing desire to attempt to provide differentiation.
Human beings, on the other hand, have remained constant in the face of endless social changes, revolutions and new trends. Yet, the human is increasingly at odds with the technology-based, data-led approach that’s causing a disconnect between brands and their audience. Attempting to bridge this void has seen the rise of “brand purpose” as brands look to appeal to human nature and the “emotional” side of the brain. But this is being used as a cynical short-term marketing ploy by some, which is only broadening the divide.
While we live in a world where data provides us with a huge amount of insight, it is human potential that moves us forward. Knitting the two together, and taking a longer-term view, can have huge benefits - for everyone.