Imagine: There’s a great guy, Ben, who just signed up for a dating site. He spends serious time editing his profile, getting the stamp of approval from his gal pals, and he even bears the taunting from the buddies he cropped out of his new profile picture.
The hits come rolling in. Winks and likes and email messages — even a few emoji with the heart eyes. Ben is pumped.
And then Ben drafts an email. He copies and pastes that email to 15 different eligible ladies. And he waits…
The Sad Story Of Impersonal Ben
One or two write back. The rest think his email seems oddly impersonal. (And since they’re getting hit up by 20 other guys, they’ve lost interest in Impersonal Ben.)
Ben is pissed that after months of this, he’s still single. And he’s still investing money and time in this site. His profile is perfect. He’s still acquiring those winks and likes and heart eye emojis… But there’s no retention. No loyalty. No commitment.
Worse still, he’s earned a spot on ByeFelipe and a bit of a negative reputation among the ladies along with it.
If we were friends with Ben we’d smack him upside the noggin and tell him he’s got it all wrong. He needs to personalize those emails, he needs to follow up, and he needs to ask for the date. And then a second date. And he needs to learn about these women. And put that learning into action. Her favorite food is Italian? Guess where you’re booking your next date together?
It seems like a no brainer, and yet…
Ben & Super Bowl Advertisers Have Something In Common
The Super Bowl. The #BrandBowl. It’s a bunch of eligible brands with great profiles putting their stuff out there for interested consumers and then … nada.
This is what happens to most brands after the Super Bowl. Similar to Ben’s one-off tactics, the majority of brands will lose site of their true focus: creating long-term relationships with consumers- and will instead get caught up in the flash and fun of the moment. They’re getting stuck in capturing attention and then they fumble the ball. (See what I did there?)
Like Ben looking for companionship on a dating site, these brands will unwisely view that one-time interest, that fleeting spike in their online reach, as some measure of success. This is NOT a true measure of success though – just like someone liking your dating profile isn’t. Likewise, neither scenario indicates a long-term relationship is on the horizon – at least, not without the brand putting a little work in to the relationship!
How? Brand managers need to change that “one-off” mindset in their organizations (and save a TON of money), by refocusing those marketing dollars to a long-term strategy that keeps consumers coming back for more.
Trendjacking: Dropping The Ball On Follow-Through
Many brands blow their marketing budget attempting to “trendjack” some key happening (like the Super Bowl). For the uninitiated, trendjacking is when brands cleverly insert themselves in a trending conversation to win some potentially viral PR. Many marketing pros will caution you against this practice though, because too many brands do trendjacking badly. During the SuperBowl some brands went so far as to leverage key words and searches for other brands with creative campaigns in the big game. Et-em Budweiser.
Hey, @BUDWEISER! Stop bidding on our ad keywords. Love, Loctite
— Loctite Glue (@LoctiteGlue) February 2, 2015
When done correctly, trendjacking CAN pay off – but what happens when it does? It’s a flash in the pan that looks fantastic for a minute and disappears. It’s a heart-eyes emoji. Trendjacking is not a strategy in itself, it’s one piece of an overarching “Acquire Mindset” where most brands find themselves. And it’s time to rethink that mindset if you hope to keep that hard-won momentum moving.