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Top-of-the-line has a promising and positive ring to it, doesn’t it? You’ve been top-of-the-bunch, top-of-the-class and top-of-the-world, at times and rightly so. So, does top-of-the-pile have a positive ring too? Debatable. It depends on the context. Let me take you through top-of-the-pile marketing. It will be fun. [I will stop hyphenating the phrase in the copy as it’s just damn time consuming, bear with me.]
My wife has a persistent grudge, among many others, against me. I always pick the t-shirt that lies on the top of the pile in my cupboard, to wear at home. The formal shirts that I wear to work also face the same fate. I am sure my colleagues think that I have just those five button-down shirts that I wear to office, including on Fridays as I have started to appear akin to the Humpty of the Dumpty kinds in t-shirts, I have been told.
My wife does take pains to shuffle the pile of shirts in my cupboard and I end up wearing a new set of shirts for some time till they start complaining about the routine that they’ve been put through. They actually don’t shout that out but they would have, if they had a voice. I think they turn scratchy in an attempt to convey their displeasure. But that’s beyond the point.
The point is that we all like to pick shirts from the top of the pile because:
- It’s an easy task to perform
- The results are predictable
- It’s a comfortable approach
- It saves time as we’re perpetually in a hurry
- We’ve not been told that we look bad in those shirts
Sounds familiar? Read on.
Top of the pile marketing is just like picking out that shirt from the top of the pile of shirts. It’s easy, it gives predictable results, marketers are comfortable with that approach, its success has been proven time and again and no one has told the marketers that the results are bad.
Top of the pile marketing is lazy
Let me throw in two very important words here – DISRUPTION & JOBS! I won’t write about there here but want you to think about them in this context.
When the marketing landscape is changing by the day and the consumers are becoming smarter in evading cookies, beacons and similar minions who sniff out consumer data, organizations are being thrown away from the trail. Their tried and tested methods that brought in successful results for years, have suddenly stopped working. And if life wasn’t less easy already, GDPR has raised its head in Europe. How will the marketer survive if they don’t have access to hundreds of key data points that they have never used but still want to have them?
Let’s play a game
I will ask you 6 questions from the world of marketing to identify if you are a top of the pile marketing person. If your answer is YES to a question, you score 10 points. If your answer is NO, think again; if you stick with the answer, you score nothing. If you have no ideaabout what the question means, you score 100 points. Your time starts now, although this is not a timed game but that’s what marketers do, add complexity to a simple process. Wait, that’s what the consultants do. But that’s beyond the point.
Question 1: Have you run a month-long customer acquisition campaign with the same audience segment when the target group parameters have not changed?
Question 2: Have you hired a predominantly mainline agency to work on digital platforms just because they have three folks who can post on Facebook?
Question 3: You are stranded on an island with a copywriter and a developer. You despise them equally. Will you build a DIY boat to help others survive and live another day?
Question 4: Has your checklist of performing marketing related task remained the same forever?
Question 5: Do you have a template for your visual and written communication that continue to be followed as the best piece of marketing content for the last two years?
Question 6: Does a high number of impressions or video views for your content reflect higher affinity to your brand’s marketing content, thus resulting in a better brand recall?
It’s time to grade yourself. Take your time.
Here we go.
I present to you your grading scale.
- 0: You either don’t want to live or expect a copywriter and developer to build a raft for you. How long have you been a manager in your current organization, Dino?
- 10: Stay sane, keep learning
- 20 to 30: You could do well with a little help
- 40 to 50: Why bother? You’re on your way to glory, NOT!
- 60: You’re the one! You’re the Top of the Pile Marketer!
- Greater than 60: You’re at the wrong place, my friend
Please do yourself a favor and don’t be a top of the pile marketer. There’s a lot to be explored and there is an amazing array of ways to do things differently. All it takes is some effort and some intelligence. You’re reading this and if you know the exact number of times I had mentioned ‘But that’s beyond the point’ and laughed at it each time, you’re intelligent too. Put in that effort.
Don’t forget to share your answers and scores in comments! Let’s talk!
This blog was first published by me on LinkedIn Pulse.