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Marketing for the directionally challenged

I have to admit to being a founder member of an organisation known to only a few people.

It’s an exclusive organisation because only a few people have the level of directional incompetence required to pass the entrance qualifications.

And what’s this beloved club called?  It’s known as ACME – The Academy of Crap Marketing Explorers.

The ACME founding fathers had a simple aim. To bring direction to marketers who had lost their way. Marketers who were confused by the sheer number of choices available, which choice to consider and which to leave alone.

Marketers willing to admit they were addicted to the latest shiny marketing toys – to big data, contextual marketing, content marketing etc. etc.

Marketers who knew in their gut that technology might be changing quickly but that people couldn’t possibly be evolving at the same pace.

It’s not always easy to face the uncomfortable reality that we’ve been following the wrong path and that our addiction to new and shiny things has led us away from the truth.

Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we can admit we have a problem.

We have to admit to ourselves that … YES I am a shiny marketing toy addict.

Then we have to get help – fast!

That’s where ACME can help. Its solemn duty is to help you escape from rashly following the herd and to lead you towards a simpler less complicated path.

A path firmly based on a few simple premises – think before you act, plan before you execute, question before you answer.

The new shiny techniques available to us are fantastic and can achieve an amazing depth of connection as well as provide insights we could only dream of a few years ago.

However, unless we’ve asked the right questions to begin with, the conclusions we reach will invariably be directionally challenged.

There’s no substitute for using our marketing brains before chasing the next shiny toy.

Don’t believe the hype, trust your ability to figure out what will work within the context of your business and what may not.

The combination of marketing tools available to us will continue to grow and grow. But will never be a substitute for the one thing we all possess – the ability to think using our individual, unique blend of experience, expertise and intuition.

As the founder of ACME put it, “You may be directionally challenged but that’s no excuse for not knowing where you are” – or something like that.

Want to know more about ACME? Perhaps you’d like to attend one of our regular meetings. The first step is always the most difficult – feel free to contact me.

Gerry Stockley, a Fellow of The Institute of Direct Marketing, is founder and managing director of The Insight People with a mission to simplify an increasingly complex marketing landscape, transforming marketing thinking and helping customers engage more effectively with brands and businesses.