Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Firstly, full disclosure.. I don't identify as a 'marketeer', just an observer in an industry that has a lot of crossover between video, brand, content, advertising and marketing (arguably all different OR the same.. you decide).
I don't consider myself to have experience in a marketing ROLE, so when I talk marketing I mean video content for web, because I've done loads of that.
I have, over the last few years, been involved in a huge amount of different content for great brands and agencies, and growing up during the time of the 'viral' video. My brain is now (I believe) hard-wired to think that a smart, genuine, fresh idea will be the best way for me to do my job and meet my ultimate end goal.. what I am hired to do.. "sell stuff"! (*sic Paul Mellor.. big up TFR).
Great! Because that's what I've been in the game for the last 15 years, to use my non-academic, creative bonce to come up with video content that has the best chance to be shared, engage people and inevitably sell what people hire me to sell. What a dream!
Here is where observation #1 kicks in, hold tight.. in an industry where being different is celebrated and I know a lot of people think exactly the same way I do, why do 95% of the agencies out there do the same thing?
I have a theory, which I am going to call the 9-5 syndrome, where creatures of habit like we are, somewhere down the line, we all conform, we are brow beaten into doing what 'works' and we all become one big standardised mush. I have been guilty of this in the past, it's very comfortable to be a cog in the machine, we've all got mouths to feed so why rock the boat?
Either that or it's the brands that aren't taking enough risk on marketing across the board. I work (and have worked) with some brilliant marketing minds who would love to go all out on every brief, but not every client wants a "so crazy it just might work" idea. Again, I can't blame them, why would a successful company take the risk, and why would an unsuccessful company not follow what the successful companies are doing?
Total generalisation I know, but remember I said 95% of content is the same? You think back on the last 20 adverts you have seen online, was one of them so good you told someone else about it? Probably not.
Observation #2 is just something that has been bugging me.. what's with these Marketeers that exist only in the ether!?.. let me explain. The new generation of "I'm marketing me" conmen trying to sell an online marketing course. These pop up on my timeline in one form or another and now I've seen video production companies starting to do it.. why?! Because you are all up in my face doesn't mean you have proven your marketing techniques work, Saatchi and Saatchi haven't jumped onto my Facebook timeline once to tell me how they hold the key to generating solid leads or creating 'digital first' content, so kindly do one.
Observation #3 is the sad bit.. although we all try our best, most marketing still relies on the bunts, benjies, readies, wonga and the Lizzy. Although there is still great work done out there where novel ideas are being used to spread a message, consumers are very picky about what content they want to champion. So 'organic' growth is nigh on impossible even if the content feels genuine and strikes a chord with your audience. You still need to get it infront of thousands of people to have a better chance of traction. Whats the best way to do that? Big ol' marketing budget. Or go on Dragons Den to get that sweet 2million viewers jackpot.
I suppose this means there is method to the madness of conforming, put something safe out there, stick £85million a year budget behind it and we'll all be singing "Gokum Bear" in no time.
I am drawing no conclusions.. just leaving it here. Discuss.