According to the Financial Times, 2017 has been the toughest year for advertising and marketing since the financial crisis. Marketing departments have expected to be more accountable for how they spend money than ever. Those poor marketers deserve some festive cheer – so what gifts would brighten up their Christmas?
While they’d certainly be happy with a bottle of spirits (a stiff drink would help them recover from presenting their 2018 budget to the board), we have a list of suggestions for things that marketers really want…
A Big Red Button that does complicated data stuff for them
The trouble with marketing today is that it is less about sitting around like Mad Men's Don Draper smoking cigarettes and being creative, and more about complicated number crunching and making sense of data.
True, there are marketing automation platforms that can remove a lot of the scientific data wrangling that many marketers have reluctantly taken on. But in truth, what they actually want is a Big Red Button that does all that stuff for them.
Want to find and segment big spender customers and send personalized messages to their email, phone and in the post? Simply press the Big Red Button.
Want to predictively calculate who in your database has a likelihood of buying from you and recommend an upsell to them? Press the Big Red Button.
Okay, the ability to do this might be a while off. But at least you could buy them the button.
Leads, leads, leads
You want them. Sales want to know where they are. Your boss demands them. Everybody wants leads and nobody in the business can seem to get enough of them.
Who knows why marketers make this sound so difficult. Amazon has loads! Dog leads, USB leads, jump leads, extension leads… the list goes on. Just buy them a big 'pick and mix' selection box and wait to see the happy little smile on their face!
(Note: don’t actually do this unless you do not wish to receive a Christmas card from them next year).
Shock therapy for the sales team
Marketers know what it's like working tirelessly to generate quality inbound leads (not of the USB variety), only to find that the sales haven't bothered to follow them up.
What is needed is some classic Pavlovian conditioning – and what better than shock therapy? Simply equip the sales team with a remote-controlled bad habit shock bracelet (like this one) and set it up to give them a quick buzz. For example, if they don’t pick up the phone after receiving a lead email.
Or, better still, give them a few volts when they 'forget' to log the information in your CRM system. Bring a taste of the Russian Gulag to your office!
The number one spot on Google
If you could deliver a first place search engine result for their most profitable keyword for Christmas, that special marketer in your life would be over the moon. Which is ironic, as it is more straightforward to purchase a piece of the moon than it is to nab that illustrious page one search result.
We’re not saying it's impossible ( if you invest in enough SEO and content trickery), but wouldn’t it be nice if Google didn’t keep shifting the goalposts?
A little respect
Marketing departments not only have to combine the exclusive worlds of art and science, they have to be a Jack of many other trades, too.
From mastering SEO, PPC and social media, marketers need to be producing impeccable written, visual and video content, organizing events and exhibitions. Plus, cross-selling and up-selling products and services, ensuring data protection compliance and many other funnel-pushing things in-between.
Marketing Week reckon that 2018 will be the year that Marketing will shake off its ‘coloring-in department’ moniker. But we're sure more than a few CMOs would appreciate this message being passed on to their bosses for Christmas.
Because let’s face it, if you are able to gift any of these, they might as well request a mythical horse creature too…