Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks

I am not a great marketer — more comfortable with business development and product, honestly — so articles on marketing always fascinate me. I’ve been working hard on a new product as I keep teasing you with and as apart of that have been spending a lot of time thinking about the story. Mark Suster wrote a great piece a few weeks ago on why, when building a product, it is better to think about the story then think about the features.

Ever notice how some companies tend to be in the press all the time and your big new product launch struggled for inches?

Mostly it’s because your marketing campaigns suck.

Or more directly – they are likely narcissistic resuscitations of your newest features or bragging points that nobody but your marketing team and your mom care about.

I recommend that companies move beyond narcissistic marketing to what I call “point-of-view (POV) marketing.”

Here’s what I mean …

Let’s start with what it takes for a journalist to want to write a story. Here’s what’s going through his/her head:

  • Is this story “newsworthy” or am I being asked to publish a press release?
  • Do I have an “angle” from which to write the story (first company to do X, company does biggest X, consumer behavior is doing X)?
  • If I’m covering a company can I get evidence of what the competition is doing so the story is balanced?
  • Do I have data or facts to present so the story has legs?
  • Can I get sources to talk on-the-record or off-the-record to lend credibility to the topic?
  • Will I have information that other journalists don’t have (otherwise known as a “scoop”)?

But mostly they’re thinking, “Will my audience even care about this topic?”

The ultimate measure of success for a journalist is viewership so if nobody cares about your shitty little company and the story you’re trying to pitch then the journalist doesn’t want to publish. And it’s their judgment that becomes the ultimate arbiter of this.

And beyond eyeballs they also care about “journalistic integrity” (aka their reputation) so they want to be sure they’re not being gamed. That’s why having long-term relationships with journalists matters and why having people close to the journalist who can vouch for you.

Yes, I took a big excerpt but it’s a long article full of wonderful examples. Well worth a read.