To protect the innocent, certain names and organisations have been withdrawn or changed, but rest assured, what you are about to read… is 100% true.
While this article’s image somewhat gives away the punchline, do bear with, as I think ‘professional’ marketers could learn a key lesson.
A friend of mine, Neil, (not their real name) works at a recruitment agency specialising in public sector professionals. By way of marketing their roles, recruitment consultants must don their marketing hats in order to ‘get word out’ through sites like LinkedIn. For the cubical-imprisoned recruiter, the all-important LinkedIn post graphic is the opportunity to prove to their fellow inmates just how creative they are. After all, how hard can it be?
It was a normal day at Gis-A-Job HQ and the office’s newest hire was tasked with marketing their latest role… a Locum. This is one of Gis-A-Job’s frequently-required roles, so with this in mind Neil’s brief to the eager-to-please newbie was simple… “make it stand out”.
A quick Google later and voila, the newbie had struck gold. There it was, not just the word she was looking for ‘locum’ but the bonus being the ‘o’ substituted for a heart. All her Christmases had come at once!
So, quicker than you can say “copyright infringement” newbie ripped the image from Google Images, published it to LinkedIn, and went for a celebratory Pret!
In the same way you can’t edit my LinkedIn posts, Neil had no choice but to wait for ‘Can’t See The Wood For The Trees’ to get back from her drink-in mocha-chocca-latte to remove her fifty-shades-of-grey-esque confession from her feed.
(Although Neil told me this provided ample time to “WhatsApp the sh*t out of it” and take umpteen screenshots for prosperity… and probationary appraisals).
Like most people “Nooooooo…she must’ve known” was my first reaction. Neil stood firm “she honestly didn’t see ‘I love cum’”.
Neil’s newbie was so locum-focussed it had blinded her.
Whilst you might be thinking “Baz is going to conclude with the moral of never leaving the office idiot in charge of your marketing”, you’d be wrong.
This is a tale of separation and seeing your marketing from your audience’s perspective. It’s tough at the start, painful even, but you really should give it a go.
For in-house marketers especially, it’s a challenge. Constantly on the inside looking out through your corporate-tinted glasses, it’s a skill to see your communications from the outside looking in.
Creating marketing campaigns often begins with creating personas of your audience. You can end up with characters such as Monica the Intern or Bill the Boss. But I like to run all my creative ideas past ‘Sam the Cynic’.
You see, if Sam the Cynic can say “ooooh a mixed-metaphor cliche jigsaw and chess piece concept”, or “your competitor says that too” your ‘me too’ marketing idea and messaging is doomed.
So the real morale of this story is, be it a tomorrow’s-chip-paper LinkedIn post or a profit-inducing campaign, step back for a moment, be subjective, take off the corporate sales-agenda blinkers and look at it from your audience’s perspective. Because, what you think your marketing is saying, and what it actually is, may well be very different.
And yes, most important lesson of them all…
never leave the office idiot in charge of marketing.
Barry Richardson is the Founder & Creative Director of
Bravo Marketing : : Creating Difference