Essential cookies: are necessary to improve and ensure the proper function of our Website. These cookies are set as soon as you have visited our Website and due to technical necessity these cookies can not be rejected or deactivated.

Jim Carrey's father and not enough flags

By Arno Liesse

We spoke with our strategy lead Arno, and discovered that organizations have more marketing challenges in common than they realize and it’s their own fault. Do tell! 

Do you often see the same problems crop up with clients?  

Contrary to the assumptions many customers make, there are a tremendous number of challenges shared across sectors. Even corporate enterprises sometimes face the same problems that SMEs struggle with. For example, a lack of data capture and data centralization. Or a lack of synergy and collaboration between different departments, such as sales and marketing or IT.   

The big advantage is that the solutions can often be found in a similar framework. In terms of content, they will differ, of course. Each sector has its own specific context, just as each company has its own specific differentiation factors. Once we can identify the marketing challenges, get started with a framework that has already proven its value, and then add the unique context and insights of the people in the company, we can solve any marketing challenge. 

As is the case with many things, there is rarely a technical or strategic impossibility that a creative approach and the right mindset cannot solve. 

What do you consider the biggest marketing challenge within organizations that come knocking on our door? 

Forget for a moment the rise of AI, the eternally raging war-for-talent, or the fact that 1 in 10 young kids today want to be an influencer when they grow up. Technology and innovation have been creating friction – because when isn’t change comfortable, right? – and inevitably, progress since the beginning of time.   

What companies and marketers have always struggled with and what we still encounter everywhere today is something more fundamental than the issues above. 

“The biggest challenge is in the lack of courage, balls, guts.  Many companies don’t have a vision that translates into marketing. Too often budgets are allocated, even departments created, without a clear vision and without a flag waving at the horizon.” 

The downside of the rise of “all things measurable” is that there is no more risk-taking, no more true trial-and-error mentality. Marketing, economics, consumer psychology … these are all scientific disciplines. And in what science is an experiment only conducted when we know the success rate in advance?  

What we sometimes forget is that in the end, it all comes down to one simple fact.  
We are only human. Humans are multifaceted and contradictory beings, even hypocritical daily. 

Therefore, let us not forget that when we are engaged in marketing, we must in the end do only one thing, convince people by using different initiatives. And when we are smart enough about data capture during those initiatives, we can analyze afterwards what went well and what did not. I always assume: “a failed experiment is only a failure if it didn’t teach you anything”. 

Money answers all things, but what advice can you give when ad-spend isn’t enough to meet challenging KPIs? 

Try something new, be bold. Don’t be satisfied with always using the same tactic and hoping it will work next time. And don’t forget that like everyone else, you’re trying to convince people.   

If you do something right, any media type can be interesting, if you are willing to put in the time and effort. However, we will have to be bold enough to do this. 

Many companies find this difficult and consciously or subconsciously choose a safe-seeming option. Often a variation of ‘we’ve always done it this way’ or ‘we’ll do what the competition does, but just a bit better’.  But even with the safe option, you can fail. And that is sometimes even more painful since this was the backup. All the creative potential was not tested, so even if the “bold initiative” were not chosen, it couldn’t even have failed. Would it had failed; you would still have the learnings.

As Jim Carrey said in his 2014 speech “My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so, he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”   

These words are a reminder to me to keep doing things that challenge myself and others. Go crazy and put your whole heart into it. Try at least a few times to do something of an outside category. Being calculated often doesn’t deliver what you hope for: low risk and high reward. More often it’s low risk equals low reward, with a bygone dream as a bonus. 

We help clients spot trends, but how do you help clients to go against a trend and find a niche as well?  

The least interesting starting point for solving a marketing challenge often translates into two simple answers to two simple questions. If you get those, then you are in for a tough one, folks!   

Companies often think this makes our job nice and easy. Guess again. To engage in persuasive communication, you need to have a clear message, sent through the right channel, to the right person. Basic communication science, I know. But aren’t the simplest things sometimes forgotten most often?   

Arno out. Mic-drop 

Ready to grow bolder together?

Don’t hesitate!

Get in touch