Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of cartoons by award-winning cartoonist Tom Fishburne, titled “Moments of Truth,” sponsored by Motista. Along with the cartoons, Alan Zorfas of Motista will be adding some thoughts on topics related to marketing effectiveness, inights, research, engagement, and just about anything else that strikes his fancy. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to share these great cartoons, as well as the insights of a veteran like Alan, with our readers.
Tune in every Friday going forward; that is when we’ll be posting the next cartoon and post in the series. Enjoy!
By Alan Zorfas
With a wink to marketers, the team at Motista recently launched a series of Marketoons called “Moments of Truth” to take a humorous look at some of the “pain points” we marketers deal with on a daily basis, “Justify,” shown here, and the ensuing series, was commissioned by Motista from Tom Fishburne, “The Marketoonist.” A classically trained CPG brand manager, Tom has turned himself into the “Marketoonist.” He connects to more than 100,000 marketers who follow his illustrative narratives on his blog and in campaigns such as the one we’re doing with him.
When we first sat down in a restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco to discuss our project, we raced through dozens of stories and angles that might feed this campaign. Our collection, “Moments of Truth,” specifically zeros in on how marketers have had to make do without solid intelligence on consumer connection readily in their hands. This most essential piece of intelligence—what motivates your consumer—that lies squarely in the domain of marketing remains elusive. The “stuff of marketing” includes understanding human emotions, and purposing them through creative execution to get “lift.” It’s not easy to justify these right-brain tactics within an increasingly left-brain corporate decision-making environment.
One of a company’s greatest assets is its “intangible” connection marketers build with consumers. This connection protects customers from competitors, attracts new ones, creates margin and can transform customers into brand advocates, affecting top-line and bottom-line performance. Yet, it’s far easier today to defend a tactical-level promotion that produces a 5% blip that can erode the very connection we’re discussing here. All kinds of tactics live under the marketing umbrella, but we can only build, leverage and “justify” connection if it lives in the accountable data-driven world of business today. Until then, skeptical management and non-marketing peers will question the wisdom of our investments (or, as they prefer to call it, “expenditures”).
And, as the cartoon points out, look at the data they got!
Finance guys show up with data that’s merely seconds old. SAP-equipped operations executives track inventory by the minute. HR reports performance with industry metrics on salaries and turnover rates in hand. Marketing’s turn to answer questions:
“Now, how are we going to connect with that new segment?” “How do we connect with consumers against our predatory rival?” “How do we create more leverage in a channel?” “How do we motivate current customers to buy more and say great things about us on social media?” “Why are we spending $10 million on that program?”
It’s 2011, and yet marketers can’t get the answers to these questions as fast as their peers. Why should it always take months to conduct new studies? Why can we afford to answer only a few questions? And why can’t we advance learning at a faster, more sustainable pace?
As much as we love our Marketoons, we hope that one day marketers will have the resources and fast access to data that other departments do so this humor will become obsolete. One day, in your future, you’ll look at our “Moments of Truth” Marketoon and say, “I don’t get it.” Or, at least, know that’s how it once was.
Until then, enjoy the “Moments of Truth” series and happy marketing! That’s why we’re here.