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Saturday, June 25, 2011

MythTech: the Holy Grail of marketing



And Lo, there shall come a time when marketing shall pervade the land. It will be of such relevancy, born of such creative talent that it will be welcome wherever it appears. It will be like meat unto the starving and drink unto the parched.

I believe in great marketing. Getting just the right message in front of just the right person at just the right time.

I believe in customer analytics. Getting just the right insight from just the right data that informs just the right action at just the right time.

I believe that if you combine the best and brightest creative people with the best and brightest data gathering people and the best and brightest analytical people you end up with a marketing machine that's bigger than Procter & Gamble, more ubiquitous than Coca Cola and able to win more hearts and minds than Apple.

You may remember a movie called "Up in the Air" wherein George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham constantly flying hither and yon. Funny premise with some choice bits of travel advice.

Dark movie. But not near as dark as the novel, Up in the Air by Walter Kim. The main character is not as handsome, glib or whimsical as Mr. Clooney. His fate is more painful to watch unfold.

This book contains a passage that concisely explains the basic tenets of my marketing religion and spells out why my religion must inevitably lead to greater harm.

Ryan Bingham is desperately after a job with the mysterious marketing company MythTech. When he comes across an ex-employee, he presses for detals and she describes her consulting job as:

Marketing Ecology. The study of non-obvious interactions among diverse commercial entities.... You've heard of the human genome project? The human gene map? That's what they're after at MythTech only with commerce. All the angles. All the combinations. And they know it won't be a 'eureka.' It won't just pop some day... It won't take forever but it won't be quick....

That's why they don't worry about profits...  Because the second MythTech gets this map, the second they lock those files in the vault, everybody else is just a plowboy on their farm...

What drives investment? The fear of the code. The fear that there might be a code and somebody else is going to crack it...

But it's all a racket. It's sheer extortion. The code is a bluff. It's all Beware of Dog and Daddy's Deep Loud Voice."

That passage burst my bubble, I can tell you.

But still, when I see companies like Motion Loft making the effort to combine real world store traffic with web traffic and radio ad results and god knows what...

When I see people playing with neural marketing as described by Martin Lindstrom in his book Buy-ology...

When I see companies like Marketshare take a break-through software approach to calculating multi-channel attribution to determine marketing budget allocation...

Then I think that maybe - just maybe - there is a marketing deity somewhere and one day we shall all be happily entertained by advertising that informs us about things we actually want.

Just the right message to just the right person at just the right time.

It could happen.

Amen.

Jim Sterne is a respected author and speaker. He is also the producer of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit. You can follow Jim on Twitter here.

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