The bottomless pit of empty marketing

Empty marketing is expensive. It costs infinitely more than strategy-focused marketing, and lacks clear direction. Marketing rooted in sound strategy, on the other hand, just works. It drives effective advertising efforts. It captures and communicates accurate brand character. In short, it represents a true message people can relate with.

Skipping that first part, the strategy, results in the opposite: disconnect after disconnect after disconnect. Eventually, marketing without strategy feels like beating your head against a wall (do not try this). Most companies will stop after a while, but by the time they stop, it’s usually too late because your marketing budget has been burned up. That’s when you think or hear things like, “marketing doesn’t work.” Or, “it’s time to switch gears.” Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to switch gears at the start?

If you invest (financially) in marketing that is based in hope instead of reality, you’ll find yourself stuck in a downward spiral, with money going out the door, but only trickling back in.

There’s an easy solution: start with strategy.

Empty marketing, the stuff based solely on the hope of success, leaves you with a nervous pit of emptiness in your stomach while you wait for the impending doom of failure to reach out and grab the rest of your dwindling marketing budget.

Connecting with empty marketing is a hard thing to do because nobody wants emptiness. Yet, brands promoted without strategy are full of it. When you try to connect with people based on empty concepts (or worse, empty promises), it gets expensive fast. Promoting a nebulous idea can and must be done in an infinite variety of ways to satisfy the inherent lack of focus, and the bottomless pit of emptiness breaks marketing budgets.

Starting with strategy provides realistic chances of success based on real life connection. The good news is while people can’t connect with emptiness, everyone can understand strategically focused marketing.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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