Much of the work we have done with agencies has been under the guise of a ‘campaign.’ This irks me somewhat, as I think it is a perfect example of old terminology and practices being used in a radically different environment, which renders them redundant.
I know it’s all just semantics, but the words we use do define our actions. And by not calling a spade a spade, it becomes very difficult to do a good job of digging the garden…
For me, campaign implies:
- Shouting at, not listening to
- Repetitive activity, not learning and changing
- Short-term, not focused on long-term relationships
- Forceful and interruptive, not earned through trust
Dictionary definitions of campaign include “a systematic course of aggressive activity for a specific purpose” and “military operations for a specific objective”. Ouch. But yes, that does remind me of most of the marketing emails I’ve deleted over the last week.
There are lots of vendors that happily define themselves as “multi-channel campaign management” providers. And that is exactly what most of them do. The trouble is, not every person is at the bottom of the funnel, ready to purchase. Some are just tangentially interested, some want information, and some are not even in the market, but might refer their friends if the proposition is attractive.
No, I don’t have a new term to plug. Call it what you will. Perhaps “Communication” is a better word – at least it implies engagement. I like the TMW approach of “Relationship Marketing” – where the relationship comes first, and the marketing second.
The underlying platform and processes are much more important than the campaign.
When the campaign has gone, the customer data only remains in a new silo never to be touched again, the campaign microsite exists only on the designers resume, and the customer’s fading memory is of the fun joke, the celebrity endorsement, the “hook”, but not the value you bring to their life.
Think long-term. Think direct, measurable, relationships.