Short term gains

My audience is different. My audience is special. My audience needs something new. My audience doesn’t want that.

As a brand person working in a global company with a variety of products, solutions, markets, countries (therefore a variety of audiences) you hear this a lot. Constantly in fact.

That’s because most marketers have short term goals. They need this campaign, or piece of material, to be disruptive. Sticky. They are measured against short term targets. Engagements. A good company will be able to measure bookings. A bad company may only measure likes or shares. One company I talked to only wanted to measure “eyeballs”.

While these might shift some units what’s it doing to your brand value? Though you may be hitting one metric with a certain audience in country A, you may be damaging your reputation in Country B.

To take another simple example, if you’re selling a chocolate bar and you say “it’s not for girls” you might see a spike in sales in young men – that might be your short-term goal check it out. You only wanted to target men. But mothers and wives who buy chocolate as Christmas presents might not buy from you. The short-term target damaged your long term brand value.

But your audience was different, they only wanted a chocolate bar for men.

When creating something you have to ask yourself, am I only meeting my targets or am I thinking about the whole business?

Have you seen examples of a short term gain starting a long term loss? Let me know in the comments below.