Playing the Marketing game the smart way

A good marketing campaign is like playing chess against the whole world. If you’re in it to win it, you have to think at least 3 moves ahead. So why is it that some companies keep on wanting to play on the whole board? We all strive to get brands noticed on the market, but I believe genius ideas are born in simplicity.

I’ll give you an example. If you’re familiar with the UK market you will know who Innocent is. A couple of guys had the idea to create natural, vitamin pumped smoothies and juices to be enjoyed by everyone. And instead of giving loads of money on extensive market research and analysis, they went to their potential consumers and conducted the simplest form of a taste test at a music festival way back in 1999. Essentially they asked the question: ‘Do you like our smoothies or not?’ If yes, people had to put the empty cup in the ‘YES’ bin and vice versa, of no was the answer they had to put it into the ‘NO’ bin.  And that was the breaking point for these two fellows to decide to quit their jobs and get to cracking. Now why was this move genius?

  1. The brand is 100% relatable. It has a great story behind it that people can appreciate. It’s staying away from the cold corporate image and striving towards your ‘next door buddy’ kind of vision. Simple, relatable, efficient.
  2. They went straight to their clients. No fuss, no big charts with market shares, projected data, etc. No big budget to get that wow factor. They spoke a language their potential consumer would understand and want to listen to. Hey, we’re one of you guys, what do you think of this smoothie? And voila! The magic was born.

The moral of Innocent’s story is that to get your brand where it needs to be, it’s not always about how complex your marketing strategy is or how many communication channels you’re gonna hit to toot your own horn. A brand always starts with the consumer. The era of push marketing has been dead for a while now. It’s all about valuable interactions with your customers and letting them pull the chain. And that’s why you have to choose your battles carefully. As the wise CEO of a very successful marketing communications agency in Israel once told me: ,You can’t be everywhere! You don’t have the time and you don’t have the resources!’

So my advice to you would be to figure out who your consumer is first. Figure out where they live both online and offline, what their habits are, what their needs are and most importantly, what kind of problem your product/ service can solve for them. Only then is it appropriate to discuss a communications strategy and channels. Don’t only play chess, but learn to play it the smart way. That’s how you stay at least 3 moves ahead. Simplicity is the new trend and my friends, it’s here to stay!


Till next time,


Teddy T


The tribes we lead – online communities and the spread of ‘viral’

This is a fantastic talk by frequent TED contributor Seth Godin. Even in 2009, he saw how social media started changing the way we think as people and as consumers. He talks about the formation of tribe mentalities through the use of social media and the exploitation of the internal human desire for change and leadership. A creative way to think about online communities, co-creational marketing strategies and the effective way to spread a viral campaign.


Teddy T

The Death of TV advertising. Generation Y consumers say: Hello digital world!


As a prime example of the species ‘cynical consumericus’, or more generally known as Generation Y, I am here to tell you that mass media marketing is dead to me. A snarky and bold statement, but it is after all in my nature as a young consumer to be a critical know-it-all. So why do I dare declare centuries-old communication modes, such as the TV and the newspaper to be relics?

Quite simple: I am a mid-twenties European, who was practically breastfed with technology. From the age of five I could go online, chat on social platforms and/or write product reviews. I haven’t stepped in an actual library since Bill Clinton’s presidency. If I’m outside enjoying nature, I’ll stop every five minutes to take a picture, Instagram it, then Facebook it and add it to Pinterest. I interact with friends not through phone calls and dates, but through Google Hangouts. And worst of all, I share content and measure my social popularity through the number of ‘likes’ I receive. We, the 20-somethings, may be a narcissistic bunch, but we are a well interconnected one.  Which is why I dare say conventional marketing cannot get through to us. We don’t watch TV, we watch Hulu. We are not going to read a newspaper, we’ll open our RSS feeds and e-mail subscriptions and get the targeted news we want. We find comfort in the digital sphere and we’ve left our virtual prints all over the ‘interweb’.

I am a part of a community of sarcastic, digitally connected individuals, who have learned to tune out traditional advertising noise. The good news for marketers everywhere however, is that this same digitally narcissistic behavior of ours is also going to drive us to share our brand preferences with all of our friends out there. My opinions matter to my peers (and vice versa) more than a TV ad ever would. I won’t be impressed if you shove a billboard in my face, but if you are interacting with your fans digitally, that’s another story.

So dear Marketers, the key to snatching us up as consumers is through simply showing you value us as more than a dollar sign. We are co-creators of your brands and could be the best brand ambassadors you could ever ask for. All you need to do is to gently caress our online egos through customized consumer-led marketing strategies. Recreate one-on-one brand discussions, show us you hear our voices and this is how you will win our long-term loyalty. And if you manage to do so, we will follow your brand till the end of the world and back, guaranteed.


Teddy T

Self-branding – what happens when supply exceeds demand?


When looking for professional growth, be it a new job or a new opportunity, people tend to say it’s hard only if you don’t know what you want.  But what if you know exactly what you want and can’t seem to find anyone who’d give it to you?

In my generation (Gen Y), I’ve noticed a growing problem of great demand (from university graduates) and little real supply(from companies) when it comes to career advancement. Now, before all of you out there damn me as a pretentious snob, let me elaborate. Universities all over the world fill our conscience with the notion that we can be the best at what we pick if we work hard. They develop this false sense of security and self-achievement, just for our dreams to get crushed once we go out to the real world, a.k.a – the ‘job market’. To more eloquently explain my point, I’ll turn to my dear old friend – Marketing.

self brandThink of yourself as a brand. You grow that brand over the years through developing various skills, creating a Unique Selling Point (USP), all done in an effort to increase your market share (your employability). You believe your product quality to be superior to that of other competitors on the market and your promotional efforts in line with the brand message, creating a 360 marketing strategy. Naturally, you can’t win every customer, so you pick a target market to focus your efforts in (the industry of your choice and the companies within it).  Once you launch your product to those consumers, you expect for them to immediately buy it off ‘the shelves’, I mean, you’ve put so much work into your market research, right? Wrong! Due to the over-supply on the market and a low brand switching barrier (to other professionals of your caliber), no one seems to want to ‘buy’ YOU. It’s as simple as that. But don’t give up just yet.

You need to re-position your brand to fit the market needs. That may mean that you might have to get a job that is not exactly what you want to do, but gives you the chance to shine and climb up the ladder to the desired career once you’re in the inside. Mark O’Toole from HB, a renowned US based Marketing & Advertising agency, talks about 11 reasons why he won’t hire YOU as a fresh graduate. The moral of his story is – get with the times or get off the market. Harsh, but true.

So yes, my personal advice is – keep refreshing and reshaping your brand, stay on top of the market trends and adapt towards your customers’ needs. I’m not saying to completely abandon your brand values, but flexibility is key in today’s world. Eventually, by doing so, you will be able to match supply and demand and establish yourself as the professional your university professors kept repeating you can become.


Teddy T