Let’s explain what the hell we mean by tickbox marketing shall we? This is going to be a confusing post if we don’t.
The premise is quite simple, tickbox marketing means that you do what you think is required, what people expect you to do regardless of whether it works or not, regardless of whether it helps you achieve your objectives and regardless of a marketing plan you should be following. Tick that box as it is the expectation.
But in fulfilling these expectations we run the risk of adding to the pile of marketing shittiness. You know that pile. Close your eyes and pull out most social posts, most ads, most pieces of content and they are doing nothing. Not engaging, not thought-provoking and certainly not creative. Place it back in the pile and mix it with the rest of the dry, dull and self-focused content that is out there.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath this you usually find very little of the marketing iceberg, no consideration of strategic intent, not a peep of pricing or product development, nor distribution, just the communications built on nothing but a list of to-dos that aren’t helping anyone.
In short tickbox marketing is busy work. The work that if it wasn’t done wouldn’t make much difference to either sales activation or brand building but it’s done as this is the expectation of others - the outsiders looking in. The armchair marketers (CEOs or the sales team as they are more commonly known).
Here are 4 ways to spot tickbox marketing and the repercussions of doing it!
#1 Marketing Reports
Not so much reporting on marketing activity, this is critical and can maximise efforts by reducing wasted spend on the things that aren’t working, it’s more to do with what is inside these reports that you get an extra special tick for.
When reporting goes to the next level and instead of focusing on the metrics that really matter, the ones that show actual results linked to marketing targets, these reports are crammed with more numbers than a Bingo hall (note: I’m going off footage here and not real life experience).
The tickbox marketing approach means you cram these bad boys with as many meaningless stats as you can, that no one will ever read or can even piece together to work out if this means it’s good, bad or indifferent.
The repercussions of this are that we start to focus on either the wrong things or try to focus on too many things that don’t matter, reducing the capabilities of the marketing team to hone in on what really matters. Within construction technology, there are multiple stakeholders involved which makes it even more important to only deliver the numbers that count. These may be different depending on who the stakeholder is so choose with precision.
#2 Customer Personas
How many times have you read a customer persona in detail? I’m not talking about one that is derived from stats and market intelligence, I’m talking about one that has a cute name and tells you in great detail that the person you should be targeting like puppies and has a GameBoy, Walkman, PS2 or a Casio Watch that means they can get it wet up to 5 meters. It’s futile. But tickbox marketing says we must do this as it’s been drilled into us as important.
I’m here to tell you that it’s safe to let go. Focus on data-driven segmentation and don't get bogged down in the detail.
The repercussions of this are we generate personas that will never be looked at or used in any useful way bringing down the credibility of what we are doing as a marketing community. We can go too detailed here and forget that building a brand is about reaching those that aren’t ready to purchase yet which means casting a wider net than a targeted sales approach would need.
#3 Social Posting
You can almost guarantee that social media is part of most marketers' arsenal when it comes to communication. Choosing the right one and being relevant though is a different ballgame.
Tickbox marketing doesn't worry about relevance, it’s all about posting on channels that are the flavour of the month, it’s all about delivering engaging content as ‘we must post something, ANYTHING’ and it’s all about posting everything that is given to you regardless of importance, relevance or value.
Like my mum used to say, ‘If you’ve got nothing good to say, say nothing’…. I was a very quiet kid.
The repercussions of this are that we waste a lot of time on platforms that are unnecessary and waste even more time developing drivel to put on them where we could be using other forms of communication to much better effect. More importantly, new contech doesn't get the attention it deserves and for start-ups, this can be catastrophic.
#4 Case Studies
Case studies offer a lot; social proof, client engagement and highlighting experience to name just three, but simply delivering case studies can become an exercise in showing what has been done rather than showing how problems have been fixed. There any many ways case studies can lose their impact and here are 5 to think about before embarking on a tickboxless approach:
- Forgetting to point out the problems and the pain points that needed addressing
- Poor images that do nothing to portray the quality of work (before and after shots)
- Not including quotes from clients and it being all your own words
- Being too vague, people love numbers and figures they can relate to
- Consistency in the layout, format and approach to making them comparable
The repercussions of this are that the wrong messages are being delivered and the true value of what you can do as a company, the problems you solve, isn’t getting the exposure needed to be noticed. Not all case studies are made equally and it’s important to hit the right tone and deliver the right messaging that will resonate with prospects through copy, content, video and audio.
Are you a recovering tickbox marketer? Or do you need help getting away from the ticks and into marketing that drives results? Let us know. We can help you. It’s good to talk.