The Best and Worst Marketing Moments of 2021, Ep #72

The Best and Worst Marketing Moments of 2021, Ep #72

Kayla Graham

Marketing in 2021 took on a life of its own, with the response to the pandemic being all over the board. As a content development and production team, the Content Callout crew have quickly become marketing connoisseurs of a sort, noticing and learning from both the ridiculous and the incredibly innovative.

Kayla Graham and I (Mark Raffan) thought it would be a good idea to chat about the good, the cringy, and the super successful things we noticed marketers doing in 2021. You’ll hear us talk about strange things that happened, debacles and missed opportunities, encouraging trends we see in B2B marketing and messaging, and we riff a bit on the uses of NFTs, the new Meta platform, and more. We wrap up with each of us sharing our top 3 marketing lessons learned in 2021.

Outline of This Episode

  • A quick summary of this “best and worst” moments episode [0:23]
  • Strange things that happened in the marketing world during 2021[1:15]
  • The Cinnamon Toast Crunch debacle and missed opportunity [8:35]
  • Effective and encouraging trends in sales and marketing alignment [12:51]
  • Challenges coming in 2022: Changes are happening super fast [19:16]
  • NFTs and the metaverse are going to be strong in the future [22:22]
  • Will Meta be any different than Facebook? Will the company fix its issues? [25:31]
  • Each of us shares our top 3 marketing lessons learned [28:09]

When cultural issues are inflamed, marketers need to avoid business as usual

2021 presented a massive learning curve for everyone who works in the Content Marketing space. The cultural responses and needs related to the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and other high stakes world events made it mandatory to pivot on a dime, rework existing campaigns, and stay relevant when the meaning of the term “relevance” itself was shifting.

An example of a marketing campaign that went all wrong in a shocking way is the food delivery service that used animated characters in hoods, sporting gold chains, and the like in its television campaign. The organization must have received a high volume of negative feedback because the next time the spot was viewed, much of those negative insinuations had been removed. It’s one thing to speak to race-related issues in a positive way that supports inclusivity but quite another to lean into racial stereotypes in any sort of marketing.

This serves as an example of how important it is to have a diverse crew working on your marketing staff. The diverse backgrounds, age groups, and ethnicities will enable you to have a greater degree of clarity on whether your efforts will land well or badly.

Sales and Marketing are getting more in alignment — and it’s good to see

In the world of B2B marketing, there’s been a standing tension (some might say, “animosity”) between the marketing department and the sales department. When we dig into the reasons behind the tension, Kayla believes it’s clearly an issue with the type of leads passed from marketing to sales. When the marketing team passes leads to sales that are not truly sales qualified leads (because they are bound to a quota), a negative cycle begins. The sales team is put into a terrible spot, having to make calls to people who are not interested in their products or services, and time, effort, and resources are wasted. Thus the animosity.

But that’s slowly changing, and it’s about time. To give you an example of what we believe is the new trajectory, we’ll tell you about what one of our amazing clients is doing. This client is investing heavily in bespoke social media, specifically for use by their sales team. That’s because calls and cold emails are not working like they were before the pandemic. The strategy of having AEs and BDRs as an extension of the marketing team actively developing a thought leadership profile on social media is the way to go.

Shorter strategy to execution cycles are the way of the future

The cultural context around marketing is changing at a faster rate. For that reason, marketing campaigns that take months to years to develop are no longer unusable, and sadly, that’s the typical turnaround for many marketing campaigns. Think about it: the cultural moment in which those long-term campaigns were conceived and the creation was begun is gone. Pressing forward and using culturally stale concepts could wind up being tone-deaf at best. At worst, they could damage your brand irreparably. Moving forward, marketing teams that can be agile and innovative will be more likely to speak the language the culture is using, resulting in more effective campaigns that could require less time and resources to create and execute.

We cover lots more about Facebook’s Meta announcement, the future of NFTs, why Clubhouse is dead, as well as each of our top 3 lessons learned. We invite you to listen!

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