Today I bring you a few small observations on marketing that are a little too small for a full post.
I was in a hotel in Madrid last month and this was on top of the toilet in my room:
I was haunted by this for two days. Why would somebody sign the top of the toilet? Who is this person? Did they make the thing? Is this a toilet influencer?
I would not count myself as a toilet expert, but I suppose I’ve seen my share. There seemed to be nothing unusual about this commode.
I looked it up, and this is an upscale Parisian brand. It made me think about the power of signing something. Got my attention more than a logo that I would have ignored. It means something to sign your work.
It’s interesting to see the morphing digital ad industry. There are not many other places to advertise other than digital, and rates have been going up as inventory goes down. Agencies need more places to advertise, and Apple is giving it to them.
Apple’s ad business is doing about $4 billion a year, and there are new plans to sell ads in their map, TV, book, and podcast apps. I guess when Apple records and analyzes your activity and uses that data to sell targeted ads, this is personalization. It’s only ‘tracking’ when other people do it. ?
I am obsessed with GenZ. They are so unlike any other generation and endlessly fascinating.
Ofcom found that 15-24-year-olds spend 57 minutes a day on TikTok (more than Facebook and Instagram combined at 45 minutes). That same cohort is down to 51 minutes of broadcast TV a day, a drop of 66 percent in a decade.
Nearly every day, I see a stat about GenZ that makes me go “wow.” Marketing to them will not require a change. It will require a new department. Not kidding.
This idea of “quiet quitting” received a lot of conversation in the last few weeks. This GenZ-led trend suggests that if people feel stressed, they should pull back to do the bare minimum required to keep their job. Some research I’ve seen shows that “mental wellness” is now above money and job flexibility on the GenZ ideal job wishlist.
One GenZ writer: “You should know that we will not be stressed. If you employ us, you better create a workplace that emphasizes mental health.”
Part of me agrees with this. It’s a healthy backlash to the ridiculous hustle culture crap. But the other part of me thinks, “stress is part of life, and most of my personal growth came from stressful situations.” A little stress is OK, right?
I’ve been working on a new book that examines “community” through the lens of marketing strategy. Three megatrends are pointing to this inevitability: 1) the focus on mental wellness across every demographic; 2) a need for new ways to meaningfully connect with customers; and 3) technological developments that enable community.
I’m nearly finished writing this book — Belonging to the Brand — for an early 2023 release, and McKinsey just published an article declaring “community” as the major marketing trend of the decade. Looks like I am on the right track with this prediction my friends! Can’t wait for you to see the book!
Last week, a rumor swirled that Bruce Willis became the first actor to license his image to a deep fake film. His agent said it was not true, but my question is, why not? In the future, we’ll see movies with famous actors — both living and dead — who never step foot on a set. Hopefully, we’ll see a new Charlie Chaplin movie soon! Bruce Willis has a brain disorder called aphasia that keeps him from working. Deep fake technology can put him back in the movies.
While deep fake technology has a scary side, it will also unleash new levels of creativity and innovation, especially when it comes to beloved screen legends.
BTW, for fun, I generated a steampunk version of Bruce Willis in 10 seconds with the AI art generator MidJourney:
Trevor Noah announced he is stepping down from the Late Show hosting spot. I was reminded of an interesting piece of advice he once gave about comedy, but really, it could be about content or any kind of marketing. Just two minutes long (some swearing here, not appropriate for kids or the office)
Hope you enjoyed these little observations on marketing!
Mark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.