Illustration by: Iva Divic

Marketing is broken – but it’s not too late to fix it

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “marketing”?

Do you think of ads that invade your social media feeds? Annoying promotion emails and newsletters you never actually subscribed to? Or (hopefully) you think about that great commercial BMW did last year?

For a long time now, marketing has a bad rep and it turned into an old joke that nobody seems to laugh with anymore. More likely it will make us cry with its clichés, bleak growth hacks, and worn out “10 ways to..”.

When things go wrong…

The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of things in perspective. We went through turbulent emotions. We turned to our families and loved ones realizing how things that matter usually don’t have a price tag. Naturally, our buying habits drastically changed.

Business-wise, everything was somewhat on a standstill for the first week, as companies needed time to adjust to the new reality, too. Setting up remote working and adopt digital workflows was a new system for many. The harsh reality-check hit when companies started to lose customers, which led to firing people and seeing the revenues flop. Businesses who struggled with keeping up their KPIs or revenue didn’t succeed in keeping their heads above the water.

On the other hand, brands that understood this is not the time to think about profit, but to strengthen the bond with their consumer, came out stronger.

… turn the attention to your customers

People are yearning to feel appreciated. It’s a shame we needed to experience a worldwide crisis to see how marketing is broken. And we, the marketers, are to blame.

Instead of shoving consumers with the information and products they don’t need or look for, we should go back to the basics and listen to their needs and guide them to find what they are looking for.

As David Ogilvy once said, “the customer is your wife, so don’t insult her intelligence”. Mr Ogilvy (who was born on 23rd June, thus one of our homages) knew what marketing is all about; it’s about listening to your audience.

It’s about creating no-bullshit work that is based on research, know-how, hard work, creativity and most importantly, the work that delivers results.

23 ways to fix your marketing

What do you get when a graphic designer and data storyteller meets a marketer who is all about strategy and copywriting? You get two enthusiastic freelancers who make a competent team that believes marketing can be fixed. Add to this mix strong artistic tendencies and a Balkan “direct-to-your-head” attitude, and you get 23.

Blame it on our idealistic characters, but we believe marketing should improve (drastically) and become once again an industry that drives the changes instead of basking in worn-out tricks and tips (a “hack” loses its effect if 1 000 marketers do the same thing, right?).

Companies must understand the importance of consolidated marketing and how to achieve it. Build a brand that is relevant and original. Your company isn’t a commodity, so stop promoting it as such.

Our manifesto

Now, after the quite direct intro, we want to show what are we made of – our values, beliefs, and how we approach marketing:

Now that you get to know us a bit better, why don’t you introduce yourself? Drop us a line if you’re interested in collaboration, sharing your opinions about marketing or joining our collective!

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Iva Divic

Iva Divic

(Still) Working on the first book of poetry. And hoping by the time it's published, the pandemic will be over and I can hug all my friends at once.