“You will never know exactly what brought each person [to your website], but that is not a bad thing.”
They’re not my own, profound words.
They’re actually the words of Samuel Scott, lifted from an article over on thedrum.com.
Scott is a global keynote marketing speaker who is a former journalist, newspaper editor, and director of marketing and communications in the high-tech industry. But, please, don’t let the self-aggrandisation put you off.
Because Scott’s article actually makes quite a lot of sense.
Obviously, I wish it didn’t. As marketers, advertisers and communications professionals, it’d be really quite helpful if we could track the precise results of every promotional campaign we run.
The fact is we really can’t… which is what makes Scott’s article worth reading.
(The article also makes fun of growth hackers and man buns if you need any further convincing.)
Should you choose to read it, though, be a bit careful. Because there’s one point in particular that seems way off the mark.
We mustn’t blame Scott. He’s surely a busy man.
As a global keynote marketing speaker, Scott was probably tapping the article out on a plane to LA while ignoring the cries of a screaming nearby baby and simultaneously exchanging pleasantries with several of his in-flight companions, perhaps after one too many complimentary glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Because how else would the sentence, “Maybe someone [who bought something] saw a TV commercial, remembered it weeks later, and then drove to Walmart or Tesco” have ever made it into the final draft?!
I’m Sorry, Scott.
Most of us live in the real world. We struggle to recall what it was we were even doing a few weeks ago. Most of us would be hard-pushed to accurately recall a 60-minute long TV programme we went out of our way to watch a few weeks back, let alone the advert that may or may not have aired during the bathroom break.
Because I am not a global keynote marketing speaker (and therefore have too much time on my hands), I’ve taken the liberty of rewriting the above to make it a little more accurate.
Here’s what I reckon Scott was probably getting at:
“Maybe someone needed some food and drove to Tesco or Walmart to get some. Maybe, while shopping, that person saw the washing powder aisle and remembered they needed some washing powder. Maybe, because they were scared of wasting money on something rubbish, they bought a brand of washing powder they know is sometimes on TV.”
The two amass to the same thing: a purchase thanks to advertising.
But one reached hundreds – maybe even thousands – of professionals working in marketing, advertising and communications.
Is it really any wonder Bob Hoffman felt compelled to write this?