Where’s the romance and intelligence gone from marketing?
Okay, so perhaps it's not the direct blame of the marketers, but can someone tell me what actually drives the ridiculously long lead times for seasonal/event promotions. Last August, Christmas promotions started in anger - and in late December the supermarkets started stocking their Valentine's cards - and in January out came the Easter condiments and such like.
It's all so obvious and smacks of desperation. Do retailers consider that we are all inept timekeepers and therefore, we are unable to purchase goods we require at the time we require them? Are their efforts ineffectual with most purchases being made in a more timelier fashion? I'm not sure. I come from a world where the logic dictates supply the demand and so I am assuming the demand is there. Or is it? Does anyone know or has it become the ‘way things are organised'. If the latter, it doesn't make it right.
I have to say, the amount of people that I hear remarking upon these promotional timings such as "blimey can you believe they've got Easter eggs on display and it's only January' and"Oh look they've got Christmas cards and Valentine's cards on the same rack! - ridiculous!" - and various others, always veer on the eyeball rolling negative - so what do retailers and the marketers behind these promotions think they are achieving - are these methods that initially seem so desperate and despairing, actually paying off?
I remember as a little girl it was exciting to see the shops adorned with their Christmas decorations - but that's because it was actually just a few weeks before Christmas.
Personally, and perhaps I'm officially becoming a ‘grumpy old woman' - it bugs me -targeted marketing it isn't - as it's always just a few months too early. I'm all for being prepared - but some of the lead times are erring on the ridiculous and make me, as a consumer, feel as if the retailers consider me an incompetent who must be reminded that these events are coming up (often far into the future). It's like off line 'spamming' - yes, it's officially, 'offline spamming'! Stuff I don't need being rammed down my throat at every aisle change.
I'd love to find some stats to tell me that this method works wonders - and has proved to me a marvellous practice for marketers and retailers - but when I speak to people, no one seems positive about it. My gut instinct tells me that no one is probably measuring the impact, the habit is set and it will continue...but if there are measurements and logic - then lead the way...
Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - covering social media marketing and website planning and website design.