In baseball, a .300 average is considered good hitting.
In school, 30 percent is a failing grade.
In marketing, 30 percent is … well, it depends.
This just goes to show that marketing isn’t about science. If it were, every single marketing initiative in every industry would have a single set number as a guidepost to determine success. But the reality is that marketing success is contextual – it depends a lot on the products being marketed, the audience and the environment in which the product is being marketed.And in the context of grocery and convenience stores, a 30-percent success rate (also known as a “compliance rate”) can be seen as more of a baseball result than a school report-card result.
And while there are some good hitters who can hit .300 in a season, there are those who have special seasons where they hit .400 or better. When it comes to your products that you market, would you want to be a Paul Molitor, or a Ted Williams?
Ted Williams is a legendary hitter. Don’t you want your product to be legendary? Part of it is to have your marketing be legendary. Recent research has found that the average success rate with marketing overall is about 30 percent, while convenience store and grocery marketing success averages around 20 percent.
Why isn’t it better? It is a combination of factors – all of which point to understanding the science to create the art. Or vice versa.
Much of marketing nowadays is about Big Data. As marketers, we learn so much from understanding the personas of our audience, that we are able to develop high-converting, targeted messages. But why are we not Ted Williams?
There is the science that goes into the marketing, which is gathering the data about our target personas. Then there is the art of creating an effective marketing message that will speak to that target persona. However, there is a third aspect that might be what keeps many of us from being Ted Williams:
The science on the other side of the marketing – measuring the results and making adjustments.
It is tough to improve success when you don’t measure the success you already have and the areas in which you are deficient. Some of the same research that determined the average success rates of marketing initiatives also found that only about one in five (21 percent) of companies which market products in convenience and grocery stores actually conduct measurements.
One in five conduct measurements, and marketing compliance in grocery and convenience stores is about one in five. See a coincidence here?
There is no coincidence. There are opportunities being lost by not following the art with the science. The sandwich of marketing has two slices of science and art in the middle.
It seems, though, that many companies are eating open-faced sandwiches. And the difference between a George Brett and Ted Williams can often be that other slice.
Don’t let opportunities to improve get away from you. If you are not Ted Williams yet, it’s time to look at what you’re doing and understand better what you need to reach that next level. It’s all about the right message at the right time in the right place. How you hit .400 like Ted Williams is knowing the pitch, knowing your ability to hit that pitch, and having the discipline to lay off when it’s not the right pitch.
And with effective marketing, it’s knowing the right pitch to throw at your target persona so it swings at your offering and gets a hit. Once you move into the art of marketing, you cannot lose sight of the science. Good hitters don’t, and good marketers don’t either.
Be Ted Williams. Let Pareto be your hitting coach.