As executives at brands continue to struggle to find the “golden route” to victory, there are those who have the right mindset and those who (wrongly) exhibit what one might call “Trump Card Marketing.” What does this entail? At its core, trump card marketing suggests that you’re all hot air, no substance. Many brands in the eCommerce space have already discovered the perils of cramming one more mail into our inboxes, overdoing the discounting, counting on google adwords and/or crying wolf. Without a sound baseline strategy, trump card marketing is a direct route southward.
How to detect Trump Card Marketing?
Here are some of the indications that a brand is working the Trump Card approach to its marketing:
- Is it all about airtime and not about substance?
- Is the communication strategy more about creating sound bytes than biting soundly?
- Is fear a driving force?
- How much of the social media messaging would make your grandparents squirm?
- How consistent is the social media message with the actual product/service being sold?
- Is the [brand] bag just full of new tricks that might get replaced tomorrow? In other words, is the biggest selling point in your marketing arsenal, merely “NEW“?
- Does the boss fail to be a role model who models the desired behaviors and inspires all the staff — much less the customers – to be like him/her?
- To what extent does the executive team surrounding the leader inspire confidence and enthusiasm?
- Is it all about the ego, as Ryan holiday would say, among the leaders of the company?
- Is the boss still asking for the number of likes and followers?
The Special Trump Card
Truth is that the trump card is a special card. The trump card in Bridge is often a facet of a weak suit. The very first trump card you play is particularly revealing. It is to be used intelligently. After the first one is played, a big portion of your hand is played. In a marketing campaign, using a Trump Card all the time is bad for business. Further, it will tend to highlight your weaknesses.
Trumpeting out your message without concern for your ethics, without worrying about consistency, without understanding the long-term impact on your image (i.e. your brand), is extremely risky business. Short-term gains, perhaps. But, ultimately, long-term loss.
Does this sound familiar? Let me know how it resonates for you!