The view from up here is off.
I’m living in a marketing bubble of my own creation.
All I see are my budgets, my goals, and my priorities.
And all I hear are the results my company needs to deliver this quarter.
You’re in a bubble, too. And so is every other marketer.
The CMO Survey predicted in 2014 that by 2019, up to 25% of marketing budgets would go to social media. In 2021, the share of paid social was at 11,2%.
And it’s been stable at around 10% since the prediction was made seven years ago.
Predicting the future is tricky for anyone, and marketers are no different.
But what about data? Data must make short-term planning easier, right?
Three studies done in the UK, Canada, and Australia asked marketers whether people were spending more time online or offline.
The researchers were surprised that despite regional differences, marketers in three countries equally underestimated the time people spent consuming offline media and grossly overestimated the use of online media.
Perhaps the results would be different if the markets weren’t culturally similar.
The view from up here is misleading.
‘The view of up here’ is a concept from Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness. It’s when people in the higher levels of society become so disconnected from everyone else that they become blind to how the other half lives.
He explains that our brains aren’t designed to process huge amounts of contradictory information. We shut down and only let through a narrow stream of information that already conforms to our beliefs.
That stream usually consists of loud headlines, bold claims and false predictions.
As marketers, we have our own view from up here.
We get so enamoured by what we hear from other marketing gurus and media publications that we lose sight of what life is like for our customers.
While we’re obsessing over jumping on the next new thing.
We become blind to the things that are right in front of us.
Jeff Bezos once wrote to his shareholders that he was more interested in the things that would not change in the future, as these were the things he would be able to build his business on.
“I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.”
I’ll be taking a break from sending you a weekly email in July. So, for the break, I’ve put together a reading list of past emails about marketing truths that will not change in the next ten years:
Have a relaxing summer and see you in August.