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Do What Works
July 11, 2016
It’s easy to blow your budget on a marketing campaign without a clear sense of direction or an evaluation system in place if you aren’t careful. As a Marketing Communications consultant, I have often found myself presenting proposals to clients who get so caught up and excited about the potential of what could be, that they fail to focus on the not-so-fun task of evaluating the project’s potential success (or failure) upon completion. They are blinded by their own enthusiasm and while it’s my job to lead them to a successful conclusion, it’s also my job to manage expectations. Obviously whenever you’re creating a plan, you must outline clear-cut, quantifiable tactics and hold yourself and your client accountable to those standards when assessing results. With that said, once you find something that works, go full-steam ahead and dump some more dollars in that bucket, so to speak. This may seem like an obvious choice to make, and that is why I’m somewhat confused by Pepsi’s decision to bring back Crystal Pepsi.
While I think their attempt at pressing your nostalgia button through Oregon Trail is creative and interesting, I’m uncertain as to whether lumping a wildly successful educational computer game in with a wildly unsuccessful “beverage” from the 90s, and I’ll use that term loosely, is the answer. It seems like very much a distraction technique and it completely baffles me. Sure, they did research and launched a petition for a comeback, but how valid is that when that sample of the population most likely isn’t a good representation of common opinion? After all, Coca-Cola is number one for a reason…(or several if you ask me, a blatant Diet Coke addict.) Also, are Pepsi’s customers that easily manipulated? Maybe. I guess we’ll have to wait and see as Canadian consumers can begin buying the product today and we Americans get to wait until August 8.
I believe this campaign will be another cautionary tale to marketers to heed their instincts, not be blinded by enthusiasm and stick with what works….and if something doesn’t work, perhaps don’t revisit it 20 years later under a shroud of pixelated nostalgia.