Category: Marketing Insights
March 1st, 2018

Let’s toast to what Prohibition taught us about marketing

In 1920, the 18th amendment passed, banning the production and sale of alcohol. Prohibitionists painted ‘intoxicating liquors’ as sins that led to crime, poverty and death.

Ironically, the biggest winners turned out to be organized crime.

Bold Strategic Decisions may have the best intentions—the mistake is failing to anticipate unintentional consequences. In the case of Prohibition, Americans’ thirst for booze was stronger than their concern for violating the law.

The ultimate lesson of the “Noble Experiment”—and for marketers looking to avoid unwanted A-ha Moments—is to watch out for decisions that end up worse than the problems they are designed to solve.

Drop us an email at: heythere@mortaragency.com if you’re pouring over any bold choices of your own. We’ll show you a quick and easy way to make sure your choices produce the effect you need.

February 14th, 2018

What can the Donner Party teach you about Marketing? Well, chew on this…

In 1846, a group of pioneers led by George Donner set out for California from Independence, Missouri.  Looking to reach the golden state more quickly, Donner chose an unproven shortcut, stranding the travelers in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the middle of winter and resulting in the death of nearly half the party.  Many survivors turned to cannibalism.

The beginning of a new journey is exciting, but we must guard against making the big — what Mortar calls — Strategic Decisions too quickly.  The best path often needs to include asking what if? What might happen if we actually succeed? Or fail? What happens next?

Avoid unwanted A-ha moments by gathering your team to tease out the possibilities before you hit the road – and make sure to pack some hot sauce just in case. Need better directions? Drop us an email: heythere@mortaragency.com

December 2nd, 2017

Mortar gets (this) close to GOT

Look what Ogilvy did with the work we did on Cisco’s new network launch: which they christened as The Network. Intuitive.

April 4th, 2017

This is a completely appropriate response.

 

Look. We know you get a ton of emails telling you to Download The Free White Paper That Will Boost Your Business, Slim Your Waistline or Enlarge Your Junk. Don’t flush this one. This is the one that will lead you to The Big Book of Thinking Small—the express train to discovering your A-ha Moment. The thing that makes you, you. The Big Book of Thinking Small not only gives you insight into finding your A-ha Moment, it will help you learn to share your amazingness with the world.

Go ahead. Pull the trigger. Do it.

January 14th, 2017

Welcome to the A-ha age

Advertising Agency offers A-ha

Careful Mortar watchers (that’d be both of you, so listen up) will have caught the stealthy launch of the new Mortar website on the very last day of 2016.

Now I realize this will come as a shock to the rest of you, but THERE IS A NEW MORTAR WEBSITE! THE BACON IS GONE.

We’ve replaced the pile of pork with a simple insight: most of the time small ideas beat big. And marketers still don’t spend enough time aiming at the emotional impact they want to have on their customers.

Now why would this be?

  1. We forget our job is to amaze and delight. There’s a lot to say about our companies, our products, our vision, and our contribution to the planet. So much that we forget we actually want people to buy our thing. And for that to happen we must first get their attention. The simple pressure of communicating what’s important to us overwhelms our need to prick the needle of delight.
  2. People don’t actually buy ideas until late in the funnel. At first they buy delight. Joy. Fun. Awesome. A client of ours spent hundreds of thousands and months researching why people came to her organization only to find that her customers were looking for fun. Fun? Not an educational experience? Or a new perspective? Or to be a better citizen. Just a plain old great way to kill a few hours and giggle. You see, great marketing promises a result. If you haven’t defined how you want people to react when they hear of you then you are not ready to go to market. (Doubt me? Dig out a recent agency brief and scour it for something resembling the A-ha Moment you want your customers to experience).
  3. Small is easier and simpler than Big. Big is bold. Big is dramatic. Big costs money and time. Big requires hard thinking, consensus, commitment and a willingness to change. Big is thus hard. For most, Big is simply too hard. Small? Small is easy to find. Easy to execute. Easy to change. Easy to replicate. Easy to test and adjust. And Small is not hard on a CEO who changes his mind, like, well, every week. (Which BTW is most of us now.) Nevertheless the right small idea can have immense power (hello Uber, who spun a small app into a revolution in global transportation).

For many of us, the future is about finding and exploiting A-ha Moments. We’ve gathered some of our best A-ha Moments on our new site. Take a look and see if you might benefit from thinking smaller in 2017.

– This article was originally published on LinkedIn.