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May 5, 2010

It's a Beautiful Thing

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Yesterday, I spent an hour with one of our application teams, removing from a client system hundreds of really gorgeous visual assets (logos, photos, headlines, design elements) for a brand campaign that was recently uploaded but -- due to decisions above my pay grade-- had been dis-approved, never to see the light of day. (The ultimate "un-do".)

There was something sad in the task, of course--dragging and dropping all that hard work in the oblivion of the Mac's recycle bin. But there was something hopeful there, too. Because clearly, there'd been a fatal flaw in that campaign--and we caught it, and nipped it in the bud, all in less than an hour, before it could cause that client's local marketers (some 800 strong) any confusion or harm.

And that got me to thinking about marketing automation from a different angle. It got me to thinking not just about what our systems enable, but about what they prevent. The inappropriate headline. The improperly kerned font. The performance claim sans legal disclaimer. The unauthorized (and unprofitable) offer.

I looked around at our team -- creatives by background all -- carefully turning off those assets and options. And I realized that they weren't just flipping switches. In a very real way, they were distributing marketing intelligence. Enabling and implementing, so a decision made at brand headquarters would have the desired impact--immediately and absolutely -- half a world away.

So, I started out mourning the untimely death of a beautiful advertising campaign. And ended up appreciating another idea, which has a curious beauty of its own...


by Kevin Groome

Founder, CampaignDrive

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