The Secret Marketer

It’s time to introduce myself. I am the secret marketer. Each week, I’ll be telling you about the trials and tribulations of doing my job alongside a few impromptu thoughts about our industry. As I have no wish to be added to the ever growing statistics of unemployment out there, I won’t be telling you too much about the company I work for or the industry involved. But I’m pretty sure that you’re going to recognise plenty of the problems, situations and characters that I come across.

It already seems a long time since the Easter break and I seem to be suffering from a thoroughly congested inbox. There is no doubt that the digital age is an exciting time for the marketing industry, but I can’t help but think that the lower cost of email campaigns has given rise to many more lazy and irrelevant communications than I ever received from the second-class postman.

This week’s highlight was from my friends at Purple Airport Parking (after pre-booking my holiday parking with them last year, they appear to have automatically become my friends).

Purple was offering me the exclusive chance to save 20% on airport parking…this weekend only. Well, as nice as the business lounges are at T5 these days, I am not sure I shall be making a special trip to the airport just to enjoy its hospitality. We shall all have to wait and see if Purple’s grand customer profiling strategy – targeting people who own a car and have once parked it somewhere – pays off for the brand.

Much more impressive was the campaign employed by online gambling firm bet365 during last week’s epic Champions League match between Liverpool and Chelsea. As the recession seems to be forcing many of my peers in the world of sports marketing to cut back, online betting companies are stepping forward to fill the gaps.

Whatever your view of the morality of gambling, I found myself watching the football and admiring the quality of execution. I’m not talking about the number of balls hitting the back of the net but bet365’s half-time ITV ad spots with live odds against the second half outcome.

This made me think about my own experience of advertising. I’ve spent much of my career confronting completely inflexible copy deadlines and rules for TV copy. Perhaps 2009 is when I should be taking a bet on doing something a bit different?

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