Anything Worth Doing…

There was an expression my friends and I used to use when we were much younger and not quite as smart.

Times Square signs at night

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, we were dumb. The expression was that “anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Boy were we wrong. Unfortunately, while we seemed to learn the fallacy of the phrase, many people and brands haven’t.

What’s brought this rant on are a few things. First is the ALS ice bucket challenge, which is absolutely something worth doing. It’s raising awareness of, and a lot of money to do research on the causes of and cure for, a horrible disease. That said, I can’t look at any piece of media – social or otherwise – without someone dumping a bucket of ice water over their head. At some point I wonder if meaning of the challenge gets lost.

Think about how many clever “instant” ads followed on the heels of the famous Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl power outage. By the time of the World Cup last month, when Luis Suarez bit an opponent on the pitch, many companies fired off clever ads (let’s be real – they’re ads!) almost immediately. In fact, Snickers earned a total of 15 million impressions within seconds. While Snickers and a few others stood out, many of the brand messages fell into the abyss.  Overdoing? It felt like it in the aggregate.

There is a daily newsletter I find valuable.  I get the mailing and then 20 minutes later I get it again – same mailbox, same mailing – even though I’d already read it and moved on.  It’s less valuable when it’s just clutter and overdone.

Where I come out is this:  marketing (which is worth doing) is not worth overdoing.  It needs to be focused, it needs to add value, and it needs to drive your business objectives in the context of the consumer’s needs.  People are overwhelmed with messages – don’t waste their time with content that’s irrelevant to them.

Was that overdone?

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