The Night After Christmas

Dec 25 2013, 12:05pm CST | by

The Night After Christmas
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

‘Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the store,
Every employee was working at an annual chore:
The sale signs were hung by the windows aplenty,
Hoping tomorrow the store wouldn’t be empty.


The merchandise piled on every surface,
Arrayed and displayed for solely one purpose:
Since, by the branding consumers weren’t enticed,
The market required the products get repriced.


When out on the parking lot arose such a clatter,
An employee sprang up to see what was the matter.
Away to the door, she flew like a flash,
No longer bemoaning the store’s lack of cash.


The moon glow on the pavement proved
As illuminating as a video on YouTube.
Revealing to her inquiring eyes could it be
The architect of the brand’s engagement strategy?


The guy sneaking away was the company’s consultant,
Abandoning marketing failed, and sales untriumphant.
He’d delivered content, clicks, and views aplenty,
But left the store’s coffers shockingly empty.


He was dressed all in black, from head to his shoes,
His clothes stylishly modern, a necktie refused.
Then, with a grand gesture and booming tone,
He announced loudly (thinking he was alone):


“Now Viral! now, Social! now, Awareness and Retention!
On, Creative! On, Catchy! On, seeking only mention!
The brand was made memorable, I won’t take the fall!
Didn’t they know it wasn’t supposed to sell at all?”


In a twinkling, the empty lot returned to silence,
No customers, no visitors, no interested clients.
Though as the guru adjusted his sleigh’s ropes,
She thought she heard him add “adios, you dopes!”


And she realized what had just occurred:
Image over sales her company’d preferred.
With money for salaries and benefits depleted,
This expert still got paid for having succeeded!


So what if consumers didn’t show they cared?
Paying for brand attributes they simply weren’t prepared.
Ev’ry abstract claim, all that clever stuff,
To prompt purchase behavior, it just wasn’t enough.


Yet armed with ROI and a dashboard report,
The guru would go find other brands to extort.
In a season of spirited wishes esoteric,
He stayed the unquestioned Church of Branding cleric.


As for brands like hers, left high and dry,
With very few options left to try,
And no time for more tweets or magic: you see,
Marketing after Christmas occurs in reality.


So this annual righting of wrongs occurs,
A process of matching wants and needs endures:
Give consumers real reasons for them to buy,
Not content that produces likes and sighs.


The staffer returned to repricing merchandise,
Ignoring the branding blather, to be precise.
Then the guru added, as if to her labor regale:
“Happy Christmas to all, and good luck with the sale!”


(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

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