Marketing is Fraktured

by Chris Lundberg

A lot of people have asked me what insight led to the formation of Frakture?  What’s the problem it’s intended to solve?

Oversimplification: Marketing is fundamentally shifting – and I don’t just mean because of social media. Marketing and engagement is shifting because of data.

Without getting wonky:
Marketing has become overly complicated and it’s obscuring what really matters.  In any overly complicated system you see a few common symptoms:
  • Buying really expensive technologies to ‘solve’ the challenge.  We’ve seen this before. Rather than understand the problem, it’s far easier to just pay someone else who says they understand the problem.  It helps if they have a bunch of Trademarked Algorithms, and Exclusive Tactics, and the price is >$100K.  Clearly they know what they’re doing.
  • “Big Picture” comes up all the time.  This is probably one of my least favorite phrases.  Replace it with “too lazy or incompetent to understand the important details”.  Your Big Picture is skewed for every detail you don’t know.  Don’t know enough of the details, and your Big Picture skews towards bonkers.  As a system becomes more complicated, the number of people focusing on the Big Picture tends to increase.
  • Acronyms aplenty. For every unnecessary acronym someone creates, god kills a kitten (unless the Military — patron saint of acronyms — kills it first).  Each acronym has buried within it a whole sea of knowledge and opinions.  You’ve got to be in an industry for a decade to understand the full implications of acronyms like CMS, CRM, SEO, CPC, CPM even though the actual concepts are simple.  Acronyms are the antithesis of insight.
  • Historically successful tactics are starting to fail consistently.  If you haven’t seen this yet, you weren’t paying close attention to the communications during this the last election.
  • Hiring lots of engineers to help build systems to understand the complexity
These symptoms are just a few of what you see in a changing marketing world.
Old-school Marketing is toast.  Communications and engagement is, of course, alive and thriving.  If you were to take a recent college grad and instruct them to create a brand story, develop a coherent business strategy for it, and deliver a plan and a few pages of content, they’d probably give you something pretty good.  If, however, you sat them in front of a computer and told them to evaluate CPC, CPM, email deliverability, conversion rates, Google vs Bing SEO, and Facebook ad performance; then fire off an email to 3 target segments (with A/B…n testing), each with over a million people; then log in to Salesforce and create a contact list with a work phone append for the sales reps to follow up with… they’d give you a stare reserved for the darkest demons of hell.  Yet, THAT is marketing these days.
Now, marketing majors aren’t any less prepared for the world than other majors.  What has happened is that the sildenafildosage number of Marketing channels has EXPLODED.
Mad Men had to deal with TV, Radio, newspapers, billboards, and product placement.  Magazines and Direct Mail picked up significantly in the 70’s.  In the last 15 years, though, we’ve picked up HUNDREDS of new potential channels.  Web ads, Facebook, Twitter, Mobile ads, Local, TV targeting, email, podcasts, and your website, to name a few.
And they ALL have different metrics.  And then companies come up with their own metrics to distill some of the metrics into their own flavor. Lead Scoring, Aggregated CPC, Nielsen ratings, SEO/SEM, etc.
This shit is COMPLICATED.  This shit is FRAKTURED.

No wonder why so many companies pay lots of money just for the promise of simplifying it.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s just that a lot of technology solutions actually make it more complicated by adding in more layers you need to understand.  I call that “Marketing Fluff”; the content free, colorful, expensive layer that exists between you can the important bits.

Frakture exists to SIMPLIFY communications.  We want to get to the point where a college grad using Frakture will crush the performance of a CMO with a team of domain experts.
In software development this happens all the time.  A small number of dedicated individuals can change the world, where a huge, well-funded team cannot.  Indeed, some say it is the only thing that ever has.
To get there is a very, very long road.  It involves integrating dozens of different technologies.  It involves making decisions. Lots of them. Decisions about what to ignore and what to keep.  It involves isolating out what really matters, what is marketing fluff, and what is tangible.
It’s refocusing communications on what matters.  That is what Frakture exists to solve.
Next up, we’ll cover Step 1 in this process: Data Normalization (Or how many acronyms squeeze into the word “Channel”?)