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5 Lessons for Marketers from Lost's Last Lines

Guest Authored by Seth Berman, Marketing Director, Blue Shield California The last time I watched Lost was Season 1, but the urge to indulge in this television event was too strong to resist. My low-investment approach turned out to be a great move: the ending made sense, and I wasn't left looking for a bigger payoff. Not only that, but it turns out the 45 minutes of commercials weren't the only place I found some marketing lessons. In the wise words of the Oceanic 815 gang, here are some parting thoughts. Hurley to Ben: I could really use someone with like, experience. When you're considering diving into a new channel, like social media, or a new tactic, like re-targeting, start by talking to people with experience. Attend free webinars, find relevant Twitter feeds to follow, tap into existing and potential agencies, and ask questions on LinkedIn. There are plenty of marketers out there willing to share their experiences, many of them free of charge. Lapidus: It ain't pretty, but it's gonna work. As a direct marketer, creative is one of many variables, and often secondary to targeting, placement, offer, timing, and campaign execution. Trust your experience and the data, and design tests to measure the impact of multiple variables at a time. Most importantly, consider building an agile process that facilitates frequent, low-investment tests that don't require you to get it exactly right every time. Kate to Jack: You haven't ruined anything. Nothing's irreversible. And even if it doesn't work, you'll get another shot. It's great to take a big swing once in a while, but a series of smaller risks will add up to big wins too. Balance your approach to build your reputation as a calculated risk taker that can calculate results. Kate to Sawyer: Guess I'll have to resist the urge to follow you anyway. As brands rush into social media, your CMO may be asking you what your brand should do. The first thing to do is to refer to your brand's mission, and your company's sales and marketing objectives. With that as context, consider how social media could help you deliver on your brand's mission and objectives. If it's not obvious, social media may not be one of the most important things for you to focus on today, but the good news is'?¦ Kate to Jack: I'll be waiting for you there'?¦ once you're ready. As long as you're monitoring social media conversations, you'll know exactly when it's time to establish a presence because your customers will tell you. Some of the best social media case studies I've seen recently (DirecTV, TurboTax, Taco Bell) have one thing in common: their customers were talking about them before they arrived.

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