Thursday, January 10, 2002

What I think GM lacks is a focus as to where it can be used.

Arnold, this is the thing that's been itching at the back of my mind since I saw clocke give a talk on the subject. (And for Hernani, GM == Gonzo Marketing, not General Motors.) It seems to me that without metrics, Gonzo Marketing might be effective, but it will be hard to show that it is efficient.

If I am called in to improve sales of Jell-O® brand gelatin with effective marketing, that's a cake walk -- we just tape a $10 bill to every 79 cent box, and that Jell-O® will be flying off the shelves. Pretty effective. If, however, I have to improve sales with efficient marketing, then I have to sell more Jell-O® with less money than is being spent now. I don't know the actual statistics, but at a guess, their cost of customer acquisition is~$1 per person, so I'm skeptical that Jeneane can get all those Tangerine-crazed moms in the doors for $25K.

It seems to me that where Gonzo works is precisely those places where it is very expensive to reach a customer, who will then take the time to think through whether or not to buy. Ford will probably spend ~$100-$200 per person who test drives an Explorer. That's a lot of someone's time to engage in a real conversation with car lovers, who tend to the Gonzo-receptive characteristics of passion. $1 per person for Jell-O®, on the other hand, does not buy a lot of anybodies time, and since it isn't a considered purchase and doesn't inspire a lot of passion, it (and other mass market goods with its characteristics) aren't a good target for Gonzo.

So though Sonambulistic Promotional Prose only beats Gonzo as long as broadcasting continues to serve up results, I think that period will be functionally forever for goods that require markets of > 1 million p.a., because the scaling characteristics of broadcast are superior to those of Gonzo. Put another way, Gonzo is a better way to reach those markets that are already micromarkets, but I doubt that subdividing mass macromarkets into micromarkets can be done more cheaply for the same effectiveness than the current system.

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