When it comes to keeping secrets, there is a great old saying: “Loose lips sink ships.” This saying was originally developed during World War II by the U.S. War Advertising Council to warn people not to speak about the movement of naval vessels for fear the enemy would find out. In the marketing world, executives often invoke this phrase in staff meetings to stress the importance of keeping quiet about upcoming marketing plans.
Indeed the key concern when an executive announces a “loose lips” directive is so that competitors will not learn about strategic plans before these are implemented. If they do, the marketer’s element of surprise is lost and so too may be their marketing advantage. Consequently, depending on the importance of the plan, if a company discovers an employee has discussed the plan outside the marketing department’s inner circle, the employee could face tough justice including possibly losing their job.
Legendary comedian Rodney Dangerfield is best known for his line “I don’t get no respect.” For many years, digital media seemed like the Dangerfield of promotion spending. Marketers tended to tread lightly into digital media or shun it altogether as they were not convinced this space held value. However, it is becoming more apparent the use of digital media for marketing promotion has now reached a level of respectability that places it on par with other forms of promotion, including television advertising. While placing image and text ads on websites has long been considered an acceptable digital media option, the real growth in spending appears to be coming from social media and mobile apps, areas that some marketers were convinced would never yield an attractive return on their promotional investment.
As we have noted in a previous post, product labeling is not viewed as a decision that excites many marketers. Instead, it tends to be way down the list of decisions that are believed to be critical to the success of a product. This is especially the case when it comes to printed product usage information (i.e., directions, warnings). In fact, many marketers prefer to limit usage information on their product labels preferring instead to focus on showing the brand logo and explaining the benefits offered by the product.