Why marketing people are always confused and confusing us OR how random connections all link together in a very haphazardly human way

Image of Simone Grant's logo for twitter, blog

I’m a fan of Simone Grant‘s blog Sex, Lies and Dating in the City (don’t judge, just read her blog, ok?) Yesterday, I was watching FOX because that is where the Simpsons are and I saw the promo for Glee. And for a fraction of a second, they showed a cut to a pair of red dance shoes and my brain immediately zipped back to Simone’s blog. All her posts that I had read recently flashed through my brain like someone fanning a deck of cards.

And I am going to watch that episode of Glee just because my brain is now curious about how big a part the red shoes have in the production. I have to know.

BTW, here is the promo. Scan to 00:11 in case you don’t want to watch the entire thing, but it is only :30 seconds long.


Now here is the really complicated part. Not only is this episode of Glee somehow connected in my brain to a blog I read, but that blog is now connected to Lady GaGa’s Bad Romance which I bought for $1.29 off iTunes because I couldn’t get the song out of my head. If you can’t beat ’em, play the song really loud on the stereo. (again, don’t judge me! Sorry Simone, I hope you are a Lady GaGa fan or at least don’t hate her.)

And after thinking about random connections for a minute or so, a blog post by Shannon Paul was perfectly relevant and fitting. In the post, there is a link to a study by GroupM about the interplay happening here. (I think, unless I read it all wrong, which is possible.)

I will watch Glee tomorrow; I bought an iTunes track for $1.29 and I plugged two really cool blogs. And I am convinced all of this random connection of stuff happens millions — perhaps even billions — of times per day without any marketing people having a conscious hand in any of it. Simone could probably increase viewership a bit by tweeting out to her followers they watch Glee and why. Shannon could do the same. I suppose if ever presented with the evidence of these connections, many marketing-types would dismiss them as outside the model as the “science” does not support the findings. It is all anecdotal, blah, blah, blah. (or Ga, Ga, Ga? Naw, naw, naw that was too easy.)

I concede to marketing people that there is science behind human behavior, many times it is predictable and you can use this knowledge to shape and guide many people into buying stuff they don’t need. There is also a science behind SEO and you can craft it to maximize results. But that is not the entire game. Part of marketing should be in awe of these random human connections that can be explained but not predicted or controlled. But really good marketing people won’t dismiss what is happening just because it doesn’t fit the model; they’ll run with it and figure it out later.

Where is this all going and how can you use this to bring more people to your blog or buy your widget? Hell if I know! I’m just content to roll down the window, stick my head out and enjoy the feeling of the wind through my ears.

Perhaps that is the lesson; not everything is science and the most fun parts of life are the art-filled magic of random connections we all make to other human beings without having to feel like we need to quantify them on a chart or explain them as relevant.

*This blog post was written while listening to Lady GaGa at ear-shattering decibels. No eardrums were permanently harmed during the actual writing and the tune in my head has been now replaced with a more age-appropriate Dame Shirley Bassey soundtrack.