Oh, Mary

How Marketing Makes Me Lose Sleep

May 27, 2019
Melanie Wilhoite

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.”(i) In other words, use your screen before bed, have a turbulent sleep and wake up tired. 

So why do I insist on tossing away valuable sleep time watching the latest SNL skits, binging on my latest fave series, and finding out whatever happened to those child stars until way past bedtime?  I’ll tell you why I do, it’s fun! It informs me! It updates my pop culture repertoire! It feels good!  And it’s infuriatingly addictive – I can temporarily suspend my real-world worries and mindlessly hop from digital link to captivating digital link until midnight! I throw privacy concerns to the wind and indulge.  Again, and again.

I’m not the only one, and that’s why digital marketing trends have been gaining steam for years. The more digital devices brimming with never-ending content have become the quick and easy go-to to fulfill our every time-wasting whim, the more opportunity there is for clever companies to jump in and satisfy our emotional needs. 

Naturally, my bedtime selections are all about me and what I feel like consuming in the moment.  Somewhere there’s an intersection between product and price – the top two *reported* determinants of product loyalty – and the way the brand makes me feel.  Of course, feelings have turned out to be a rather squishy thing to track.  And therein lies the beauty of digital marketing. 

Data can be tracked and merchandised (is there anything that gets the C-Suite approving budgets faster than campaign success data displayed in colorful bar charts?). Moving forward it’s the beguilingly evil mashup of data + creativity that’s going to set leaders apart from stragglers.

Seventy-eight percent of consumers say that personally-relevant content is a determining factor in their purchasing decision. So if you’re selling a new organic flea collar to the Seattle market, for instance, and data analytics tell you that lots of fifty-something married women in Puget Sound own dogs and cats, drive SUVs and make the household buying decisions and shop a lot online, you’ll scoop me right up in your data net.  You might then find that we fifty-something ladies have been devouring the hit series Killing Eve on BBC America and create a media buy strategy around that tidbit.  Good ol’ fashioned marketing.  But how could various social media platforms, data, and creativity intersect to create content that would engage me in a personally relevant way and keep me watching into the wee hours? 

Here’s where creativity tailored to the medium makes the difference.  After discovering the basic demographic and interest information about me above, you might correctly assume that I love pets, and you might then capture my attention with compelling information about pets and toxins – a concerning topic that tugs my heartstrings – delivered via a short video series, Facebook posts, and interactive quizzes.  You’ll make sure these are placed alongside content about Killing Eve and its captivating stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Then you’ll make me feel good about the product if I visit your web site and find information about your safe product production practices, along with a video that merchandises a great story about the company founder’s love of animals and efforts to keep pets healthy and happy. You could identify issues related to pets and toxins and start a “pass it on” social media campaign.  Make it personal with a quiz or list to identify various pet toxins lurking in the home.  The ideas are endless.  Trackable.  Merchandisable.  And insomnia-inducing.

The point is, great content is compelling to its audience, and the medium in which it’s delivered and where it’s placed can make the difference in between a successful campaign and not so much. Action Mary has produced successful digital campaigns featuring entertaining content, from online video posts promoting National Hug Day for Tree Top to sharable Instagram posts showing inspiringly fit people drinking CHERRiSH all natural Cherry Juice during and after workouts.  All feel-good, all on brand, all shareable, all engaging, all data producing.

Experts say 30 minutes of gadget-free time before bed and keeping gadgets out of the bedroom will result in sleeping much better, getting more sleep, and waking up more refreshed. (ii)  For those of us who can’t seem to break the habit, we stand an increased chance of losing sleep by interacting with captivating marketing-produced content we’re happy to click on.

(i)         https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-electronics-may-stimulate-you-bed

(ii)        https://www.sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/