Reverse-Engineering Creativity To Drive Brand Performance
Data-driven marketer with $50m optimized and 8,000 experiments run — Mike Taylor — shares a powerful new framework for creative strategy. Fusing principles from evolutionary biology to marketing science, forged by the experience of building a 50 person agency; “Marketing Memetics” will help you identify what creative is likely to win, even before you test it. Learn to break campaigns down to their component parts, or ‘memes’, and remix what works to drive growth.
Why read this book?
Most marketers know why creative testing is important, and they usually pick up enough statistics to know how to test, but they struggle in prioritizing what to test. They get mixed results with fewer learnings than they'd hoped; meanwhile their idea backlog gets backed up because it's impossible to test everything. They have no way of making data-driven decisions when they can't test, so the process degrades to "whatever one the boss likes"; and performance suffers.
This book solves that problem by providing a framework I've found useful for systematically learning what works, with less time and money wasted on testing variations that were doomed to fail. So many marketers I know got where they are through being good with data and technical skills, and now they find themselves pulled into uncomfortable conversations about brand and creative. With everything moving towards automation i.e. Advantage+ and PMax, creative is the only growth lever left to optimize.
What format will it be in?
I'm self-publishing this book initially as a digital download. You'll get a PDF and an E-Pub file, for use with E-Readers like Kindle. It's available in all countries and territories that Gumroad (who hosts this page and processes my payments) operates in. I plan to also put this book on Amazon via their Kindle Direct Publishing program, and record an audiobook by the end of the year. I'll also send anyone who pre-orders now the audiobook file once I've recorded it. Paper and hardback copies are also planned contingent on the book gaining wider distribution, but will come at an additional cost.
What is Memetics?
The word 'meme' doesn't just mean funny viral images on the internet. The word actually predates the internet, and comes from evolutionary biology. Memes are any 'unit of culture' that gets shared, like ideas, catchphrases, or styles. You can think of a brand as a collection of memes, stored in the minds of consumers, who use them as shortcuts to decide what to buy. Some memes work better than others – i.e. easier to remember, or more likely to go viral – and 'Memetics' is a practice that can help you find the winning combination of memes to drive performance for your brand.
Who is this book for?
This is the guide that I wish I had when I was building my agency; that I could give to the data-driven people on my team to help them navigate "fluffy" brand and creative decisions, as well as the copywriters and designers to get them thinking with a performance mindset.
Marketing Memetics will help if your team is struggling with any of the below:
- Feeling like a fraud when you’re making creative or branding suggestions
- Unsure of how to tell if an ad is ‘good’ before testing it, so you struggle to prioritize
- Tired of relying on a clueless ‘brand marketer’ / designer / copywriter for ideas
- Frustrated with getting your creative ideas shot down for lack of supporting data
- Constantly testing but never feel like you're really learning anything useful
- Seeing a high volume of failed experiments and nothing is really working for you
- Struggle to brainstorm creative ideas, and wish you had a framework to follow
- Launching a new product, but not sure what features or elements to focus on
If you're in charge of any of the following areas, this book will make you feel confident defending your strategic and tactical decisions on what creative / content to test, and how to make data-driven decisions when you can't test:
- Creative Testing
- Brand Strategy
- Conversion Optimization
- Social Media / Virality
- SEO & Content
I built a performance marketing agency (Ladder) incubated by a traditional creative agency (BBH), so I had to figure this out early on. I was working with fast-growing startups like Monzo Bank, Booking.com, and Facebook Workplace, as well as with traditional brands like Unilever, Travelex, and Nestle, so I had to learn to live in both worlds. I made it work by reverse-engineering what made the best creative perform in the short term, while learning to respect the value of brand for the long term.
For more info and to read some of my writing on Memetics, visit the website.Visit marketingmemetics.com
You'll get the book in PDF and E-Pub (E-Reader / Kindle) form.