7 Signs You’re Being Catfished by Luck

By Stephanie Naman

Luck is diabolical. At once charming and persuasive, comforting and fascinating, luck makes you feel smart and seen. More alive than you’ve ever been. You imagine a happy, successful future together. You feel on top of the world.

And then it ghosts you when you need it the most.

At Luckie, we know just how alluring yet destructive luck can be for unsuspecting marketers who chase the high it promises or are reassured by the false sense of security it inspires. We’ve made luck our mortal enemy and have embarked on a companywide crusade to ensure no brands ever dance again with that particular devil.

But here’s the catch: It can be surprisingly difficult to detect all the ways you’re depending on luck. So we thought we’d make it easy for you. Here are seven signs that the brilliant marketing plan you’re pouring all your time, money and emotional energy into isn’t really as foolproof as it seems – and what you can do instead if you’re being catfished by luck. 

1.   You’re solving symptoms, not the business problem.

Luck thrives in ambiguity and takes every opportunity to confuse the issue. If you’re not careful, it’ll have you second-guessing your real business goals and reacting to what the competition is doing or what’s worked in the past instead of delivering what your customer truly needs from you. Sound familiar? That’s OK! Our chief marketing officer, Mary Winslow, uses a proprietary assessment tool to help businesses spot vulnerabilities at the intersection of the brand experience and customer experience, and determine how those weak areas impact the bottom line. From that analysis, we formulate actionable steps to address your most important KPIs and define business success before we build.

2.   Your discovery process is just Google.

Luck has an answer for everything. The real trick is knowing which answers help you truly understand who, what and where you’re going to be most successful. Brian Lamkin, Luckie’s head of analytics, can tell you. His team recently built a predictive model for one of our tourism clients using historical data to predict future occupancy outcomes with 90% accuracy. If you’re not bragging about achievements like that, if you don’t have a data-rich approach to understanding your consumer, competition and cultural trends, not to mention what’s going on inside your own company, that means you’re relying on luck.

3.   You’re still targeting women 25-54.

Luck isn’t picky. It likes to cast a wide net rather than getting up close and personal with your customers on a human level. And commitment phobia? Luck’s got it bad. It prefers a transactional “hit it and quit it” approach to relationships, loyalty-building, and engagement across the entire journey. Good thing Luckie knows how to build solid consumer segmentation models, and our p will identify high-value targets who will be with you for the long haul.

4.   Your creative briefs are neither.

Luck’s a silver-tongued devil that talks and talks till your head is spinning. Hard to get brilliant, game-changing ideas out of all that blah blah blah. Luckie’s chief strategy officer, Carolyn Dateo, always says strategy is about making choices, which is why our briefs get to the heart of the matter with a clear understanding of how a brand truly fits with customers’ needs, attitudes and beliefs. Before launching a new platform for one of our largest healthcare clients, our brief was built around data-driven insights as well as the results of a consumer research study to ensure we were creating omnichannel messaging that would resonate with consumers. Then we checked our work with messaging validation research to ensure it would drive meaningful, impactful engagement luck can’t explain.

5.   You back into a strategy.

Luck can be a chameleon. A shape-shifter. And an opportunist. Because luck doesn’t rely on data, its strategy is malleable verging on meaningless. So when a cool creative idea comes along, luck is only too happy to flip the script and let creative drive the strategy. As Luckie’s executive creative director, this is a particular pet peeve of mine. Real creativity – the kind that solves real business problems – craves the focus of a solid insights-driven strategy. That’s how you create positive and measurable impact, not white noise.

6.   Your creative team exists only in the creative department.

Luck doesn’t play well with others. It loves to keep your teams isolated, siloed, even at odds with one another. So while kick-ass creative teams are still a must, the best creatives are no longer lone wolves. Luckie creatives collaborate as part of a multifunctional special forces team, each with a set of skills that make us a nightmare for luck. In fact, if you don’t have someone like our chief experience officer, Fred Schank, guiding your connections planning, not to mention your innovation road map and deployment, your creative may not be as creative (or effective) as it could be.

7.   Your test & learn is more like hope & pray.

Luck doesn’t like to be questioned. It loathes transparency. It’d rather deceive you into believing problems don’t truly exist or aren’t easily fixed. If your marketing efforts run on autopilot, without rigorous testing, without a solid plan for measurement or a meaningful way to optimize, you’re leaving far too much to chance. A better option? Luckie can help you identify and fix anything that’s underperforming and spot new opportunities while charting the way forward.

Any one of these seven red flags could signal you’re in an unhealthy relationship with luck. Three or more, and you may need an immediate intervention. At Luckie, everything we do is designed to take luck out of the equation. We’re a creative, data-driven agency that builds brands and brand experiences that solve real business problems. No smoke. No mirrors. Just a trusted partner you can count to ensure the luck stops here.

Take a look at how we’ve helped clients remove luck from their marketing plans, and contact us if you’d like to learn more.