Brains! Brains! How to Survive the Marketing Zombie Apocalypse

Brains! Brains! How to Survive the Marketing Zombie Apocalypse

zombie_BWWe’ve got zombies on the brain here at CSTMR, and not just because of the recent mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. As we brace for the hordes of virus-infected undead to storm our televisions again in a couple of months, we’ve been thinking about marketing zombies. You know, the campaigns you keep funding even though they’ve long ceased to have a pulse.

Companies that constantly monitor their campaigns don’t lose money. Instead, they identify their weaknesses and pivot to more profitable tactics, and do so quickly. But those that funnel money into strategies that have hit a plateau or have declining results? They’ve got problems, as they continue to pour money into campaigns that are already dead, they just don’t know it yet.

Build the following three components into your strategies and you’ll avoid marketing zombification:


Even the best articles and most brilliant ads can’t thrive in isolation. Media mentions are great for early-stage startups, but you can only milk those for so long. You can’t scale your PR efforts 100 times based on articles and interviews alone. Different channels should complement and support one another. If you have an avid Twitter following, use your influence to breathe life into some of your under-appreciated articles or videos.

The nice thing about digital marketing is that you have tight feedback loops, so you can see when SEO results decline or customer acquisition costs increase. When you have multiple channels in the mix, you amplify one while retooling another.

Think of each division as an oil well. Imagine that your PR department gets an article placed in The Wall Street Journal, and you gain exposure in front of more than 2.5 million people. That well is gushing riches.

Eventually, interest in the story declines and the supply in that well recedes to a trickle. Without other wells to tap, such as social media or viral ad campaigns, you can’t really keep growing. Having multiple marketing streams allows you to spread out your risk, so that if one strategy fails, others are still bringing in customers.


There aren’t always consistent behavioral patterns in how people find your brand, but you need to meet them wherever they are, whenever they’re looking for you. Do this through responsive websites, targeted ads, and mobile-friendly content. You must be able to switch tactics quickly as consumer trends change.


Everyone on the marketing team should have access to your dashboard so they can see which channels have petered out and where they can shift their resources. Analytics help you predict when one channel might top out and prepare to kick another into high-gear. Hard data gives you the clearest picture of your campaign’s health – including when it’s time to pull the plug.

CSTMR acts as a monitoring force for our clients to ensure that their marketing ecosystems are balanced. When we see that one channel isn’t performing as well as it was the previous month, we suggest they reduce spend in that area and increase it elsewhere. When you have a comprehensive, coordinated view of your strategies, it’s easier to pivot without losing momentum.

Consumer preferences and behaviors change quickly. One day your Twitter leads are blowing up, and the next you’re lucky to see any. When that happens, you can’t afford to halt operations to revamp your Twitter strategy. Having multiple streams working at once ensures that you’ll never have to “go dark” on your marketing efforts. Put a stake in the heart (or is it brains?) of your Marketing Zombies and spread your risks across several channels so that you always have a steady stream of customers.

Picture of Rory Holland
Rory Holland
Rory Holland is CEO and Co-Founder of CSTMR. For more than 20 years, he has made it his passion to help Fintech and financial companies leverage digital marketing and advertising to drive growth.

Get Fintech Insights for Growth

Please enter your email address below to receive our thoughtful and timely Fintech marketing insights and information.

By submitting your email address you agree to receive email communications from CSTMR. And, we never share email addresses with anyone else.

Ready to build your brand into something better?

Marketing insights, news, and strategy from the CSTMR Team.

In depth Interviews of the innovators, the disruptors, and the trailblazers from the world of finance and fintech.