There’s so much going on in the marketing arena today, everybody is struggling to keep up. At the same time, every marketing professional feels pressure to be “progressive” and actively integrate emerging mediainto their marketing program.
However, the mark of a good marketing strategy is not how many gadgets and neologisms are crammed into it, but how effectively it achieves worthy goals. Therefore, how you define your intent will have a profound impact on whether you succeed or fail.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency for marketers to try to create a “one size fits all” approach for a portfolio of brands or, alternatively, to want to create complicated models to formulate marketing objectives. However, most businesses can be adequately captured by evaluating just three metrics: awareness, sales and advocacy (i.e. customer referral).Marketing executives are busy people. They need to actively monitor the marketplace, identify business opportunities, collaborate with product people and run promotional campaigns. It is unreasonable to expect them to keep up with the vast array of emerging technology and tactics, especially since most of it won’t pan out anyway.
Therefore, it is essential to have a team dedicated to identifying emerging opportunities, meeting with start-ups and running test-and-learn programs to evaluate their true potential. Of course, most of these will fail, but the few winners will more than make up for the losers.
Once an emerging opportunity has performed successfully in a pilot program, it can then be scaled up and become integrated into the normal strategic process as a viable tactic to achieve an awareness, sales or advocacy objective.
3. Decouple Strategy and Innovation
Unfortunately, in many organizations, strategy and innovation are often grouped together because they are both perceived as things that “smart people” do. Consequently, when firms approach innovation, they tend to put their best people on it, those who have shown a knack for getting results.
That’s why, all too often, innovation teams are populated by senior executives. Because innovation is considered crucial to the future of the enterprise (and also due to the institutional clout of the senior executives) they also tend to have ample resources at their disposal. They are set up to succeed. Failure, all too often, isn’t an option.
So failure must be an option, which is why technologically focused venture capital firms expect the vast majority of their investments to fail. However, failure must be done cheaply, so resources (and therefore senior executives) must be kept to a minimum.
4. Build Open Assets in the Marketplace
The primary focus of marketing promotion used to be to create compelling advertising campaigns that would get the consumer’s attention and drive awareness. Once potential customers were aware of the product, direct sales and retail promotions could then close the deal.
That model is now broken. Today, effectivepromotional campaigns are less likely to lead to a sale and more likely to result in an Internet search, where consumers’ behavior can be tracked and then retargeted by competitors. Simply building awareness and walking away is more likely to enrich your competition than yourself