Jun. 2015

Marketing Efficiently in a Strong Economy and Up Market

There is “administrative resistance” to optimizing marketing, while the economy and markets are rising. Why? “We are growing at 20% a year and are quite satisfied with that growth” is a common misconception and frequently sited reason for resisting change. The issue, how sustainable will those revenues be, when (yes, when) the economy and market go sideways or down? What happens when the competition embraces new processes and technology?

We look at bears, not just in markets, but also the animals for their foresight in the way they manage their business. They eat their nuts and berries all summer and throughout the fall, so they can run efficiently when there is scarce to no food.

So too, companies can increase their efficiency, making more revenue and profit from the same marketing budget. Many people fear change, but as we all know, change is usually for the better and is all around us. Fear is the enemy – not change.

We run a disruptive agency. We follow few industry norms, strategies or tactics. Instead as fiduciaries for our clients, we seek to increase revenue efficiently, and as a result, frequently spend materially less than the current budget. That can cause a bunch of anxiety among marketers. The bigger the company, the less open it is to this type of change. Mostly because of perceived career, power structure, and work flow risks.

In reality, the change agent is usually rewarded.

To all of this, we say relax emotionally, focus and get to work. Incremental changes are just fine, but structural changes are materially better and enduring.

Marketing, advertising and support for revenue creation is a balance of math, targeting, position and messaging, and creative media. All must be in balance to achieve optimal results. Few marketing departments and even fewer agencies have all the skill sets required to achieve these optimal results.

The quest for improvement must be institutionally driven. Senior management should require testing, failure, optimization and institutional learning from results. As these processes are implemented, and equal attention of the four pillars (math, targeting, position and messaging, and creative media) are given equal weight, then the expression “we are doing just fine” will be eliminated from corporate culture.

We see start-ups distrusting entire industries. We are lucky to participate, as a disrupter, and support others who are disrupting other industries. New regulations such as the JOBS Act and net neutrality are also positively contributing.

Challenge yourself, your team and your organization. Put yourself out there with measured risk (remember the math part?). Learn new processes, and touch new ground without breaking it.


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