How Courageous is Your Marketing?

To ensure Relevance, organizations must employ new and different marketing in a fast moving and interconnected digital world 

To be courageous does not have to be foolhardy. Rather, being courageous is an act of confidence particularly in the face of fear.

For marketers today, it’s easy to be overwhelmed in a world of constant change, information overload, and shifting purchase patterns.  Just upholding the status quo and staying within the boundaries of what’s already been done get you nowhere.  Yet, many brands and organizations are uneasy about stepping out of the norm for fear of failure. These are terrifying prospects for a true marketer.

However, the situation is not getting any easier. Social channels have removed the wall between you and your customer, anyone with a good story can tip the media landscape, consumers have more information about you and your products than ever before. Prior to any purchase, consumers are more interested in how you think and what you sell, and choice comes down to convenience.

All of this has refocused marketing around purpose.

The good news is that any successful marketers’ archetype has always been that of a rule breaker, an early adopter, and often times a gambler. Because all successful marketers like you, know that there is always a point in time where you take the leap of faith. You don’t really know what will happen when you launch your program to the real world, but you go for it anyway. When others zig, you zag, when the latest trend has been embraced by the masses, you offer a different story and point of view. You create a brand that is wildly differentiating while remaining concretely relevant. You’ve been here before, but the stakes are higher, and things happen so much faster. Taking that leap can seem more daunting. Being courageous can be that much more difficult.

But actually, the very thing that we fear can actually give us more courage.

The proliferation of voices and fast-moving communications is scary only if we do not understand it and we do not know the consequences. By measuring, understanding and even predicting through the use of analytics, we can leverage this landscape to turn down the volume of fear and turn up courage to make bigger leaps than ever before.

Starting with the right insights and armed with the right approach and tools, today’s marketer can absolutely thrive, led by a renewed courage to push the envelope at launch and learn along the way.

There are seven main steps:

1. Begin with Insight

Observe market and audience behaviors to garner foundational insights you can leverage for creative, messaging and marketing channels. There is so much you can do through publicly available digital data in today’s world.

2. Align with an Authentic Brand

Live and breathe by your brands’ values and core purpose. Continue to be relentless when deciding how you engage.

3. Lead with a Creative Bang

The most compelling message will fail to find an audience if you don’t find a quick and smart way to tell your story.

4. Architect Non-Linear Storytelling with Different Channels

Today’s proliferation of media channels means you can no longer count on a linear approach. Seed various levels of content fine-tuned for each channel, informed by your insights.

5. Enable and Plan for Pivots

Put in place measurement and key performance indicators to optimize and pivot against. If your main goal is to build a qualified customer list, build your metrics around that and optimize your marketing spend against it.

6. Prepare for Possible Crisis

Know who you should care about and plan for all the known knowns and known unknowns. When unwanted conversations start to happen, measure their impact through analytics (Who is talking? Is this person relevant? Who is engaging downstream? Do they matter?) before engaging.

7. Reinvent – Begin with Insight

And when the dust settles, it’s time to make another ruckus!

Just like anything else, it all begins with preparation. Resist and plan for fear by going through these critical steps, infusing courage into your marketing.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not the absence of fear” – Mark Twain


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Howie Chan
Howie Chan
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