Posts Tagged 'marketing strategy'

Why is Better than What

I’m a bit late to this great talk from Simon Sinek, but it really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it here for anyone else who might have missed it (it’s also worth watching a second time if you’ve seen it before!).

Simon’s overall premise is that people buy into compelling reasons more easily than they buy into specific functions.

His argument is very well put, and the logic is very difficult to dispute, but for some reason, marketers around the world still struggle to grasp the implications.

Brands that understand why people should care are far more likely to succeed than those who just push the what.

If you want to know more, check out Simon’s Start With Why website.

planning for the future (5): less talk, more action

less talk more action

We all know that actions speak louder than words.

But many brands still focus the majority of their marketing spend on talking.

It’s time to redress the balance.

Rationale

Advertising does a good job of telling people things.

That’s fine if we want to raise a bit of awareness.

However, advertising frequently behaves like the pseudo-tailors in ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes‘.

This clip sums up the reality of far too much marketing:

But in today’s hyperconnected communities, this ‘massive hyperbole’ approach no longer works.

No amount of advertising will make a bad product good.

It’s just too easy for people to spot a ‘naked’ brand, and to tell everyone else about it too.

More often than not, advertising isn’t the answer.

People want proof; not just claims.

So how can planning help?

We need to broaden our perspective.

We need to help brands understand what people really want, and then to identify the most profitable ways of delivering it to them.

We need to add value, from end to end: from informing R&D to inspiring customer service.

Key Benefit

If we give people what they really want, we won’t need to persuade them of anything; they’ll experience it for themselves.

Key Action

Allocate a minimum of 90% of your brand’s resource to identifying what people really want, and creating a solution that delivers it.

Use the remainder to demonstrate your brand experience to the people who are most passionate about its benefit.

If you’ve done the first bit right, they’ll do the rest for you.

Shaping the Future

Throughout this series on planning for the future, there’s been a recurring theme: how we can add real value.

If planning is to remain relevant, its role must evolve from promoting brands to actually delivering their benefits.

The new planning manifesto is simple:

less talk more action 2

The Rest of the ‘Planning for the Future’ Series

Introduction: a new planning manifesto

Use communications to deliver value: moving from advertising to adding value

It’s all about the benefits: a simple example of how to deliver a brand’s core benefit with a TV ad

Add CSR to everything you do: how contributing to the greater good can help your brand too

Blend the mix: towards more strategic distribution

Want to know more about planning for the future? Get in touch here.

planning for the future (4): blend the mix

blending the Ps

As we saw earlier this week, brand communications have the opportunity to evolve from a promotional tool, into a new avenue to deliver brand benefits.

However, this opportunity isn’t limited to communications; it can easily extend to the rest of the marketing mix too.

Rationale

When it comes to branding, everything communicates: packaging, purchase experience, and after-sales support all play critical roles in shaping people’s perceptions of our brand.

However, brands often approach these elements as distinct activities, and deliver a range of different experiences as a result.

To address this issue, brands need to adopt a more holistic perspective, aligning everything they do to a common objective.

This isn’t about image consistency; it’s about maximising the opportunities to actually deliver what people really want and need (another case of starting from your audience, not the brand)

As we move towards a more holistic approach to marketing, planners need to think beyond ‘advertising’ to identify the ways we can help marketers to blend the various ‘Ps‘ into a truly seamless mix.

Let’s start by looking at distribution.

Take it to them

One way planners can help is to fundamentally re-think the role brands play in people’s lives.

A big part of this is helping to shift the marketing mindset from selling products to selling benefits.

Let’s take FMCG brands as an example.

The vast majority of these are sold through conventional retail channels – supermarkets, drugstores, etc.

Withing these channels, many even have their own dedicated category ‘aisles’.

Until recently, our concept of ‘innovation’ in distribution has been to locate brands in different parts of the store, like putting men’s toiletries next to the beer.

This is a good start, because it starts to think about people as they think about their needs.

But brands don’t belong to just one distribution environment.

Indeed, many FMCG brands have evolved beyond their core product offerings to become ‘lifestyle’ choices, and consequently, their relevance extends far beyond the supermarket shelf.

For this reason, I’d argue that a brand like Axe would be much more at home in a Diesel store than it is in the aisles of Walmart.

Furthermore, it could really come to life in nightclub bathrooms and gym locker rooms.

So what does this have to do with planners?

The answer lies in value delivery.

Getting involved in distribution strategy doesn’t fall into the traditional planner’s realm of influence, but demonstrating and delivering the brand’s benefits at the times of greatest relevance lies at the core of a new planning manifesto:

Identifying the most relevant and engaging times and places to deliver specific brand benefits, and the most efficient and effective ways to deliver those benefits in that context.

If planners are to help brands create real value, they need to get involved with all aspects of the marketing mix.

Key Benefit

Developing a distribution strategy around delivery of brand benefits helps build brand equity at the same time as expanding sales and revenue opportunities.

It also enables brands to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with other like-minded brands.

Alongside these growth opportunities, a unified ‘one brand‘ approach allows brands to reduce costs by harnessing operational synergies.

Key Action

Rather than limiting our thinking to conventional retail norms, we should re-examine the times and places where our brands’ benefits have the greatest relevance, and use this as the basis for developing distribution strategies instead.

Previous posts in the ‘planning for the future’ series

Introduction: a new planning manifesto

Use communications to deliver value: moving from advertising to adding value

It’s all about the benefits: a simple example of how to deliver a brand’s core benefit with a TV ad

Add CSR to everything you do: how contributing to the greater good can help your brand too.





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