Turn your strategy into the right message in the right channel at just the right time
With so many media channels and marketing tools at their fingertips, marketers are increasingly bewildered by choice. Communication has become both a minefield and a mine of opportunity for smart marketers.
The pap answer is to favour one channel over another. It’s fashionable right now to say that you’ve stopped advertising. Public relations companies are highly evolved in their arguments that ‘begging’ for editorial coverage is better than buying it through paid advertising. Why? Is it proven?
Public relations companies are highly evolved in their arguments that ‘begging’ for editorial coverage is better than buying it through paid advertising. Why? Is it proven?
Social media now is also being touted as the way to get famous. Jetstar, the budget airline, last month boldly announced that as much as 40 percent of its communications budget was to be spent on social media. That’s pretty funny for a company that was roundly abused through social networks after its ill-fated launch in New Zealand. Social media certainly made it famous—but for all the wrong reasons.
A smarter response is to avoid backing one media or one channel or one tactic in your brand building. The answer is using the right channel for the right message for the right audience at the right time. Sometimes content is king: when it comes to long, complicated messages or deep relationship building then creating compelling, long-form content or video may be perfect. Sometimes, timeliness is best: the pizza email at 4pm on a Friday gets me every time.
Tough times, smarter strategy
There’s no denying these are tough times. The MYOB Business Monitor, a nationwide survey of over 1,000 New Zealand business owners and directors, shows that 20 percent of Kiwi firms have cut their marketing budgets over the past six months. As reported in Stoppress.co.nz:
- Only 12 percent of businesses across the country increased their advertising and marketing spend in the past six months.
- Almost a third of all larger enterprises (20 to 199 employees) reduced their advertising spend over the period. Mid-sized businesses (five to 19 employees) are the most confident, with 17 percent increasing their advertising and marketing budget.
Tough times call for smarter strategies. It must be tempting to outsource your problems, particularly if you’re a corporate marketer where budgets are just that little bit bigger.
But marketers are mistaken if they think strategy can be outsourced. Strategy belongs at home, where it should be developed along with all the in-house business disciplines of finance, HR, customer support, sales and procurement.
Geoff Ross, the founder of 42 Below, rages about the abdication of strategy in his new book Every Bastard Says No.
“I hate the word ‘marketing’. Not because of what marketing does, more because of the people who hide behind it. Too many people in large corporations and academic institutions attempt to make marketing out as some kind of science, I assume to make themselves look and sound important.
“Marketing is really common sense with a dose of good ideas thrown on top. This business function should be renamed just that.”
That may be true of strategy, but the execution of that strategy is indeed a science. When it comes to the complexities of managing, say, an integrated digital and offline campaign, marketers must turn to the execution experts.
Which is where this showcase comes in. The examples that follow are of providers who really know their stuff. They don’t pretend to know your strategy (but they’re keen to hear) and they don’t pretend to know your audience (just yet). But they do know how to turn your strategy into the right message in the right channel at just the right time.
The examples that follow show that now, more than ever, execution matters.