Re-imagining marketing strategies in the wake of COVID-19
Wine, Cheese and Blue Jeans – all of them get better with age.
What about ideas? For most ideas, the opposite is true. Who remembers the revolutionary 5 ¼ floppy disk? At a certain point, ideas need to be debunked. Alternative and novel approaches are needed.
Circa 2020, what about the ideas around marketing measurement?
The changes in marketing ecosystem have far outpaced age-old ideas of measuring marketing effectiveness. Even more so in the post COVID-19 (wave 1?) world.
However, popular platforms are still doing rounds with their traditional spend optimization solutions based on outdated data, frameworks and assumptions which are no longer valid. Marketing executives relying on such solutions need to wake up to the new reality which COVID has catalyzed.
There are several developments which mandate shaking of old notions of marketing measurement and optimization. Consider these samples:
What if the ad-spend is unnecessary in most cases?
What if there is no incremental demand for many categories? Or, enough supply to satisfy the marketing generated demand?
Some of these conundrums are amplified for retail segments such as online grocery. This means that marketers need a more nimble and humble approach to marketing strategy and execution.
CMOs and marketing leaders need to act through a Sense & Respond Framework
The Gestalt Philosophy loosely translates to – “sum of parts is greater than the whole”. Combined effects of factors outlined above should inspire a paradigm shift in marketing strategies. A simple two-pronged agile approach is the need of the hour
Sense (in near real time):
– What happened yesterday, last week and last month (ignore everything else)
– Customer pulse monitoring – how do I gather more customer level intelligence, more frequently? Leverage social media feeds, reviews & sentiments across blogs, retailer product pages, and other customer forums
– Break silos across customer segments X product categories X media vehicles. Your customer doesn’t interact with you in silos. Then why do you?
Respond (and course correct, also in near real time):
– Move from incremental budgeting to zero based budgeting. How you spend should determine how much you spend. Don’t be in a rush to meet your spend targets
– Design a robust measurement system to gauge short term marketing effectiveness. Long term is anybody’s guess & Your marketers’ instincts based on historical patterns are no longer valid
– Build an explainable & agile decision support system, to help your marketer run, learn & evolve marketing spend experiments
– Build a live feedback loop, to gauge customer response and take immediate remedial action
Go for it. And if you want to exchange thoughts, just reach out on LinkedIn or any other platform you like!