Cultivating more consumers who buy more, more often, & tell their friends!
10 - You don't think marketing works so what’s the point?
I've committed to never arguing this point again so I won’t do so here other than to humbly ask 'ye skeptical ones' why would companies of all stripes all around the world spend the trillions that they collectively do on something that doesn’t produce meaningful returns for them?
9 - Most of your marketing is via social media so you think brand strategy doesn’t apply.
The essence of brand strategy - integrating critical consumer data into everything that touches consumers - applies just as much to online interaction as off. Of course, the tactics of every marketing plan must be tailored to the specific capabilities and budget at hand, but the strategic principles apply equally.
8 - You think strategy is only for big companies.
First, strategy is about creating a compelling plan that's going to move the needle, and then executing it. This is important whatever your company's size. Second, how do you think most big companies got that way? They did it by being strategic in their planning, and then out executing everyone else in the marketplace. But it starts with the strategy!
7 - You think you don't have enough money to build a brand so why bother with strategy?
Bigger companies can, perhaps afford to take more risks with their marketing because a single mistake can be covered by future marketing efforts. Not so with smaller companies that have to make sure everything they do has the greatest chance of success.
6 - You love the excitement of ‘rolling the dice’ with your marketing budget.
Vegas is great. I just wouldn’t take my marketing budget there to spend. Branding is hard enough even with all of the latest consumer research tools and the best brand strategy. It's almost impossible to do well in the long term without embracing a strategic approach.
5 - Brand Strategy: isn't that what the agency is for?
Ad agencies can be invaluable partners in building your brand and business. That said, if you're running a company - it's your brand, it's your business, and you are the ultimate guardian of everything that touches your consumers.
4 - You don’t mind wasting money on marketing.
Brand strategy is about creating greater efficiency and effectiveness in all your marketing. Simply, it seeks to understand what your consumers want and need from your brand so you can deliver it - both physically and emotionally. Every single dollar spent without this discipline has the potential of being wasted.
3 - You prefer to let your “gut” drive your business.
One’s gut, generally, isn’t enough to sustain long term business growth. Sure, you’ve got to incorporate what your gut tells you into planning, but that insight must be surrounded by thoughtful, consumer generated business drivers to get the most from it.
2 - You actually like being in the dark about who your consumers are and what they expect of you.
The core of brand strategy is a fundamental understanding of who your consumers are, what their needs and aspirations are, and how your brand and product can meet them. Without the discipline of a strong strategic foundation, you willfully underperform your potential. You might “move the needle” in the short term, but it’ll happen because you got lucky with a particular ad or marketing tool and will most likely be unsustainable.
1 - You’re just not motivated by money!
A strategic marketing plan - based in sound consumer insights - with compelling consumer communications that address your consumers' physical and emotional needs, and that has a powerful call-to-action, is the single most powerful tool to maximize revenue and profitability for a B2C company. Period. If you're a consumer company and you want to grow - you've just got to have one!