Should a Marketeer Hedge her bets on Creative Evolution or Creative Revolution?
As a marketeer you make a very crucial decision each year on the day you finalise your annual budgets for marketing and media spend. So that you have hedged your bets right, you try and base your allocations on last year’s campaign performance metrics. In my opinion, trying to be as objective as possible is both good and also dangerous at the same time. Because to get your brand recognised in a noisy market place your marketing and media spends need to be more than just objective. They needs to champion the uncertain market trends that will reveal themselves over the course of the year. These trends are not objective but highly temperamental. So what can you do to make sure you strike the near perfect balance? Well you try and tell an engaging story. In a 1996 article (01/03/1996) titled “Content is King.” Bill Gates wrote – “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting… When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.” So when you try and tell a story with the means of your multi-layered content driven marketing you need to decide whether you should stick to the type of campaigns which proved successful last year or should you be a little more adventurous. Things get even more exciting if you are newly appointed in the decision making role. If your predecessor was not very successful, then you feel confident to revolt against everything they did and draft out a brand new content marketing and media plan. But if they were, then you find it hard to go against the highly successful road map already set in place. On the contrary, if you have been with the company for a few years and have had some good and some not so good years, then what should you do? Do you rewrite the content marketing and media spend rule book or mix and match? I say think like Charles Darwin. Darwin held back the publication of his book ‘On the Origin of Species’ (1859) because the idea of ‘Evolution’ was too ‘Revolutionary’ for its times. His meticulous and systematic research made him realise that life on earth arose by a purely natural process, and not through the design of some supernatural being. So to be a super successful marketeer you don’t just read the performance data points but look for patterns just like Darwin did. That to me is the only way you can trump the volatile market trends. In marketing, systematic Evolution is the key to success and not outright Revolution. This is what I would say should be the basis of a well rounded marketing strategy. It is the only way to be able to hit most of your KPIs, be they – ‘thought leadership’, ‘brand awareness’, ‘lead generation’ or others. The 1911 Britannica noted Georges Jacques Danton’s (a leading figure in the early stages of the French revolution) fierce saying – “Audacity, more audacity, always audacity.” So to summarise, my dear marketeer, do not fear. Be an audacious Darwinian, study the stats and observe the patterns and the winning hand will be yours. And if you still can’t decide or feel stressed then please watch the intellectual discourse between Ross and Phoebe from Friends TV series, arguing about Evolution.