‘Where would you spend an additional 10% in your marketing budget?’

That was the question recently posed to a panel of marketers for Acer, Bauer Media, Jack Daniels and David Jones at the Mumbrella360 conference.

Their answers were quite common;

  • Jack Daniels would focus on bringing the brand to life for the consumer… investing in more experiential marketing for a very targeted and personalized approach.
  • Bauer would put more money into creating video content that would creatively enhance other areas of the business, like showcasing behind the scenes shoots and what goes into making a magazine
  • Acer would invest in ways that would help close ‘the last 3 feet’  – essentially closing that final sales gap. In other words, ensure the consumer comes to the retail outlet with a ‘ready to buy’ attitude.
  • David Jones would spend more money on their visual merchandising to put a level of retail theater back into the customer experience and heighten the visual senses.

While I wasn’t necessarily blown away by any incredible and ingenious ideas, something stuck with me…

It’s actually a lesson from the Lean Start Up method:  Build – Measure – Learn. 

A commonality across each of these brands was the fundamental change that the were making to their marketing life cycle. It’s the shift from heavy resource intense planning and execution stages to more emphasis in the analysis and strategy stages. (See Figure 1 below)

the marketing shift

Of course we can’t forget the planning and execution stages as that is the crux of any marketing plan, but with the copious amounts of real time data that we have access to (both large and small companies) we have the ability to spend more time analyzing the data and delivering what consumers really want.

Instead of creating a story or product and then seeing where the customer fits into the equation, these marketers are using the data that is readily available to find how they can fit their brand into their customers life at this very moment.

The ‘build a bridge and they will come’ theory is no longer valid.

So what can we learn?

Go ahead and brainstorm, but shorten the planning and execution stages – put that brilliant idea out there and begin testing and measuring right away. Then alter your strategy to fit with the findings so you know the consumer actually wants your offer.

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