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audiences Archivos | Allegro 234

audiences Archivos | Allegro 234

Thinking of strategic marketing

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What I read

Some days ago I was reading and article published in the McKinsey Quaterly talking about marketing. The tittle was “The consumer decision journey”.

Although that the article is not saying anything new, the way the authors (David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder and Ole Jørgen Vetvik) stressed the new marketing problematic is quite interesting.

There were four points which arose my attention:

  • Marketing’s goal is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions
  • Due to the explosion of product choices and digital channels, plus the emergence of an increasingly well-informed consumer, a more sofisticated approach is required
  • Due to the shift toward a two-way communication, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth
  • During the customer journey, marketers must integrate strategy, spending, channel management and message across the organization

I do agree with all those concepts, however, I’m not so sure if they are strategic marketing decisions… Actually, they look like the “new issues” of marketing under the perspective of the function and close to sales…

What I thought

First of all, marketing as a function continues to be so operative and in the best case, tactic… If this is true, I would have some questions:

  • Is it right to continue thinking of influencing consumers? Would it be better to think of helping the dialogue between people who belong to our key audiences?
  • Is it right to consider that the “marketing goal” is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions?
  • Do marketers need a more sophisticated approach to deal with complexity? Wouldn’t it be better to go back to basics and make it simple (which doesn’t imply linear)?
  • Isn’t it a simplification to consider that we only have a two-way communications? Are our world and our behaviours so easy to understand?
  • How can a function integrate the whole organization?

So, if we understand marketing as a company process [neither a businees process, nor an organization one] my thoughts, in a “simple” way are:

  • Marketing is “the” responsible of the first line of the company P&L [incomes] and co-responsible of the long term value creation, and it must balance both issues
  • Marketing should understand its key audiences which means, it should know the people [within its key audiences] insights and take care of the people journey
  • Maketing should take care of the experience that the company wants to create an this is “branding”
  • Marketing should maintain the company’s relevance, and this means that it should innovate in the way of developing new businesses, markets and products

At the end it’s a question of observation, anticipation and execution to innovate and be unique…

Tribal Branding

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Ronald Inglehart’s research began (almost) 20 years ago. In certain way, the upshot of this attitude research was that as societies grew prosperous, they were able to focus on “post-material” values.

The cultural value maps, that he and his team developed, show where each country is in terms of relation to authority and relative well-being. The interesting issue is that during the last years each country dramatically changed from one position to other.

It looks like people value agendas are changing. Plausibly, those values which are more associated with self-expression are becoming more important (it sounds logical if we accept that we are moving from a structural society to a network one – Zygmunt Bauman (2007): Liquid Times / Modus Vivendi).

If so, thinking about brand experience, it looks like we choose a brand (against others) because we are sharing values through our behaviours (people and company ones). Going deeper, it doesn’t matter the size of the company, each one has its value agenda and customers, employees and shareholders are people who should belong to the same tribe.