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There's no such thing as agility without insight
30 October 2020 16:39pm
If there is ever a time for marketers to think about growth, it’s now. After an incredibly challenging nine months and despite what appears to be some equally challenging months ahead, this could well be marketing’s big moment – the moment when marketers fully take ownership of the growth agenda in their organisation.
Critically though, there is no time to waste. We’ve heard plenty of talk about businesses ‘pivoting’ and we clearly see evidence of customers shifting ever faster and more irreversibly towards DTC commerce.
The question is how we, as marketers, capitalise on this in a meaningful way before marketing budgets come under even more pressure - or are at risk altogether.
Which brings into question how agile your brand is. Agility is fundamental if you want to take advantage of fast, efficient and effective opportunities to drive growth.
No matter if you're a B2B or B2C business, there are two things you need to get moving.
Firstly, you need absolute clarity on your brand’s narrative, the story that communicates who it is, what it means to the consumer and why the consumer should care. This narrative, which is the organising principle for the brand’s marketing for all of its customer segments in all the channels in this always-on world, has to be right. If it isn’t crystal clear, the brand will get found out – it will forge the wrong partnerships, make the wrong pricing decisions, make mistakes with its packaging, and lack authenticity in its comms.
Secondly, you need insights – the most powerful, unique, accurate, brilliant insights you can possibly find.
It’s no secret that marketing will resonate more powerfully if it is developed from a truer and deeper understanding of people. How can a brand move fast to take advantage of growth opportunities, or be confidently spontaneous, if it doesn’t really know its audience and the role it plays in their lives?
But that’s not easy. Technology has changed the game entirely. Aside from the multitude of channels, formats and regulations modern marketers have to understand, we also now have to grapple with reduced attention spans, the expectations of instant gratification and the ability to compare our products with a multitude of others with a single click.
With so much change & complexity to navigate, and the pressure to move fast and deliver results, brands need to rapidly strengthen their position, shore up their narrative and adapt their comms plans to meet the changing needs and mindsets of their customers, as well as the financial results expected by their stakeholders.
So those are the challenges. And it’s what we’ve been looking at in detail at MSQ recently. Indeed, digging into the challenges for our clients and partners has even sparked a series of thought pieces that form the backbone of the latest issue of our quarterly magazine, Joined-up Thinking.
What I’ve found most interesting from the conversations I’ve had with our teams and with our clients from the past few months is that, although there are elements of these brand challenges that seem scary, there’s a lot that seem exciting, too. Because if you have strong foundations in place, then there’s an opportunity to grow, and grow fast.
And if you’re still searching for those foundations, then there are ways to fix it. You need to be bold, you need to be focused, and you need to have the right structures in place and specialists by your side. But it’s fixable.
Let this be a rallying call. You’ve survived this far through – yes – unprecedented times. Now’s the time to look forward. With a healthy dose of agility, powered by insight, it’s time to identify those green shoots and turn them into tall trees.
Read more about the opportunities for fast, efficient and effective drivers of growth in the latest issue of Joined-up Thinking magazine here.