Monday, December 19, 2016

Marketing Today: What Works?

Over spring rolls and Pho at a neighborhood Vietnamese mom-and-pop, a new client asked a deceptively simple two-word question about marketing today. She asked,

“What works?”

Actually, this may be the question for all modern marketers—especially with ever-expanding social media options and data-driven marketing’s ascendancy.

We chatted for an hour discussing numerous what-ifs based on her blue chip client-side leadership and my mix of big agency and client-side work. Among our shared successes we proposed dozens of sure things. Brilliant branding. Smart strategies, tactics and tools. Audience insights and segmentation. Creativity and content. We discussed brand culture and the roles of talent, innovation and risk-taking. Plus data, predictive analytics and marketing automation. Sophisticated marketers and aspiring ones. Big and tightly-focused budgets.

Our discussion’s wealth illuminated too many factors to be foundational thinking. So I set about to capsulize a modern set of core marketing beliefs. Beliefs that would offer informed direction no matter what a brand’s business challenges.

Funny how fundamentals become automatic—like an athlete’s muscle memory. Until jogged, we can forget foundational thinking is something our clients crave from their agency partners.

Between assignments, I penned, tossed out, fretted with clients and reimagined a core of seven modern marketing beliefs. Adding rigor, I tested them against current process and results—and went back to the well to ensure some measure of future-proofing—until comfortable they reliably drive client success.

Look for our next postings as I share these beliefs. Meanwhile, challenge yourself, your marketing team, your creatives and your social media and brand agency partners.

Ask, “What works.” Then ask, “When and why?”

Paul Hydzik
Brand Catalyst

©2016 Paul J. Hydzik  All rights reserved

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