Skipping on strategy is the fastest route to failure

Failure is necessary for improvement and growth. However, with the current state of the economy, the margin for error is narrowing. Especially in marketing.

Sun Tzu, a legendary Chinese military general and philosopher famously wrote “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.”

So how can brands and leaders in marketing improve their chances of success, and as a direct impact be more efficient with their budgets? Let’s start by looking at why marketing is fundamental to business success.

Marketing emerged in the early 20th century when the industrial revolution in the late 19th century led to a shift in the economy from a primarily agrarian and craft-based economy to one focused on manufacturing and mass production. This resulted in an oversupply of goods and services, which in turn created a need for businesses to find ways to differentiate their products and persuade consumers to buy them. As a result, marketing began to emerge in the form of advertising, branding, and market research.

The military also played a significant role in the development of marketing and this can be seen in the language we use today. Common terms such as tactics, target and mission originated from military strategy. Additionally, the military’s use of psychological operations or “psyops” as a tool of influence has long been adopted by the marketing industry.

The psychology of marketing

The goal of psyops is to create a desired psychological and emotional state in the target audience, which can then be used to influence their decisions and actions in order to create a positive association with a brand, product, or service.

For example, McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign launched in 2003, helping to re-position McDonald’s as a fun, upbeat brand (whilst also increasing sales), diverting the conversation away from negative narratives such as factory farming and junk food.

It’s important to note that psyops can be used in unethical ways. Look no further than UK politics or the Logan Paul, CryptoZoo saga. However, when practised with positive intentions, this often leads to long-term business growth through increased brand awareness, sales, customer lifetime value and crucially, cost savings.

What are the ingredients of a powerful marketing strategy?

  • A deep understanding of the target market, including their needs, wants, and pain points, is essential to creating a marketing plan that resonates with them.
  • A clear and compelling value proposition that differentiates the brand from its competitors is critical for standing out in the market.
  • A well-defined brand identity, including a unique name, logo, and brand personality, helps to create a strong and recognizable brand that is easy for consumers to remember and identify.
  • Using innovative tactics and channels to reach the target audience can help a brand stand out in a crowded market.
  • Consistency in messaging, design and communication across all channels helps to create a strong and recognizable brand.
  • Setting measurable goals and tracking progress helps to ensure that the strategy is on track and adjustments can be made as needed.
  • Continual optimization of the strategy based on data and feedback allows for the brand to adapt to the changes in the market, consumer behaviour and technology.

Perhaps most important is how these elements are forged together to provide a clear direction for the brand to communicate and engage with its audience(s) over a long time and across multiple campaigns, channels and touchpoints.

Consider a strategy as your recipe. Without a recipe, you will fail many times before producing the required results. Zou cant bake a cake without a recipe. If you do, the outcome will be nothing more than a hot mess, time and again, before eventually achieving the perfect combination of taste and texture in the form of your favourite chocolate chip banana bread ????.

Marketing to the next generation

At GosuRabbit we specialise in new media and gaming to help brands build meaningful connections with younger audiences. There are many reasons this is a winning formula, with pinpoint targeting, AI optimisation, detailed reporting and earned media (shares, reposts etc.) being key considerations when looking at cost and efficiency.

We understand that millennials and Gen Z consume media in a more digital and on-demand way than older generations. They are more likely to watch Netflix than traditional TV. They will scroll through TikTok rather than flick through the newspaper. Listen to a podcast on Spotify rather than tune into a radio station. They also tend to consume media in shorter, snackable segments on a mobile phone. There are exceptions to the ‘rules’ with Twitch being a particularly effective channel for holding attention for long periods.

Ultimately gaming is an opportunity to hang out with friends, express creativity and have fun, and if a brand can add value to these experiences then they will be embraced by the new generations and thus setting themselves up for a profitable future. This brings us back to the strategy. Know your audience, the culture and what makes your business unique, to find the most effective ideas. Coke learnt this the hard way with the Real Magic campaign – spending millions on creative and production without truly understanding the community (check out the comments section).

A very expensive mistake indeed.

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