Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Age Of Stratactical Marketing - Recognizing The Impact Of Convergence, Compression, Choice

How To Succeed In Today's Dynamic Business Environment

My friend, Sergio Zyman, former CMO of The Coca-Cola Company, defines marketing in his book, The End Of Marketing As We Know It, as "selling more stuff to more people more often to make more money." Sounds a lot like accountability to me. Radical concept.

Marketing should "sell stuff". To "sell more stuff", however, marketers must understand the new landscape and adapt accordingly. There is little doubt that the landscape has changed and is changing at an incredible pace. This business environment requires a new approach to the marketing planning process - stratactical marketing - where strategy and tactics are developed in concert rather than in a linear approach as has been he case historically. The phenomena that demands a stratactical approach is defined by three C's - convergence, compression, and choice.

Convergence refers to the marketing vortex of media - what is described today as a multi-platform, integrated strategy of delivering content and marketing messages to consumers. Fox, for example, announced "Generation Fox", an initiative, targeted at the 12-24 year old demographic utilizing television, the Internet, and mobile - the latter deploying recently acquired MySpace. Marketing implication? A stratactical approach would be to make marketing and media plans as flexible as possible to allow "substitutions" on-the-fly as required and not have to wait until the next planning or budget cycle. Rigidity, here, is the enemy of success.

Compression refers to the compression of time in today's society creating an A.D.D. environment both on the business and personal sides of daily life. Time is today's most precious commodity and most of us today suffer from time poverty. To adapt, people have learned to multi-task with the assistance of technology which allows them to communicate and consume content at their discretion whenever they want and wherever they want. Marketing implication? A stratactical approach is understanding that competitive advantage lies in reducing the gaps between planning, executing, feedback, and tweaking "on-the-fly".

Choice refers to the hyper-options available to consumers and the resulting clutter of marketing messages to advise them of these choices. The sum total of choice and clutter is noise. Marketing implication?. Preference is perishable. A stratactical approach is understanding that the antidote for hyper-choice is brand preference based on the relentless mission of finding new reasons and ways for consumers to buy your brand.

In summary, it would be wise for marketers in this Darwinian business landscape to embrace a stratactical marketing philosophy because marketing, today, is a 24/7 contact sport.