Monday, February 5, 2007

Marketing Today - Chess, Not Checkers

Same Game Board, Different Game

By David Miranda

The marketing game used to played like checkers - a high stakes game of checkers. In checkers, the rules of the game are simple and easy to understand. You make a move. Your competition counters. Good moves capture business. Bad moves lose business. Whoever has the most business at the end of the day (or fiscal period), wins. This, simply put, is how the game of marketing was played. Make the right moves and to the victor belongs the spoils.

In the traditional marketing model - the checkers model - the game was simple and easy to understand. If marketers "moved" to reach consumers, they could rely on mass marketing such as television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, for example, to market new products and services, brands, etc. In doing so, they could be confident that their campaign would reach the desired audience. Of course, competitors would counter with their own moves.

Today, marketing, like checkers, is played on the same game board, except the game has changed. The game is chess, three-dimensional chess. Now there are more and newer playing pieces each with more complexity than the simple checker - search, social networking, mobile, user-generated content, e-mail, digital display, etc. The dynamics and unique characteristics of the pieces require a more strategic approach that dictates a winning game plan. Why? The "moves" to reach customers via traditional media no longer deliver as they once did.

It is imperative, today, that marketers understand the new game including all the new "pieces" that are being introduced to the game. Understanding today's marketing chess game will allow a marketer to keep the competition "in check" to ultimately win in the marketplace.

It's your move!