A New Marketing Model for our Age
Marketing Needs to be Flexible
Today, you cannot pick a marketing strategy that is going to last five or 10 years. You need a marketing approach that is fluid and flexible. You need to pay attention to all the various new ways to engage your audience.
Your marketing model needs to be more like the season and game model used by American Football Teams.
When an American Football Team prepares they study both strategy, tactics, resources and their competition. They have overall goals and objectives for the season and they have specific plans for each of the competitors that they go up against.
In American football, a primary method of advancing your position during the game is to be able to move the ball down the field and to stop the other team from moving the ball down the field. For this post, I will focus only on the offence (each team’s approach to moving the ball down the field).
There are two primary methods. One is to hand the ball to a strong and swift player called a running back. This approach depends on creating a “hole” in the defense. The running back can take advantage of the opportunity to sprint through a pack of opponents and pick up as much ground as possible before the competition eventually swarms and stops the advance.
The other method is to throw the ball. This method depends on the accuracy of a receiver to run a pattern and to get “open” and the accuracy of a quarterback to throw the ball to the receiver so that he can catch it.
The running back (running the ball) approach gets a few yards at a time with great effort and can look messy and disorganized at times.
The throwing approach can look beautiful and can gain more yards with seemingly less effort but more skill is required because a great deal depends on timing and accuracy.
Before each game, a team has an over-arching vision of what needs to be accomplished to win, but adjustments are made continually throughout the game. In fact, after each play, the team re-groups to consider where another opportunity (or opportunities) may be so that they can advance the ball more effectively down the field. The strategy and tactics are fluid and dynamic. More often than not the team that can make the most meaningful “adjustments” wins the game.
This is how you need to think about your marketing in the competitive world we operate in today. As long as you’re in the game, you need to be looking for holes, or points of strategic leverage. You need to shift with the changes and take advantage of opportunities as fast as you can to advance your position until the competition figures it out and closes in on you … whether they close in after a few months or a few years.
Meanwhile … even as this is happening … you need to be looking for the next opportunity and point of leverage. Plotting a strategy becomes a continuous, liquid flow as new research, new platforms, new content delivery opportunities, and new content forms create opportunistic points of leverage. Just like an American Football Team, a successful strategy is multi-dimensional and a function of:
- Location: What is the point of strategic leverage?
- Time: How long will the opportunity (or niche) exist?
- Speed: How quickly can you take advantage of the opportunity? In addition, can you maintain a pace ahead of your competitors?
- Strength: What special talents do you need on your team to take advantage of the opportunities you discover?
In an ideal world, a your strategic team would be scanning the environment and reviewing these dimensions constantly. You need to have a way to find marketing opportunities and to develop a competitive advantage.
It’s a difficult time to be in business, a challenging time. The spoils will go to the swift and the nimble and the ones that allow time to study the competitive landscape. The winners will be swift to exploit the changing landscape.