The financial restraints of brands continue to loosen, yet the creativity of marketing remains tight. Brands don’t have an issue spending money – they have issues knowing where to spend it. It is the agency’s/consultant’s job to help identify the possible spending places that give the brand the most likely chance for success.
Flash forward five years from now, and as long as the financial landscape of our country remains intact, marketing will be twisted, broken and reshaped into a new form. No more social media. No more public relations. No more guess advertising. This new communications world will revolve around a term I have coined as proactive marketing.
With proactive marketing, when brands have money to spend, there are no more questions about where to spend it. But there is homework that has to be accomplished before proactive slaps reactive across the face.
Brands must leverage data more. Data is a critical piece to proactive marketing. Whenever I ask a franchise brand who their target franchisee is and they say someone who is passionate, entrepreneurial, community-driven and financially qualified, I think, “Great, we are targeting everyone.” With proactive marketing, you cannot target everyone. You must get specific about your target. Whether that person is a consumer or a prospective investor, you need to know them – know what they like, their age and their life situation. If you have those details, you can start being proactive.
Facebook, for one, has proactively collected all the data in the world on us as human beings. They know what we like. They know our age. They know where we live. And, they know our buying behavior. They not only know if we have children, they know when we had them. They know when we got married. They even know when we die.
All that data is great if you know what to do with it.
Proactively marketing the stories that are meaningful to people can win the game. It can help sell a franchise. It can help sell a burger.
The challenge is that many marketers don’t get this. They can’t see through the clouds of information, but we have always done it this way. Brands that are willing to be flexible have the best shot to adapt their strategies. And now, when on demand marketing occurs, it truly is lead generation – not awareness anymore, but actual, qualified lead generation.
But, I warn you. This will not solve all issues. If your product sucks, proactive marketing won’t work. If your operations are shoddy, it won’t work. If your franchisees don’t validate, give it up.
Marketing is only as good as what is being marketed. If that story is wonderful, then proactive marketing will allow the strongest to get stronger and the weakest to get weaker.