Marketing strategies in the new economy

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

Marketing and advertising strategies have changed over the decades. There are always the fads from “inventing” a new formula for cleaner shirts to utilizing the greatest technology ever created (at least for this hour). I’ve seen the changes throughout my marketing career and others have written about it as well. Right now there have been three main strategies from the mid- 1960’s to the present day.

Ready. Aim. Fire. – 1960’s to late 1970’s
This is the era of research and analysis. Before you went after any market or invested any amount of dollars into advertising and marketing, you spent great amounts of time, money, and resources in exhaustive research and data analysis. If the numbers didn’t show enough of an ROI, companies simply didn’t invest in marketing to that segment. So, it took a long time for products/services to be marketed. During that time, that was fine since society and the market space didn’t change that much from year to year.

Ready. Fire. Aim. – 1980’s to mid-1990’s
During this time period great change began to happen. Technology was becoming more in reach of the average person. Wall Street created different ways of doing business (LBO’s and M&A’s) Marketers during this time, saw that the market space changed quicker than it has historically in the past. They no longer had the luxury of time to make sure there plans were fool-proof and perfect. This was an environment where you had to take in all of the information you can in a short period of time and take your best educated guess. Hit the market place before someone else beats you to the punch. Then step back, see what effect you have and then readjust.

Fire. Fire. Fire. – mid-1990’s to today
In today’s world marketers have even less time to research and analyze. Change happens almost daily. Markets shift in a matter of weeks. With new tools and venues for marketing and advertising being added almost weekly, you have to be as open to change in the way you market and advertise. The ones who believe they must “get it perfect” before we go to market will soon find out that what they once believed to be true is no longer because their audience has changed and the market landscape has shifted into something totally different that what it had been only 6 months ago. Today, you must develop your marketing strategy around the concept of continuously “firing” and adjusting on the fly. Because of today’s technology tools, you’ll learn more in 2 months of having your product out there than if you spent 6 months in testing and tweaking every word.

The main reason for this marketing strategy shift is because the consumer is now in charge. They can directly tell you and all of their pals what they really think. If they hate something you do, you’ll know it. If they love something you do, you’ll know that too. One of the worst things in todays world is to be ignored. That means you are irrelevant. You don’t matter. At least, if customers complain about you, they are actually helping, by letting you know how you can improve and wow them. They actually give you the answers.

You can’t wait until things are perfect. By the time you think they are, the market has already begun to change and you’re already behind. There’s a principle in the book “Sun Tzu, the art of war” – the idea is that you gather as much information in as little time as possible to make your first move. Then you go into action even though you don’t know everything yet. As you progress, you learn. As you learn, you adapt. As you adapt, you become victorious. This principle completely supports the “Fire. Fire. Fire.” idea of today.

Today’s successful businesses are ones who take action over inaction. It’s through action do you learn, adapt, and are always in the process of becoming what your customers want you to be.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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