Marketing Strategy 2.0: Leveraging emerging technology to create a marketing “fulcrum effect” for emerging growth to medium-sized companies.
Part I – January 2013
The Precision Point
Many companies presently utilize a trial-and-error methodology in understanding what is behind the 20 percent of resources driving 80 percent of marketing and growth results.
- There has traditionally existed a cyclical puzzle in understanding the ROI of marketing and growth campaigns. Companies have to spend money to better understand how consumers are utilizing media. But without measuring performance in each media channel, they don’t know what they don’t know.
- Until recently, small and medium-sized companies have been challenged for a variety of reasons to effectively access the tools and techniques that provide precision insight into deeply held consumer values and attitudes.
- Today, using new technologies, a “marketing fulcrum effect” can be created with highly surgical and leveraged investments. The result is a robust branding strategy: audience qualities proven to be intrinsic to the brand and predictive of responses are made one with the branding message.
- In the midst of an explosion of data generation in the past few years, NovaLex has discovered a technology-based solution founded on the concept that less is more. This precision approach leaves the traditional “big data” philosophies behind to embrace an economical “small data” strategy with pinpoint accuracy resulting in both top- and bottom-line proven results.
The Concept: Precision Consulting
There is a generally accepted and globally applied business concept referred to as the Pareto Principle. This axiom, better known as the Law of the Vital Few and the 80/20 Rule, offers the premise that 80 percent of one’s results comes from only 20 percent of one’s efforts. Since its introduction in the early 1900s, this principle has been tested and proven across multiple business/economic, systems optimization, risk mitigation, quality control, healthcare and justice system scenarios.
Consider for a moment the perspective of marketing pioneer John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” For decades, businesses have pondered the question of how to effectively and efficiently invest in marketing and growth campaigns. However, today, there exists the opportunity to identify and leverage the 20 percent that is the cause to the effect. Thus, the concept of Precision Consulting was introduced by NovaLex Consulting to help emerging growth and medium-sized companies proactively understand which 20 percent of their marketing and growth strategies would be most effective going forward.
“The explosion of data created by information technology has been with us for several decades. However, the application of data mining across disparate databases to create extraordinary consumer marketing insights is in its infancy.”
Embracing this “less is more” marketing and media investment philosophy, a select few companies have advanced beyond media campaign templates to realize this economical opportunity and deploy emerging, technology-based tools and techniques. In many cases, the tools and techniques that support the identification of consumer insights have been available only to those with a Fortune 500 budget. Technology is changing that dynamic.
The core support at the back end of a successfully executed fractional approach is the technology and, ultimately, the data. There is no question that the explosion of data created by information technology has been available for several decades. However, the application of data mining across disparate databases to create extraordinary consumer marketing insights is in its infancy. It is this application that allows NovaLex to create a new marketing strategy, combining micro-targeting (i.e., granular market segmentation) with precision marketing campaigns to generate a disproportionate return on marketing dollars invested.
The Landscape: Existing Business Challenges
“Everyday, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years.” This quantification by IBM of the exponential growth of data may give some marketers a favorable outlook on the future of business intelligence. However, while technology and the attendant explosion of data have enabled endless product proliferation and encouraged audience fragmentation, measurement and analysis tools have lagged behind. The reality is that without an evolutionary shift in methods to rationalize large amounts of information, the accuracy of decision making will improve only marginally. The continued proliferation of data could actually be an impediment to further productivity gains. Every marketplace is struggling with how to best utilize the massive amounts of available data.
For marketers, unduplicated media reach has become the holy grail of advertising efficiency. Consider for a moment the concepts of first and only. These obvious differentiators have become nearly exhausted in the decades since the 1950s when the world witnessed giant leaps in innovation. Going from flour and eggs to an in-the-box, on-the-shelf cake mix to ready-made was much more disruptive than advancing from chocolate to triple chocolate fudge. As finding the uniqueness of “unique” selling propositions continues to challenge businesses, precision in reaching a target audience is critical. At the very least, it is important to understand where messaging and branding overlaps exist in the market and, thus, where there is opportunity to realize spending efficiencies.
In an attempt to force the distinction of various brands, agencies continue to seek ways to deliver the message. The tactics are familiar: celebrity endorsements, sweepstakes, “new and improved” product features, sex appeal, new technology, shock value … and the list goes on. Super Bowl XLVI (2012) gave spectators a condensed but powerful perspective on what agencies consider to be best-of-breed message distinction. A Wall Street Journal blogger put it this way: “The logic behind this strategy is that a punch line or pratfall will cut through the clutter … But like a team that relies strictly on offense, something fell apart. These slapstick ads became all about the laugh, not the relevance. The jokes became dumber and dumber, and more and more random. People began to remember the punch line but were clueless about for whom and why it was delivered. The result: an expensive genre of forgotten one-liners that have nothing to do with anything.” The only message really coming through is the disconnect between the marketing techniques du jour and the attempt to create a deep, meaningful consumer engagement.
Companies are also up against significant media noise where breaking through the “spray and pray” mass marketing strategy of others means competing with more than 2,000 messages daily. The traditional approach for advertisers and marketers is to invest (often heavily) before they can fully understand the relationships between different media outlets and consumer response. Thus, media optimization becomes a brute force and expensive proposition. Companies often begin in the right place to attain top-of-mind awareness, looking to vendors like Experian Simmons and other consumer market research houses for their core data support. However, it is just beyond this decision of the who that the what, when, where and how can go in a very ineffective direction. Services are piled on, the media mix is continually adjusted and budgets are expanded to support the myth that more is more. And, while some do make attempts to realign their media mixes when spending is off target, these decisions are often made based on cost, not on the precise placement of select media within an integrated, strategic marketing plan.
The Opportunity: A Precise Solution
For centuries, the collection and interpretation of critical data have driven the advancement of societies. Over the past 50 years, technology companies have worked to perfect the concept of a database and the ability to not only collect but also critically analyze data. Until recently, consumer research and business information firms have appealed to the market based strictly on the volume of their data (i.e., D&B provides information on more than 200 million companies worldwide). With continued advancements in technology, the landscape is rapidly changing.
New software applications are giving information companies capabilities that significantly stretch their understanding of select consumer groups. Today, a few far-sighted analysts have been able to move well beyond traditional research methods that produce only limited results and force decision makers to work from hypotheses. Innovations in the ability to dimensionalize audiences by exact size, demographics, attitudes and precise media consumption are supporting the development of uncommonly accurate marketing plans. By combining a correctly defined audience with profound insights into consumer attitudes and media consumption, companies are discovering and embracing the marketing fulcrum effect. Highly surgical and leveraged investments foster robust branding strategies where audience qualities prove to be intrinsic to the brand and predictive of responses to the branding message. The bottom line is a disproportionate response to marketing investments.
The NovaLex Solution: Rationale & Benefits
In partnership with a technology company using a proprietary, patent-pending database tool, NovaLex enhances the ability of client companies to make fact-based, data-driven decisions rather than educated guesses. The solution is evolutionary in its open architecture and integration capabilities across multiple data sources. Its accurate upfront analysis produces a storyline that speaks directly to what high-potential consumers are waiting to hear.
The precision of the NovaLex solution … the marketing fulcrum effect … elevates companies from victims of the 80/20 Rule to champions of a marketing strategy where virtually 100 percent of resources are focused on only the data that will produce a deep, meaningful consumer engagement and, ultimately, top- and bottom-line impact. In many cases, NovaLex clients find themselves reducing the sizes of their marketing budgets rather than squeezing resources out of other initiatives to do “more.”
NovaLex, Latin for “new plan,” is a marketing and strategy consultancy which supports emerging growth and mid-sized organizations seeking to ignite or accelerate growth. An enterprise of self-described “marketing architects,” NovaLex combines art and science – innovation and new targeting technology, to yield extraordinarily cost-efficient results.
The proven methodology, “Precision Consulting,” combines micro-targeting with deep consumer insights to generate a disproportionate return on each marketing dollar invested. NovaLex provides temporary CMO-level expertise which, along with the technology, yields a performance-based growth “blueprint” to achieve guaranteed results. For more information, go to www.novalexconsulting.com or to contact us, use firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 214-395-5153.