Smarter Strategy Triple-Play
I recently presented at the Summit on the Future of Measurement to demonstrate strategic ways marketing and communications professionals can approach the global economic downturn to achieve more with the same budget and/or effort.

A key takeaway was that understanding what drives results and the dynamics that underpin change in the landscape, leads to empowerment and better financial control. Here are my top three tips on how to achieve that:

1) Successful marketing relies on a license to operate and legitimacy, generated by virtue of invisible relationship assets, like trust and reputation (Zerfass, 2008). It is very hard to build a brand when reputation is soft – in fact, during crises many organizations reduce their advertising and promotion to avoid drawing attention to the crisis. When marketing and communications work in sync, they harness an amplifying synergy which achieves more. Many years of experience of conducting continuous tracking for both brand equity and earned media provides evidence for this effect.

2) The classic brand funnel is actually a leaky sieve – prospects no longer travel top to bottom and instead risk leak-out between every stage. Such a scenario presents a model of inefficiency as prospects ‘atomise’ and bounce around aimlessly between brands without commitment. The strategic antidote is reshaping KPIs to be position-centric, relative to each funnel stage. Measuring these by continuous survey tracking informs a clear read on audience Profile, Perception and Platforms – the essential new “three P’s” required to develop successful, agile communications strategy.

3) Knowing drivers unlocks a new guiding roadmap – showing how to best allocate effort right down to the message level. By blending various evaluation data and applying advanced statistics, we can uncover the messages and platforms that drive prospects down the funnel – all the way from awareness to taking action or making a purchase. In one client case, we uncovered four distinct brand attributes operating as catalysts at different funnel levels. When our client emphasized these in earned media, business results lifted. The approach has been proven as effective by focusing communications teams on messages that matter, so prospects take the desired action.

In these unstable times, marketing and communications professionals can move to adopting layered strategies which take advantage of proper evaluation metrics to successfully face-off unprecedented noise and uncertainty. By combining all three of the above methods into a single strategic play, they can create recession-ready ways to beat competitors.

My purpose here has been to show how to approach a better understanding of your communications landscape. This sits comfortably alongside the refinement of traditional brand concepts like the funnel in order to enable more efficient ways to achieve results. That improvement derives from bringing a structural advancement of brand thinking alongside analytics. Furthermore, taking account of the underlying result-drivers reveals new ways to reshape our thinking and better model the live scenario in play with successful strategy.

Michael Ziviani has over 25 years of experience in strategy, market research and evaluation. Prior to launching Precise Value, he created the Knowledge Discovery function at Microsoft Australia and helped the marketing team achieve market share gains from 15% to 85%.

This work by Michael Ziviani, Precise Value Australia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License



Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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