Corporate – Each company operates within different bounds. These are determined by their size, their budget and their ability to make organizational change. Within these bounds marketers operate along the five factors described below.
Competitive – Each company in a category operates within a similar framework as described below. In an ideal world, marketers would have perfect information on how they act as well as how their competitors act. In reality, in many categories have reasonably good information through sources, such as, IRI or Nielsen. In many industries, competitive marketing information is hard to come by.
Customers/Consumers – Understanding and taking advantage of how customers make purchasing decisions can help marketers improve their marketing effectiveness. Groups of consumers act in similar ways leading to the need to segment them. Based on these segments, they make choices based on how they value the attributes of a product and the brand, in return for price paid for the product. Consumers build brand value through information. Information is received through many sources, such as, advertising, word-of-mouth and in the (distribution) channel often characterized with the purchase funnel, a McKinsey & Company concept. Lastly, consumers consume and make purchase decisions in certain ways.
Exogenous Factors – There are many factors outside of our immediate control that can impact the effectiveness of our marketing activities. These can include the weather, interest rates, government regulations and many others. Understanding the impact these factors can have on our consumers can help us to design programs that can take advantage of these factors or mitigate the risk of these factors if they take place in the middle of our marketing campaigns.
Factors driving marketing effectiveness
1.Marketing Strategy – Improving marketing effectiveness can be achieved by employing a superior marketing strategy. By positioning the product or brand correctly, the product/brand will be more successful in the market than competitors’ products/brands. Even with the best strategy, marketers must execute their programs properly to achieve extraordinary results.
2.Marketing Creative – Even without a change in strategy, better creative can improve results. Without a change in strategy, AFLAC was able to achieve stunning results with its introduction of the Duck (AFLAC) campaign. With the introduction of this new creative concept, the company growth rate soared from 12% prior to the campaign to 28% following it.
3.Marketing Execution – By improving how marketers go to market, they can achieve significantly greater results without changing their strategy or their creative execution. At the marketing mix level, marketers can improve their execution by making small changes in any or all of the 4-Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) (Marketing) without making changes to the strategic position or the creative execution marketers can improve their effectiveness and deliver increased revenue. At the program level marketers can improve their effectiveness by managing and executing each of their marketing campaigns better. It’s commonly known that consistency of a Marketing Creative strategy across various media (e.g. TV, Radio, Print and Online), not just within each individual media message, can amplify and enhance impact of the overall marketing campaign effort. Additional examples would be improving direct mail through a better call-to-action or editing web site content to improve its organic search results, marketers can improve their marketing effectiveness for each type of program. A growing area of interest within (Marketing Strategy) and Execution are the more recent interaction dynamics of traditional marketing (e.g. TV or Events) with online consumer activity (e.g. Social Media). (See references below, Brand Ecosystems) Not only direct product experience, but also any stimulus provided by traditional marketing, can become a catalyst for a consumer brand “groundswell” online as outlined in the book Groundswell.
4.Marketing Infrastructure (also known as Marketing Management) – Improving the business of marketing can lead to significant gains for the company. Management of agencies, budgeting, motivation and coordination of marketing activities can lead to improved competitiveness and improved results. The overall accountability for brand leadership and business results is often reflected in an organization under a title within a (Brand management) department.
5.Exogenous Factors – Generally out of the control of marketers, external or exogenous factors also influence how marketers can improve their results. Taking advantage of seasonality, interests or the regulatory environment can help marketers improve their marketing effectiveness.