Every company is chasing growth. But growth is getting harder. There is an increasing divide between the top companies capturing a majority of growth and profitability in their category, and those toeing the average line where any improvement is merely incremental.
In marketing and communications we see the same. The growth and availability of audience data and media technology is leading to the unthinking pursuit of the same strategies and tactics regardless of the company or industry. Everyone is chasing the same people, with the same messages in the same channels. They’re all looking at the same data, in the same way, reaching the same conclusions and increasingly focusing budgets on extracting efficiency at the bottom of the funnel.
This approach is pushing brands toward “average” at a time when consumers are increasingly seeking differentiation. They choose what they want to watch, read, play or listen to, and where and when it suits them. The implication for brands is that there are fewer mass media platforms on which to stand and shout to get everyone’s attention. And given the availability of data, many have pursued more targeted strategies at the expense of bolder, differentiated strategies that build long-term value for brands and businesses.
In doing this, they are forgetting two of the fundamentals of marketing:
- Brands help companies grow. Recent research from the NBER shows that more than a third of the value of high-growth companies comes from brand value—almost as much as they get from their IP.
- Brand differentiation is key to predicting future brand growth.
Navigating a ‘de-averaging’ world
Changes in media consumption and purchase behavior are creating exciting opportunities for targeting and personalization that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. Marketers can take advantage of these new capabilities to experiment and innovate in their approach to building brands without losing the ability to harvest demand in the short-term. By paying attention to a broader range of data signals, across the whole marketing landscape, we can harness the new capabilities afforded to us by data and technology and combine this with what we have always known about brands.
Download Essence’s new paper “It’s a Bad Time to Be Average” to learn how to “de-average” your marketing strategy by:
- Building models to make strategic choices more tangible
- Using tools and technology to plan away from the average
- Separating signal from noise when prioritizing audiences
- Applying data to make every interaction relevant (not necessarily personalized)