Most Marketers seem to take pride in how fast their brains can work. They run from meeting to meeting, making snap decisions, pointing at people and saying, “make that happen.” I bet if they closed their glass door, put their feet on their desk, grabbed a pen and looked up at the ceiling, most people walking past their office would think they have either lost their mind or they are crafting their resignation letter. These Marketers have no time in their schedule to slow down and think strategically.
The best Marketers can change brain speeds. They can think slowly with strategy, going beneath the surface to understand the issues. The strategic Marketers see ‘what if’ questions before seeing solutions, mapping out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out in the future. They take time to reflect and plan before acting, moving in a focused efficient way. The best Marketing brains can change gears as they move to execution, thinking quickly and opening up their instincts. The instinct Marketers see answers before even knowing the right questions, using emotional instincts and gut feel impulses. They can’t explain why they like something. They just do. Any delays frustrate them, believing that doing something is better than nothing at all. This “make it happen” attitude gets things done, but if they go too fast, their great actions risk solving the wrong problem. The balance comes when the best Marketers know when to be strategic and when to use their instincts.
Slow your brain down when thinking about strategy.
When you map out your strategy, start by thinking about the long-term perspective of where the brand can go, with a vision that should scare you a little but excite you a lot. You have to question everything in the way of achieving your vision, looking at drivers, inhibitors, risks and opportunities. Take the time to observe, assess, question and consider every element that can impact your business. Constantly analyze and assess the potential changes happening with consumers, competitors, technologies, media and distribution channels that could impact the health and wealth of your brand. Only then, can you get to the strategies, which are really just the answers to the questions that your situational analysis and key issues have raised. Write a very focused strategy, making very tight choices for the target market, brand positioning and main messages.
To slow your brain down, it may require an escape from the day-to-day rigors of the job. Book a few strategic meetings with yourself to change brain speeds during the day. Open up your brain as the best strategic thoughts may come driving home after work, going to the gym, watching movies or strolling around the block with your kids. Rarely will your best strategic thoughts come to you, while sitting at your desk, in front of your computer, with PowerPoint open to slide one.
Speed your brain up when it comes to execution.
When you move to the execution stages of Marketing, you have to reach deep for your gut, as it is easy to lose your instincts due to the pressures of the job. Allow the creative process to unfold, as you always hold the power of decision. I have seen too many Marketers treat a creative meeting like a press conference with rapid-fire strategic questions and made up concerns. They completely over-think everything and destroy the creative spirit.
Be in the moment. Relax, smile, have fun, stay positive. When your agency shows you work, start by asking, “Do I love it?” If you do not love the work, how do you expect your consumer to love it? Do not cast every possible doubt and concern that can destroy creativity. If you get too tense, or too serious, it can impact the team negatively. Focus on your first impressions. Try to get in the shoes of your consumer, and see the execution as they would. As the client, you always have the option to reject an idea. So why not let the idea breathe a little and see if it can get even better. You can always kill it if it doesn’t. Do not let your strategic brain get in your way of seeing the power of the creativity. Only after fully vetting the work with your instincts should you then think about it strategically to see if it fits your brand. Think of execution like an amazing gift, that you never thought to buy yourself.
Go slow with strategy and fast with execution
To read more about brand strategy, here’s our workshop presentation that we run:
Beloved Brands: Who are we?
At Beloved Brands, we promise that we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders smarter. We can help you come up with your brand’s Brand Positioning, Big Idea and Brand Concept. We also can help create Brand Plans that everyone in your organization can follow and helps to focus your Marketing Execution. We provide a new way to look at Brand Management, that uses a provocative approach to align your brand to the sound fundamentals of brand management. We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.
Beloved Brands Training program
At Beloved Brands, we promise to make your team of BRAND LEADERS smarter, so they produce smarter work that drives stronger brand results.
- How to think strategically: Strategic thinkers see “what if” questions before seeing solutions, mapping out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out.
- Write smarter Brand Plans: A good Brand Plan provides a road map for everyone in the organization to follow: sales, R&D, agencies, senior leaders, even the Brand Leader who writes the plan.
- Create winning Brand Positioning Statements: The brand positioning statement sets up the brand’s promise to the consumer, impacting both external communication (advertising, PR or in-store) as well as internally with employees who deliver that promise.
- Write smarter Creative Briefs: The brief helps focus the strategy so that all agencies can take key elements of the brand plan positioning to and express the brand promise through communication.
- Be smarter at Brand Analytics: Before you dive into strategy, you have to dive into the brand’s performance metrics and look at every part of the business—category, consumers, competitors, channels and brand.
- Get better Marketing Execution: Brand Leaders rely on agencies to execute. They need to know how to judge the work effectively to ensure they are making the best decisions on how to tell the story of the brand and express the brand’s promise.
- How to build Media Plans: Workshop for brand leaders to help them make strategic decisions on media. We look at media as an investment, media as a strategy and the various media options—both traditional and on-line.
- Winning the Purchase Moment: Brand Leaders need to know how to move consumers on the path to purchase, by gaining entry into their consumers mind, help them test and decide and then experience so they buy again and become a brand fan.
We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.
To contact us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 416-885-3911.You can also find us on Twitter @belovedbrands.