Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Pursuit of Marketing Excellence

The pursuit of marketing excellence is a journey of discovery, territory expeditions, and sharing experiences. Like all great adventures, it is the twists in the tale that capture our imagination and stick in our memory. We learn as much from the chase as we do from the conquest.

A marketing culture that champions excellence has evidence of robust processes and information exchanges; all done under the umbrella of an aspirational internal positioning of marketing pursuits. 

What evidence of excellence would exist?

- details on ROI (return on investment) and/or ROO (return on objectives) are identified upfront
- is insight driven when formulating approaches
- NPD (new product development) has the customer in mind
- openly shares strategy and campaign development
- documents execution and performance
- trials and tests, learns quickly
- is flexible about changing direction based on test data
- keeps pace with new media, distribution and technology impacts
- actively exchanges ideas and best practice across brands and markets
- keeps watch on the external environment
- invests in training and access to experts 
- recognises and rewards excellence 
- builds informal marketing networks that lead to collaborative solutions 

What can really ignite Marketing Excellence is positioning it right. After all the words marketing and excellence together are powerful. Like any impactful campaign the 'call to action' must cut though and be memorable. 

Reflecting the desired marketing qualities in messaging, events and programs reinforces what the pursuit of excellence is all about for marketers. It will bring them on the journey. Marketers can be a tough audience to engage because they know all the gimmicks. 

The principles that I work too for engaging a marketing audience are:

- celebrate all things marketing - that is give it the spotlight (obvious maybe, but often not done)
- surprise and delight (don't do the obvious eg. Show the viral campaign that everyone has seen)
- always have  a theme for marketing excellence (shake it up every year)
- create energy and fun (not funny, marketing is a serious pursuit, it important not too make fun of it)
- champion the marketers and their campaigns 
- bring an external voice and/or perspective
- create some challenges and competition
- create a way of sharing learning, approaches and success stories 
- start an internal word of mouth campaign to build awareness and interest
- peer to peer is powerful
- bring the 'rational', bring the 'emotive'
- marketers respect clever creativity and messaging

In the pursuit of marketing excellence realise that there is always a new way forward to explore and test. The destination may not always be clear, however the experience is always worth the journey.

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