I’ve been noticing a trend. There’s this thought in many companies that staying agile in their marketing affords them the flexibility to react to the market in which they do business. Unless the company in question serves an incredibly flighty market (of which I can think of… virtually none), this is the last thing they should do.
Simply put, this method is an enormous waste of money and time.
Advertising and marketing should almost always be proactive, rarely reactive. Companies should stay ahead of the curve and their competition. The best way to do this is to strategize.
At the end of every year a most remarkable strategy tool is made available in just about every bookstore and mall in America. It is called a calendar. Most companies can plan out advertising pushes based on a schedule. Whether it be a once-a-month magazine-style approach or a holiday special approach – the vast majority of businesses can and should plan ahead. This planning allows for campaign advertising, which is most effective across a broad spectrum of media and time. It also allows a creative team to do their very best work. Given time and a schedule, an agency can craft a concrete, persuasive message to present to the market. Time allows the agency to give their very best work, without the mixed messages and pressures of a last minute thought from the client. True, there are times when an opportunity comes along, a new product or service developed, or a curveball from a competitor which calls for a certain amount of flexibility, but those things are rare. A good account manager or marketing director should recognize this and set aside some of the marketing budget to handle this. But there’s no way to budget without a strategy. No one would dream of running a business without considering their budget – and a company’s marketing is (or at least should be) accounted for in the operating budget.
Considering both the company’s bottom line and best return on investment, a strong marketing strategy and targeted vision will always be the best choice.