At this month’s CMA luncheon, Chris Kneeland CEO of Cult Collective challenged a packed house of Calgary’s marketing professionals on exactly this question.
Kneeland says Calgary’s marketers have to be willing to ask the tough questions and understand today’s consumers, customer and markets. Recent surveys show that there are more businesses going out of business than there are start-ups. Why? Consumers have changed. They want things faster, cheaper and they want quality for their money. In the past when a business faltered, people poured money into advertising, coupons and discount deals. As Kneeland pointed out the Calgary marketing community should be looking at “marketing vs. markdowns.” If people didn’t buy your product or service at regular price, what makes you think they are going to buy it if you tell just more people, slash the price or offer coupons? Kneeland called these traditional responses, “death by discount”. His advice:
Put advertising on a “dimmer switch,”
branch out and create something that people want to be a part of.
Advocacy vs. Advertising
It’s time to ask the hard questions. If 3% of the people responded to your campaign, what happen to the 97% that didn’t? Work on customer loyalty and retention. Don’t sink all your money into advertising. Instead ask how little you can afford to spend on advertising and what other amazing things could you do with the budget you saved?
Look at some of the top brands. How much do they advertise? What do they rely on?
The 5P’s of Marketing
No this isn’t a typo, the 4P’s of marketing should be five. The addition is people, says Kneeland. Ask why do people need my product or service? What makes me so special?
Today, social media is the power tool for spreading the word. Let your employees and your customers be your advocate. Let them tell others why people buy your product or service?
Use the Media Mix Model
The “media mix model” is about knowing the channels, know the measurements, don’t rely on a single method. What method attracts which demographic? For this you must know your clients. What media are they using? Make sure you know what they are going to say and be ready to respond.
Retention = Success for the long term
Focus on customer retention, brand loyalty, being responsible to your customer along with diligent and honest analytics. Embrace change, achieve a balance and develop a cult.
Success without advertising
Kneeland wrapped up the Calgary marketing luncheon with this food for thought (no pun intended). Inspiration and understanding can be gained by looking at the best and most successful brands in the world and asking what are they doing? How are they doing it without spending their money on advertising?
Embrace change. Develop multi-channel marketing solutions. Kneeland’s signature statement, “Any business can get customers. Great brands have cult followers.”
Comments and Thoughts….
How much do you spend on advertising these days?
Do you agree that advertising is about discounting?
Where do you think companies should be focusing their promotional budget?
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