Let’s say you work out at the gym regularly. Every time you go, you do more reps – improving your stamina, but still not helping you reach the next tier because you aren’t increasing the weight. This is a healthy workout, but won’t do much to help you reach that next level of growth. The same is true when it comes to your marketing.
The old adage goes, doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity, and similarly, your same old marketing routines won’t do much to help you grow your business with new results. Keeping the same strategies may bring you to a stable, comfortable place, but it won’t help you improve.
Realistically, isn’t that the point of marketing – to grow and increase your business?
Having a comprehensive marketing campaign is essential. However, changing up your approach – even just a little bit – will allow you to find success in channels and approaches you’ve never tried before.
History of Marketing Adaptation
Throughout modern history, advertising and marketing strategies have evolved (albeit at a slower pace than the breakneck rate of turnover we see today). In the 20th century alone, traditional advertising went from newspapers and billboards to radio advertisements, television commercials, and online ads. As technology rapidly changes, digital advertising continues to thrive – with mobile ads, geotargeting, sponsored content, and more. All of these offer distinctive advantages for different business models and industries, but they share a thread of speedy adaptability.
In business, the consequences of stagnancy can be dire. One particularly salient reminder of this is the newspaper industry. Existing as the unique combination of advertising platform and standalone product, newspapers faced the digital era with a need to adapt. Some did quite successfully, like the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, or the Los Angeles Times. Papers small and large experimented with paywalls, combined print and digital advertising packages, banner advertisements, pop ups, and other approaches – some more successfully than others. As customer reading preferences changed, some physical papers lagged in reaching their readership.
The Pew Research Center gives us some of the hard facts and figures of the news industry. Overall, the industry has managed to adapt to a significant degree, with papers across the country reporting that roughly 25 percent of advertising revenue comes through digital channels. Other numbers are more telling of the failures to adapt in time. Newspaper revenues have consistently declined year after year, with 2015 marking the steepest decline – down 7.8 percent – since the Great Recession. Circulation numbers Down 7 percent for weekdays and 4 percent on Sunday subscriptions in 2015 as well. Workforce? Down 39 percent – roughly 20,000 jobs – during the past two decades.
While the powerhouse publishers – your Tribunes and Times – were able to bridge the gap of the digital frontier, not all were as lucky. In fact, from 2004 to 2014, 126 newspapers closed their doors completely. Your business may be at risk, too, if you don’t open yourself to change and dipping a toe into the new strategies and approaches of marketing.
Innovation is the key to growth. You should always be open to trying new digital marketing strategies – you just might appeal to a new demographic, discover a new channel, or find a different approach to branding.
If you currently engage in a small marketing package – let’s say SEO on your website and a few blog posts – you’ve probably seen some benefits. SEO research and implementation help increase your site’s overall visibility, typically increasing your rankings on search engines and making your business more accessible. Your blogs, meanwhile, offer a route for you to emphasize some of your SEO phrases and write engaging, lead-generating copy. But could you be doing more?
Resoundingly, the answer is yes. Technology, consumer interests, data, information trends – they all change by the month, day, or even the hour in some cases. As these changes occur, it’s important to change your strategy to keep up.
Are you engaging in social media marketing? If so, how actively? What about email campaigns or pay-per-click advertising? For that matter, when’s the last time you updated the look of your website? These are questions you should be asking yourself as you evaluate your annual marketing approach. Each of these areas represents new channels and new opportunities to succeed.
Think back through the years. With every medium, there have been notable ad campaigns that took companies from small entities to household names. AdAge has a great list of its top 15 from the 21st century. Take, for example, one from the list that anyone who’s watched TV in the last ten years has seen: the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World campaign.
I Don’t Always Do Something Different, But When I Do…
Dos Equis has been available in American stores and bars since the 1980s, but before this 2006 ad campaign landed such a home run for the brand, it was practically unknown. Ad agency EuroRSCG was put to task with creating a new television ad for Dos Equis and devised this clever campaign which shot the beer into the mind of audiences.
Since the start of The Most Interesting Man commercials, the Dos Equis name has skyrocketed, turning it into one of the most rapidly growing brands across the globe. USA Today, reporting on the retirement of the original actor playing the part, Jonathan Goldsmith, notes that Dos Equis sales increased 34.8 percent from 2007 to 2015. That’s an incredible growth rate, all from trying something a little bit out of the ordinary.
Jeff Kling, former chief creative officer of EuroRSCG, said that he remembered speaking with an executive at Heineken – Dos Equis parent company – in the days before the ad went live. As AdAge reports, the exec was noticeably nervous. Kling encouraged the executive to try something different and new – as history shows, it paid off handsomely.
Not every campaign will be “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” or “Got milk?”. but you’ll never get somewhere new or grow your business by just sticking to the same old methods. Trying something new gives you a chance to experiment, adapt to changing markets, update your approach, and take advantage of new technologies. And yes – perhaps even land that next viral marketing sensation.
When it comes to your marketing, don’t keep with the same strategy year after year. Instead, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”