When marketing strategy meets design (A Little Bird Presents)

Key takeaways:

  • A siloed marketing strategy is no longer viable. To stay competitive, agencies need to embrace a place where marketing “strategy meets design.”
  • Even those who are the best in the world at a skill can “choke” for seemingly no reason. Yet, choking is a cognitive phenomenon and we can employ strategies to avoid it.
  • If your industry has not been disrupted yet, all you need to do is wait. But disruption is not a death sentence for existing players, and those companies that are prepared will be more likely to thrive.

Why we choke under pressure – and how to avoid it

In the world of professional sports, choking under pressure is as common as heroics. For every spectacular catch, there is a throw that the quarterback wishes he never made (Brett Favre, we’re looking at you). In these instances, people who are undeniably the best in the world at a sport or task prove how talented people can screw up in a spectacular fashion. Even those who dedicate themselves to performing at the top of their game can suddenly behave as if they never had a plan at all.

In this TedTalk, cognitive scientist and Barnard College president Sian Leah Beilock discusses the phenomenon of “choking” from the soccer field to the boardroom. During her talk she explains why some activities are better left to our unconscious mind. She also provides tips on how we can prepare ourselves to perform under pressure.

The sweet spot is where strategy meets design

Everyone knows that marketing has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, following the general trajectory of society and the new ways we interact with one another. Digital has quickly risen to become a dominant strategy and, due to its pace, companies have raced to stay effective. As a result, agencies and individuals have often divided themselves, hyper-focusing on digital subsets (social, ads, email for example).

But specialization is on the decline. As we have begun to understand digital’s role in the modern marketplace’s ecosystem, it is more evident that integration is the name of the game. Technology alone is not the answer – and neither is creative, or social. It is how companies design a strategy that weaves these elements together that is predictive of success. Here, Ben Davis of Econsultancy explains why marketers should seek this place “where strategy meets design.”

Changing consumer behavior is the key to unlocking billion-dollar businesses

For many start-ups, the goal of redefining and disrupting an industry is a key part of their mission. Uber, AirBnB, Napster – these ideas were revolutionary because they changed the ways age-old industries functioned, seemingly overnight. They challenged the status quo – and, without a doubt, they won.

In TechCrunch, Jonathan Golden asserts that the success of these concepts was rooted in their ability to change consumer behavior. He reminds us of consumer skepticism in the early days of the internet related to putting banking and credit card information online – and we all know how that story ended. Yet, he points out that changing behavior is only the beginning to disruptive success. He points out that “revolutionary products succeed when they deliver demonstrable value to their users. The fact that a product creates a behavior shift is clearly not enough. It must create enormous value to overcome the initial skepticism.” Read on to learn more.

We’re not competing against competitors; we’re competing against our past

The year is coming to a close, and in planning for next, many marketing teams are reevaluating where they stand in the marketplace related to the competition. As agencies continue to determine what they need to do to gain market share, many are coming to similar conclusions. According to the Salesforce State of Marketing report that was released earlier this month, it seems that internal dynamics have taken centerstage as an area for improvement.

According to The Drum, “one marketer who participated in the research…said, “We’re not competing against competitors; we’re competing against our past.” And while the survey found that “marketing is becoming the fulcrum of cross-functional customer experiences,” they still noted that many teams need to move beyond siloed teams, update their technologies, and buck the challenge quo to improve their chances of success.

Why disruption is coming for your industry – and how to embrace it

Let’s go back to the year 2006. The housing industry was strong. Millions of consumers felt great about the prospects of homeownership, so much so they agreed to uncertain loans. In 2006, hotels were the only places where travelers stayed, and taxi companies held a monopoly when it came to in-car transportation. Life in these sectors was secure and stable – until a few years later, when it wasn’t.

Whether by market forces or disruptive, innovative competitors, industries change. When it comes to the latter, it seems no segment of the market is safe. Technology coupled with great ideas has led to a dramatic rethinking of the way we buy and sell services, and for those industries that have not yet experienced disruption, chances are that it is coming. And as Entrepreneur points out, the vast majority of executives know they are unprepared. The article goes on to explain why what we believe about disruption is likely wrong, and ways that companies should be embracing it.