I was reading and interview today with Mike Moran, the author of the Book "Doing it Wrong Quickly". Mike also writes the Biznology blog that I regularly follow.
This particular quote resonated with me
"Marketing has traditionally been a high-risk endeavor. If you tape a series of TV commercials and buy the time up front, and then the ads bomb, it’s a disaster. You don’t undertake that kind of risk lightly. Instead, you constantly try to mitigate that risk by testing spots with focus groups, getting buy-in with all the key execs, hiring consultants to provide feedback, and making sure you have the best minds in the ad agency working on doing something that gets attention.
Succeeding in marketing on the Internet, however, in many ways requires the exact opposite behavior. You can write the copy for a paid search ad this morning, try it out on Google, and see by lunch time that no on is clicking. It cost you a couple of hours and a few dollars and then you tweak the copy and try again. You’re not stuck with your decisions, they cost very little, and you know immediately whether they are working. Internet marketing demands that you experiment to get the best possible outcome.
You can imagine, however, that years of avoiding risk can make this kind of change a difficult proposition. Many marketers avoid risk automatically without knowing why, so it’s wrenching for them to change their behavior. In the book, I spend a couple of chapters working through marketers’ personal objections, and objections they’ll run into when they try to float this approach in the rest of their organization."
However anyone working in a large marketing organisation will know it’s difficult to take risks. We try to control our Brand message with a religious fervour (quite understandably), but as a result end up with a Brand image that is not all that we want it to be.
So here’s the challenge: How do we take more risks in our marketing communications without damaging the positive aspects of our brand image?