Despite the proclivity to take risks a la the movie Risky Business, if you read about neuroscience, you’ll actually learn that humans are wired to not take chances and put ourselves at risk.
Sure, some of us are more comfortable taking risks and exploring new ground than others, but our brains and emotions often guide us toward taking the safe route and avoiding risk.
We aren’t telling you to be like Joel Goodsen–that’s not the risky business we want here. But what he did get right is his willingness to take risks.
However, as a business, what you want to do is explore risks.
Why Risk is Necessary
Our world is constantly and rapidly changing. Much of that change is due to quick advancements in technology.
Not only are we having to respond to rapidly changing technologies and media tools, but that technology is what allows us to have near instantaneous access to information, which leads to rapidly changing attitudes and online behaviors of consumers.
Businesses have to be able to respond to all of these rapid changes (tech, media tools, attitudes, and consumer behavior). The only alternative is being left behind, or in some cases, getting put out of business.
Staying in-step means investing yourself and your business in understanding what is changing in the world and with your customers. Once you understand those changes and needs, you can then take the necessary steps to embrace these new dynamics, no matter your discomfort level. If you don’t explore these risks, then you are truly playing risky business!
Before you take any risks, you first want to explore the changes that are currently happening. Exploring those changes from a marketing standpoint can be done in several ways:
A/B Testing: A/B testing is a great way to learn what works best with your audience in the current moment. We won’t get down into the weeds too much as this is an entire topic in and of itself. But A/B testing involves making a minor change to an ad or email to see which version works best. Remember, you only want to make a single change between your versions or you will end up with too many variables and not know what change actually made the difference.
Surveys: One way to learn what your clients’ needs are is to do a survey (this can be especially handy for B2B companies, non-profits, or schools). This is a very straightforward and to-the-point way of getting the information you need. Remember to keep your survey simple and short (around 10 questions is best).
Analyze the Data: Always analyze your data! This will let you know what is working and what isn’t.
Keep an Eye on the Competition: Looking at your own analytics will reveal only so much about trends in engagement. For a bigger picture understanding of shifting consumer preferences, keep an eye on your competition and what they are doing.
Of course these are all just tactics that are part of a larger strategy. To learn more about how to determine what is working in your marketing strategy, check out this blog post.
Risks You Can Take
While exploring changes is good, there is only so much time you should spend on exploring current trends. Sometimes the best thing is to just jump right into the fray and go with the flow!
This is what we like to call agile marketing. Agile marketing is the ability to be nimble with your marketing tactics as the needs of your target audience change.
Remember, if you aren’t solving a problem for your target audience or meeting their needs, they will see you as irrelevant and move on.
It is important to remember that there is a difference between tactics and strategy. Strategy does not change drastically or often. Why? Because your strategy is your overarching set of long-term goals. Your tactics are what you use to reach those long-term goals and it is your tactics that need to be agile.
To incorporate agility into your marketing tactics, start by coming up with your initial strategy. Then ask yourself how you can meet those goals and create a set of tactics you will use to achieve those goals. And since things can literally change overnight, come up with a set of backup tactics.
Then plan time each day or week to check in on the data and analyze those results to make any needed tweaks. Analyzing the data can also help you see changes that are coming down the pipeline, helping you to switch to plan B faster!
Agile marketing isn’t just noble, but collaborative and holistic too. It’s about looking at the big picture and investing in long-term success. This allows you to take into account other aspects of your brand beyond the marketing (such as product development, creative partnerships and even personnel recruitment), so you can see how your marketing tactics fit into the larger puzzle.
A Partner to Help You Explore Risk
Attuned is a true marketing partner. Agile and holistic marketing is in our DNA. We help our clients explore risk and connect the dots in their marketing program.
We are nimble and collaborative team players who bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table. We are truly invested in your long-term success! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you develop a marketing program that achieves your long-term goals of success.