Read the original post published on iCrossing’s Great Finds blog on May 3, 2013.
“Safe is the new risky in marketing,” asserted iCrossing Chief Creative Officer Pat Stern during his May 2 presentation at the iCrossing CMO Summit. To build connected brands in a world of always-on consumers, CMOs should take calculated risks, learn, and innovate, according to Stern.
He began his presentation by sharing a formula for managing marketing opportunities and processes. According to the “70-20-10” rule, 70 percent of your marketing resources should go toward activities that you know will work; 20 percent should go toward innovating from that 70 percent; and 10 should go toward risk taking, or “swinging for the fences.” Gone are the days of taking major risks and hoping for the best. Digital marketers should take calculated risks to learn how to create experiences that connect with customers in different ways.
Stern gave detailed tips to guide marketing experimentation and innovation, including:
- Listen closely to your customers. Consumers have certain expectations, and sometimes technology can’t meet those expectations. To meet their own needs, Innovative consumers will create their own experiences and their own interactions with your products and your brand. Stern shared an example from the era of audiocassette tapes: innovative consumers used to create mix tapes consisting of their own musical experience by editing together their own versions of songs and albums. Had record labels been paying attention to this activity, they would have understood the need for technology to help create unique musical experiences. Consequently, the way in which we listen to music now could have been drastically different, or much more advanced. The answers to consumer problems are there – you, as a marketer, just need to be willing to dig for it.
- Swing for the fences. According to the “70-20-10” rule, 10 percent of your marketing efforts should be used for experimenting with something completely new. That 10 percent is a calculated risk based on your ability to listen and learn from consumers, and discover what else may make them connect more strongly with your brand. By taking risk, no matter the outcome, you’ll learn something important. And that knowledge will help you hone your skill and master your technique. Continue reading