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First published on November 8th, 2010.
Marketing is evolving in a way most of us wouldn’t have thought of 10 years ago. Not only traditional media is going down, but online marketing is growing in a speed most of us thought would be impossible. E-Marketing is the new Marketing. Stop thinking about taking time to Plan (with a capital P) your strategy, because plans are now useless.
The truth is, your market evolves every minute you are not looking at it. And this also includes while you are sleeping. As @RosabethKanter wrote in an article regarding Strategy planning, improvisation is now the rule in marketing strategy.
Time where we would create an annual marketing plan and strategy is well past. We must now improvise, not plan. We must be able to act and react to our environment continuously, just as in an improvisational comedy game. And as much as I like improvisation, I know that this doesn’t mean I can’t go with a guide. It’s true in improvisational comedy theater, but even more true when it regards Marketing.
So, how should you improvise your marketing?
First, you need to have a structure. In improvisational theater, it’s often the structure in place, such as leagues or associations, the place where they play etc. In marketing, it regards your marketing team. How many people do you need to get the job done, and who should be part of your team? In improvisational comedy, your team members are your best assets. The same applies to Marketing. It might be time for you to make some changes to your team!
Create some barriers you (and your employees) cannot cross. This might be some language one should not use or the best procedure to answer any type of problem that could occur during your ongoing marketing campaign. In improvisational comedy games, there are rules to be observed.
In improvisation games, the descriptions of the play (Category, teams involved, number of players, title, etc.) are the tools they use to create their new improvisational play.
In Marketing, it is more about choosing which tools you will be using to propel your marketing “plan”. I suggest this as more of a value list than a traditional strategic plan. Try to associate values to your product or service. Create a brand image and stick with it. Determine which part of online marketing is relevant for your product. Is it social media (and if so, which social media platforms), E-commerce, PPC, SEO, organic search, or a combination of those strategies?
In improvisational theater, teamwork is the key to success. I believe it is the same in Marketing. Working with other people lets you concentrate on what you are doing better, and helps creativity. So why stay in your little dark cubicle?
Being consistent is the key to success in Online Marketing. It is the only way you can secure the success of your marketing campaigns. Always stay alert and focussed on your business and your environment is a nice way learn and experience Marketing Improvisation in its finest and most successful way!