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If It's All in the Timing, How Can Marketers Get in the Right Zone?

Keen Decision Systems
Posted by Keen Decision Systems on 10/30/18 1:08 PM
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Travel back in time with us to the equivalent of the marketing Stone Age. A time when survival tools for marketing planning and effectiveness were, well, blunt instruments at best. Traditional marketing mix analyses measured last year's channels and investment levels, not exactly a precise indicator of future performance.

Sure, we made the best of what we had. But looking just at channels and dollars gave us a flat worldview. We lacked depth – the ability to distinguish contours in our market, the ebb and flow in effectiveness over weeks -- not to mention the ability to compare impact by channel.

Which means that for just about forever, marketers have been overspending in certain seasons — when incremental dollars weren’t generating incremental sales — and underspending when those dollars actually could be more productive.

Behold the Third Dimension: Time.

The good news is, marketing decision support has entered a new era. Technology has enabled more mathematic calculations to be run more efficiently, so it's now feasible to generate marketing analyses on a weekly basis. This means it's now possible to see what’s happening with your products in-market pretty much as it happens.

And just like that, an entire marketing plan can stand in stark and clear relief — making it easy to see the actual impact of investments on a weekly basis over the course of a year. In other words, you can have a more complete, detailed picture of how your channels and investments are performing and make adjustments in real time. No more reading cave drawings from the past. 

Wait 'til you see the difference it can make.

EXHIBIT A: For years Brand X, maker of tasty food, concentrated their TV buy almost exclusively during football season, in conjunction with a sponsorship. The question they were never able to answer:

"Is this really a good investment?"

With new, Jetson-like tools at their disposal (Keen, of course), they discovered that by spreading their ad buy out over the course of the year, rather than concentrating in-season, they could boost revenue and profitability — and increase ROI 169%.
EXHIBIT B: Candy maker Brand Q focused most of its spend on its sweet spots: Easter, Christmas and Halloween, when sales volumes were up by as much as 100 percent. A standard marketing mix analysis suggested a bump in spend might lead to a bump in sales as well.
But when they ran an analysis using Keen, they isolated seasonal variables and unwrapped a surprise: An increased seasonal investment would actually drag down overall returns. So instead they spread their investment out over the year and boosted sales volume 10 percent.

Don't Wait for Time to Run Out

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The fact is that everything is moving faster these days — including your competitors. Marketers who embrace better measurement and decision support now will reap the rewards in the form of:

• Real-time results that allow rapid response to changing conditions

• Unified marketing measurement across all channels — digital, traditional and trade

• Revenue-based results that validate the true impact of your marketing investments

Seriously: Act now.

Don’t miss out on your chance to leapfrog competitors in the marketing strategy game. Or at the very least, begin to educate yourself about how decision support is evolving so you can be ready for the future. Book a 15-minute call with a member of Keen's expert team and get your questions answered.

Let's Talk. 
This post was adapted from our recently published ebook, Speed Saves. Get your copy here.

Topics: Decision Quality, 2019 marketing planning, Market Timing