What can you think of that started big? Like really, right out of the chute. Not T-Rex. Might have been a big baby at 66 lbs, but he grew about 1,300 lbs a year to cap out at 7.5 tons. Not Google. When you visit the Googleplex you see Larry and Sergey’s first prototype using a cafeteria tray cart, some basic circuit boards and wires. Not P&G. Started with some candles. Not even the big bang.
Yet so often when stuck with a brand or business that isn’t growing, we assemble big teams, immerse them in big data and send them on big hunts for a big idea. It’s no surprise we end up with big headaches and small growth.
The answer is not chasing a tactic or audience. We won’t add more angst by listing more stats for mobile game play, digital video consumption, Hispanic population growth in the U.S., or terabytes of data generated every hour.
The answer is not throwing one-off solutions like a single new product, a single big idea, monster data, a new media mix. And we note that doing the same thing over and expecting a different result is, well, you know.
We believe the way to move forward is to radically shrink how and what work gets done. New mindsets, process and capabilities, yet rooted in the most timeless of all marketing lessons: Put your consumer your brand serves at the heart of everything. Your “Who”.
Literally start with the Who, in a deeper and more real way than ever before – not the big idea. Immerse the entire enterprise in your Who knowledge. It cannot be outsourced to a consultancy, agency or media company. Build a cultural competency around continuously improving the application of the data. Atomize oversized teams into smaller agile units in harmony internally and externally. Generate and stoke a pipeline of hundreds of ideas, not a few. Constantly send them out to play in the real world, then feed the strong and starve the weak. Reward those marketers best at those new skill sets. Reduce the dreaded, overwrought annual planning cycle to small monthly sprints.
Our experience is 100% successful when we take this approach with clients. We have improved every program we have worked on since 2011. Some ask us just to teach, train, build strategy and execution muscle. Others ask us to execute all the way down to social community engagement.
Let’s start small. And grow something big together.
* Can you think of anything else that has become big that didn’t start small? was the first Super Bowl really big? Send us your ideas at facebook.com/frwdco.