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Think IF Before Jumping to HOW When Appraising New Marketing Investments

Think Before You JumpHi. We’re Return on Focus, and we are all about Evidence-Based Marketing. While most people who have worked with us in the past will likely say that there is no need for me to make this type of introduction, I am going to have to respectfully disagree. Why? Well, it turns out that we get a surprising number of calls from Clients who just want us to focus on the “how” to design and measure an investment, while skipping that all important “if” question. See, at ROF, we believe that just telling you how to execute an investment is only answering half of the question and frankly, it is not the most important question in Evidence-Based Marketing. Our first stop, in any of these types of analyses is to determine if you should be making the investment in the first place. Unfortunately, in our industry where most of the marketing vendors tasked to develop and drive your brand strategies also have a financial stake in the direction selected, the all important “if” question is frequently glossed over. Ideation sessions are frequently prefaced with the statement that “there are no bad ideas”, and this is a great mantra for getting all of the ideas out. That said, the step that is often missed after the excitement of the creative brainstorming session, is the part where each idea is critically examined based on available evidence. There are a few key questions you should address to solve for the “if” before you get to the “how”. They include:

  • Strategic –Is it crystal clear how the new investment is aligned to and advances the brand’s strategic goal?
  • Need – Does it solve for an expressed or latent customer need?
  • Competitive – Who else is currently satiating the need with solutions? (Hint: Don’t just look to other product manufacturers)
  • Credibility – Does delivery by a pharmaceutical or biotechnology product manufacturer increase the perception that the solution is biased?
  • Utility – If you provide it, how likely will your target customers be to use it?
  • Efficiency – Will your solution improve or disrupt your customer’s existing day-to-day?

If you and your team have already taken the time to understand if a particular investment makes sense for you and your customers, then by all means, let’s figure out how best to do it. If not, then give us a call, and let’s start at the very beginning. I hear it’s a very good place to start.

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