Focus On Growth. Grow Through Focus.
Let's cut to the chase. The marketer-agency relationship comes down to results. Results that create growth for the marketer — it's that simple. And in 2016, growth isn't just about awareness. With more data at our fingertips than ever before, growth also means taking into account a brand's overall health, engagement, on- and off-line traffic and — of course — sales.
The pressure to grow market share and exceed sales goals is higher than ever before, and brands are often expected to do more with less. Marketers are constantly striving to find new ways to give their brands an edge, and as such, they are willing to leverage new methods, channels and technologies to get their messages out.
This constant push to innovate is definitely beneficial to marketers as a whole, but with so many options available, it's easy for a brand's message to become fragmented. By trying to communicate too much in too many different ways, a brand becomes a little bit of something to everyone instead of being the exact right thing to the exact right someone.
In this age of instantaneous everything, a marketer's best choice is not to dabble in everything but to focus on the things that matter most.
UPSETTING THE APPLE CART
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he famously streamlined the company's product lines from fifteen to four. Additionally, Jobs consolidated the number of retailers where the products were available and unified all marketing under the "Think Different" campaign.
This unprecedented move not only forced Apple to put all its resources behind the four remaining lines but allowed the company to cut operating costs and — most importantly — truly focus on its core customers.
While Apple's success today is no secret, it's easy to forget that things weren't always that way. That path to success can be traced back to Jobs' decision to do something that seemed so radical at the time — put a laser-like focus on the brand.
CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO FOCUS
Pruning brands and product lines like Apple might not be right for every brand, but taking a step back and taking a hard look at offerings, customer segments and distribution channels is something all brands should do from time to time.
As the old adage goes, "you can't be everything to everyone," so don't try to be. Challenge yourself to focus on those customers, markets and channels that offer your business the biggest opportunity to grow and succeed.