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Discover the latest thoughts from our Chairman, Professor Ian Ryder.

What’s the biggest single cause of failure of any marketing plan or strategy?

It’s not budget, other resources, technology, creativity or external forces. It is nearly always a lack of focus.

And before you shout “Harumph” and move on, please answer these questions for yourself:

  • Can you write good notes and listen to someone speak simultaneously?
  • Can you read a book and chat on your phone at the same time?
  • Can you get all your needs-segmented audiences to respond to the same thing?

The honest answer is no, because our brains need to concentrate in order to do something properly and well – and that is called focus.

Every time, literally every time, that something doesn’t work out, or even fails completely, it is almost always down to lack of focus on the task or problem.

Now you are not alone. It isn’t because you can’t do it, or are not a professional, but the human condition is such that we always try to do too many things at once.

That missed putt, the lack of salt in the dinner, the forgotten birthday card… professionally this manifests in a lack of clear understanding on WHO, you want to speak to and WHAT you want them to know, think, feel and do – in fact everything from developing your strategy to resolving your CJ / CX maps to resourcing or measuring your efforts and managing current tech transition programmes – the same core issue.

So don’t feel bad. Sergio Zyman was the Global CMO of Coca Cola and he almost destroyed one of the world’s most iconic brands when he launched “New Coke”. His new career started very soon after this near miss!

The too often used example of Gerald Ratner destroying his jewellery empire because he didn’t focus on his words at a major Institute of Directors conference in 1991 with ill-advised jokes resulting in bankruptcy.

Marketing is the only function that can see across all the different customer segments and businesses, from a customer viewpoint. Investment in marketing is key to business growth and future success.

Are you one of the almost 70% of CMOs who fear AI will replace your job in the next 5 years?

Even though at one of the world’s largest consulting companies, Boston Consulting Group, they found that AI improved creative product innovation by 40% whilst in business problem-solving it crashed by 23% – in fact the overall homogenous output from AI reduced “Diversity of thought” by a whopping 41%!

More than 70% of marketers don’t feel very confident in their current sales and marketing model to sell effectively in the digitised customer journey

Or maybe you are one of the almost 90% who don’t believe they have sufficient resources to manage the never-ending technology transitions in marketing?

Whatever your challenge, not focussing sufficiently is very easy to do since there is so much pressure on targets, customer behaviour, time to market, use of current technologies etc….so exactly how can we mitigate the risks of these potential mistakes?

Clearly it is down to using a robust process to enable a focussed evaluation of every step in your building and execution of your Marketing plan.

If you are comfortable that you have this and can carry on without worrying about failing or improving, then congratulations, you are in the minority.

If not, then you should try speaking to an organisation that can help you from a detached, professional and skilled perspective.

Professor Ian Ryder
Chairman, Buzzword Creative

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