FlashForward Marketing: The Future of Your Campaign

I’ve read so many great posts on the metrics of marketing, public relations and social media campaigns. This week Chris Penn had one of the simplest, smartest analogies I have read in a while:

“Diagnostic metrics tell you how the trip is going. Objective metrics tell you when you’re there.”

For more insights into ROI, I’ll refer you to the far superior wisdom of Conversation Agent from Valerie Maltoni and Olivier Blanchard’s The Brand Builder.

When it comes to results, what’s the endgame, where are we trying to go?

I am a sci-fi, fantasy drama fan. I watch Lost, Fringe, V and right now on Hulu, I am time shifting, multitasking and watching FlashForward.

The FlashForward premise: via some Rube Goldberg whosie whatsit, everyone on the planet blacked out and saw six months into their futures, two and half minutes’ worth. The next step, the bigger part of the story, is what they do with that foreknowledge.

Skip to the end of the story

Since I was a wee lass majoring in Advertising and PR at LSU–Geaux Tigers!–I’ve been a peek at the last page then work towards the center thinker. Why?

To oversimplify egregiously: Some formula of Product X or Service Y for Brand Z times the requisite Marketing Mix of Ps in the overall business plan kick starts your campaign. You advertise, you promote, you sell, you serve your customers, you measure, you follow-up, you watch and learn. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If the desired target for reach, frequency, all those promotional G-spots was a certain number, I always did my media planning from there and worked backwards. I worked the problem from both directions, met in the middle.

FlashForward your current projects or campaigns and think about what you see.

  • Success. What’s the win, the grand slam, the brass ring? Sweeping successes of blog posts, Facebook fans and likes, gushing press coverage. Sounds good but it’d be meaningless if it also didn’t translate to increased sales, higher stock prices and greater brand value.
  • Fail. If you don’t see success, then what? Now is your chance to change things, take your new foreknowledge and revamp your current campaign.

We don’t live in the TV world with snazzy clothes and perfect hair and beautiful people, so we can’t see the future. Or can we? I for one am a believer in research, research, research for clues to what he future may hold.

Small businesses cannot always afford the focus groups and panel studies, but they can still survey the field, look ahead to what they want, where they plan to be in six months.

Flash forward, work backwards, make it happen. Any deep thoughts on planning and strategy, share them here.

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