During the episode two of Mobas’ after-hours podcast series, What’s the Point?, Greg Bryant (Creative Lead), Adam Tuckwell (Commercial Director) and Katie Vickery (Head of Brand Strategy and Insight) explore what it means to take risks and why it’s important in marketing.
Challenging the status quo, taking a leap of faith, moving into uncharted territories… It all sounds a bit scary, and it is. In fact, it should be a bit scary. But how do we take measured risks so that we can reap the rewards of our actions, and how do we ensure that the wider business is on board?
What’s the best way of taking risks?
The best tactic for being brave is to make sure you have a clear plan. Be totally focused on what you want to achieve, as this is why you’re taking the risk. Everything should still be calculated and thought through, from what you want out of it, to the hurdles you’re going to face when trying to push it through. How do you react to them? Always remember why you’re doing it: this is your sanity check, your reminder that it’s the right thing to do. You know that because you’ve researched and planned it. As long as you keep that front of mind, the obstacles you will face (and you will) are always worth climbing. If risks aren’t taken, we’ll simply drift along, and where would the fun be in that?
The role of marketing in taking risks
Over the past decade, the marketing discipline has had its feet held to the fire more than ever before. With the rise of big data and analytics, the assumption is that ROI should be increasingly easy to measure. So why does the role of the CMO still fall behind within the traditional C-suite? Some say it’s because of lack of understanding by other C-suite team members, some say it’s because of lack of confidence by the CMO or an inability to communicate what marketing actually is and how it can benefit the business.
Whatever the reason, marketing is at the coal-face when it comes to understanding the customer base and this is a unique and strong position to be in. If we can understand our customers, we can be the voice of that customer when developing marketing strategies, in creative review sessions and even in the boardroom. With this knowledge and insight, we have the ability to take measured risks because we understand who we’re communicating with.
So, what’s the point of taking risks?
As marketers, we’re in a unique position to be able to take measured risks in our communications, whether that be through a new creative campaign, testing of new channels or messaging. We can do this – and we can only do this well – if we know our audience well, the market environment and critically, who we are as a brand.
We cannot simply tread water and deliver more-or-less the same marketing plan year after year. Only by challenging the status quo is it possible to develop our understanding of our audience and how our unique proposition resonates in the marketplace. And even if we fail, at least we’ve learned something.