In our latest blog instalment, our intrepid reporter offers a few wry musings on the current state of the nation and the challenges the professional marketer faces as we plough headlong through the year that is 2017.
Last year, we are told, was the year of Populism. It brought us Brexit, ‘The Donald’, and a whole host of other none too pleasant coves who were thrust into the political spotlight.
Firstly, there was Mr Wilders in The Netherlands who brings to mind Mr Burns from The Simpsons.
Secondly, we were formally invited to the coming out party of Marianne Le Pen, the National Front leader in France and current favourite to win the first round of the French Presidential elections.
Her avowed aim is to pull up the proverbial French drawbridge and return France to a time that would make a scene from Jean De Florette or Manon Des Sources seem like full steam ahead in Silicon Valley.
In this environment, once can’t help think that Burkinis would be ritually burnt on the Champs Elysees and everybody would be forced to smoke a Gauloises whilst sunbathing topless on a beach in Cannes. Unless that is you are ‘The Donald’ in which case a full length bathing suit, with mask, would be the order of the day.
At the time of writing, we would imagine President Putin being somewhere in a Georgian forest, wrestling a couple of brown bears and pondering as to whether he should invade Scotland.
As the sharp minded marketer that you are, you may well wonder at this point, what has this all got to do with me? How does this affect me flogging a few extra widgets, caravans, coffee machines or toilet roll holders to the good burghers of Stoke or Cheltenham?
Well, it can be summed up in one word - uncertainty. If there is one thing that we can be certain of it is that the economic outlook for the UK is uncertain. Uncertainty is bad for business. What will interest rates look like over the next twelve months? Will the pound suddenly be pegged with the Zimbabwean Dollar or will we actually be able to buy something with it?
At times like these, companies have a terrible tendency to pull a Marianne Le Pen. They draw in the purse strings and cut their marketing and advertising budgets to the bone.
In actual fact, the thing they should do be doing is to examine what they currently do and, by being creative, absorb new ideas around a fully integrated marketing strategy. This should embrace social media, print and DM, electronic DM and, most importantly of all, evaluate their existing client data to maximise sales potential. This makes budget use far more efficient and creates a better ROI.
The phrase ‘we’ve always done it this way’ needs to disappear from any company’s lexicon.
Aside from all of the less than fragrant politicos listed above there is one other chap who might give us a clue as to the best way forward. He may not be everybody’s cup of Earl Grey or Assam but you may want to take a look at a fellow called George.
George was made redundant in 2016. However, George took his sudden unemployment as an opportunity to diversify. To put some steam on the family Chippendale he took the following jobs, MP for Tatton, public speaker at £100k a pop, part time editor of the Evening Standard, non-executive director of a couple of banks and the graveyard shift at the local Notting Hill BP filling station.
In some ways, this Swiss army knife approach to keeping the family fortunes afloat is a template for the modern marketer as they strive ever harder to acquire, retain and maximise their client base.
If you are interested in exploring a fully integrated approach to your marketing needs then the team at Callimedia are here to help you. Our team of experts in all the relevant disciplines have only one goal and that is to maximise the return on your investment, thereby securing your business in these uncertain times.
So what’s it to be? Plough the same old furrow and hope for the best or diversify and move forward?
Perhaps George wasn’t such a bad bloke after all?