Tonight’s football game features a fan storming the field in a yellow banana costume. He screams “PEANUT BUTTER BANANA TIME!” and hits a player in the face with a pie before doing a dance.
By tomorrow morning, the clip of him is going viral. The clip shows up in your YouTube, Twitter and Facebook feeds. By next week, he’s released a video series outlining a hilarious explanation of what happened, and two months later he’s interviewed on daytime TV.
For about three months, he’s captured the attention of the world. Brands tweet to their audience using the hashtag #peanutbutterbananatime to market their new line of products. Yellow banana suit sales triple overnight, while peanut butter brands enjoy a surge of popularity.
This is the world we live in.
Today, how brands react to disruptions in culture and technology determines their success. It is no longer enough to have a marketing plan. Now, it’s necessary to be pro-reactive with your marketing.
The Old-School: Proactive Standard
In the past, an advertising agency would sit down with a client and plan out the next 12 months. They would discuss strategies for executing campaigns over several quarters and everything was basically set in stone.
With the advent of digital, those days are long gone. Planning out a set-in-stone strategy for a modern brand would be a death sentence. Staying relevant and relatable to the audience is possible only when brands engage in the changing landscapes of attention. That necessitates flexibility.
The New-School: Pro-Reactive Standard
The new age of digital marketing requires marketers to be pro-reactive.
What that means is there is recognition that it is impossible to plan everything out. Staying current, staying fresh and staying at the top of consumer’s minds means adapting to the changing tides of their preferences. No longer can a 12-month strategy be set in stone. Instead, a degree of improvisation and reactivity is necessary.
Yes, there is still a place for structure and planning. But the ability to be adaptive is at least as important. Hence, the need to be pro-reactive.
Three Steps to Becoming Pro-Reactive
There are three critical elements to great, pro-reactive marketing.
1. Seek First to Understand
Understand your brand, its objective, its voice and the main personas. Understand what the audience cares about. Now more than ever, there is nowhere to hide.
You can’t be a jazz pianist unless you know your scales. Similarly, you can’t improvise well when the occasion arises if you don’t have an intimate grasp of your brand. It is critical that marketers have a deep understanding of their audience.
2. Prepare the Arsenal
In order to respond well to the changing needs of the market, top marketing teams must be prepared. That means having creative elements for any occasion ready to go. A variety of stock copy, graphics and concept designs should be readily available to put together in creative ways to meet the demands of the situation.
3. Deploy Tactics Swiftly
Execution in the digital age so often comes down to timing. When an agency understands the audience and is prepared with the creative tools necessary for any occasion, it can react swiftly to events that the audience cares about. This gives every advantage to position themselves as the brand that audiences can relate to and trust.
There is a fine line between a brand that is relevant and a brand that is obviously trying to exploit a trend. That difference is timing.
PPA Is Your Expert Pro-Reactive Agency
PPA is an industry leader in pro-reactive marketing. We offer quick turnarounds to help marketing departments take advantage of changing conditions.
Don’t get stuck to the plan. Contact PPA today or call (614) 837-1998 to discover just how pro-reactive your team can get.