How do we aim advertising dollars away from wasteful, even disastrous misfires? It requires reliable frameworks which support us when things around us change. Endurability requires infrastructures and frameworks.
Change is a variable absolute. Endurability is an ever-moving target. Don’t miss the irony. If you want to last, you have to adapt. But as marketers how do we quickly discern which good changes to embrace, which bad changes to fight, and which diversions to ignore altogether?
In Part One we learned that advertising with seasonal billboard placements requires continual attention. Our summer crowd was not the same as the winter crowd, and the ad agency wasn’t paying attention. It’s why demographic crossfire can be lethal to careless agencies and hapless client advertisers who pay them. The first rule is to pay attention because things change.
“Things change” is not the obvious statement it appears to be. There are two kinds of change. There’s change, and there’s meaningful change. Call it random change and ordered change. Change can be initiated and engaged outside of a framework (random) and within a framework (ordered).
I really dislike change. But people who know me well have seen me embrace notable changes over the last ten years: Working overseas, different diet, urban-to-farm living, even added some new holidays. Random? No. Ordered? Yes.
Likewise it’s critical that advertisers and brand managers know how to tell the difference. Be careful, the difference can be subtle. But it can mean the difference between success or being cast adrift.
For example, consider the difference between being blown by the wind, and sailing the wind. Both move by the wind, but one employs a framework to adapt, or harness it.
Another example, though slightly more complex, is the subtle difference between the scientific ideas of evolution and natural selection (which often get conflated). Evolutionary change requires no initial framework and presumes the spontaneous generation of the DNA framework. Whereas the change resulting from natural selection requires the preexistence of this robust framework (DNA) from which tiered adaptation is possible. There’s change, and there’s meaningful change. There’s random change and ordered change.
Endurability requires framework and infrastructure. And there are lots of framework options. Frameworks make all the difference in our engagement of change. In Part Three I’ll highlight some marketing frameworks of which I’m particularly fond.