Marketers: Be brave. Experiment. - Brilliant Noise

Marketers: Be brave. Experiment.

By Antony Mayfield, June 2020. Posts

There are two words that come up in almost every conversation in our company right now: “brave” and “experiment”. Two words so interconnected that we thought we’d share why they are important to us, our clients and our community. 

Three months into lockdown and nothing seems certain. We know that this crisis will end, and we know that there are tough times ahead, but we can’t put a timeline on anything. We can’t quantify the effects and consequences of Covid-19. What we’re left with is extreme uncertainty. 

And yet we have to plan. We have to decide what to do to push our businesses forward. There’s a job to do, and we need to plot our path with the information we have. We have to invent our way into winning.

Let’s start with why we need to be brave.  

In a daily letter to the company the other day I asked for examples of bravery. One of our senior consultants Amy replied: 

“Some people might think my cat is brave because she doesn’t run away from the hairdryer or the washing basket (like my previous cat did). But she’s not scared of those things, so facing them isn’t brave. It’s only bravery if you’re scared but face it anyway”. 

If you’re not scared, you’re not paying attention. If you are scared, it’s OK. Bravery is required because we need to take action even though we can never be certain of what will work and what won’t. 

Doing what we did before could be foolhardy. Big campaigns that either hit or miss are risky. If they win, we may look like geniuses, but in the current climate the odds are against us. It’s like putting everything on lucky number seven at the roulette table. 

Instead, we need to experiment. 

Experimenting is brave. It’s brave because it demands you pause in a time of fear and take rational, methodical steps into the unknown.

At Brilliant Noise we have been working with our clients on marketing transformation for a decade. What’s emerged from our learnings is a method we call Experiment-Led Marketing™. 

We created Experiment-Led Marketing™ to manage the rapid changes to marketing caused by digital. 

Rapid? Ha! Digital was transformation in slow motion for marketing – the pandemic is transformation in fast forward. Blink and you’ll miss the latest Covid-19 news story or the latest local restaurant now available on Deliveroo. 

The pandemic condensed five years of change into five weeks. Overnight, millions of people had crash courses in online shopping, video-conferencing and a thousand other technology enabled experiences that they might not have taken up for years.  

Experiment-Led Marketing™, which we developed in what we will now think of as the sedate period of digital disruption, is the best method for working at rapid pace. It allows marketers to be objective about the complexity of their markets and the organisational challenges they are facing. It allows them to establish a series of experiments that support critical marketing challenges. Each experiment adds to their understanding of their changing context and means that successes can be scaled. As a result, they can create more efficient ways of working, new structures for teams and new tools to drive innovation. 

On Thursday 11th June we are running the first of our web series “Only the Brave” with our client Alessio Gianni – the Global Director of Digital and Content Marketing from Barilla. A leading global FMCG brand, Barilla run the largest pasta factory in the world. During the webinar we’ll hear how Barilla has benefited from an experimental approach to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in northern Italy. We’ll also be sharing more information about Experiment-Led Marketing™, as well as a free toolkit, to help organisations implement experiments and ultimately be brave.   

Contact us to be informed about future webinars and events.