“Playing It Safe”

November 16, 2006

Does your organization encourage creative thinking or do your people always “play it safe?”   Does your management (or you) encourage risk taking by rewarding failure?  How do you take risks in a big organization without getting penalized?  Are the risks you want to take prudent?

In today’s world, I believe Companies must constantly “push the envelope” and seek new and better ways to do everything.  This is particularly true in marketing.  Long gone are the days of broadcast television being the primary medium to communicate your product’s benefits.  Yet, how do most Brands plan their next year’s activities/tactics?  They typically start with their current year’s plans and ask “how can we improve upon what we are doing?”  

I would submit that a zero based budgeting process is more appropriate.  I would start with the question:  “how much do we really need to spend to achieve our volume objectives?”    Recent advances as discussed in a prior post appear to provide marketers with a tool to determine the most efficient and effective marketing mix.  Yet, newer marketing techniques such as “viral” marketing are much more difficult to measure. 

So, as you approach your annual planning, take some risks and try different approaches.  Be sure to set up tools to measure these novel techniques.  But try many things and you may be surprised at what works and what does not.  In the meantime reward your employees  for taking risks and pushing the envelope!

Rich

Bizvice:  Strategy, Marketing & Entrepreneurship 

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