CEO at Marketing Architects, an All-Inclusive TV agency helping performance brands access quality TV campaigns.
What do Apple, Google and Tesla have in common? Besides being among the most well-known companies today, the leaders of each of these companies have relied on bold, eye-catching moves to grow their businesses and build fame. In 2007, Steve Jobs launched the touchscreen iPhone, shaking up the industry at a time when people were comfortable with the BlackBerry keyboard. In 2006, Google spent $1.65 billion to buy YouTube — knowing it wasn’t worth nearly that much at the time — to broaden their advertising with the largest video search engine. And in 2008, Elon Musk pioneered the luxury electric vehicle industry despite critics claiming the market wasn’t there.
These outrageous-at-the-time moves propelled these companies to what they are today: category leaders. And this type of big move isn’t uncommon for famous brands. Long-lasting, profitable companies prioritize growth, relentlessly seek opportunities and question the status quo, all to deliver impressive results to their stakeholders. But many brands adjust incrementally while expecting exponential growth. Unfortunately, small moves breed small results.
I’ve noticed many companies are increasingly expecting game-changing results to come from the marketing department. This is often reflected in changing job titles. Chief marketing officers are exchanged for chief growth officers. In my experience, advertising has never been held to a higher standard of accountability than it is today, and marketers are increasingly responsible for business growth.
Much of this is due to advances in digital advertising. Digital’s inherent accountability and impressive measurability place pressure on marketers to hit definitive goals and revenue targets regardless of the marketing channel. As a result, marketers lean into digital to more easily prove the value of their campaigns. However, digital alone can fall short of providing the bold moves needed to grow your business.
The very nature of digital is short term. You get an immediate response on your ad performance, but sometimes that’s all you’ll get — an email open, a website hit. Plus, digital can face diminished effectiveness due to rising costs, ad fraud and brand safety and consumer privacy concerns.
Sustainable growth requires leaning into a long-term strategy, which often means stepping into unknown territory. Of course, this takes courage. Big moves can be daunting, but the riskiest business strategy is thinking short-term and small stakes.
You don’t have to buy a new company or invent an extraordinary product to make a big move. As the founder of a TV advertising agency, my bias with big moves is toward TV. Offering mass reach, high visibility and an immersive brand experience, launching TV is the classic big marketing move. It can balance your short- and long-term goals by driving sales while building your brand. And yes, brand-building matters even in our digitally driven, accountability-focused marketing world, improving online purchase consideration by 14 times.
To make the most of a bold move on TV, here are a few tips:
1. Be willing to commit meaningful time and resources. A half-hearted TV test will get you only half the results and can’t truly be categorized as a “big move.”
2. Find the right creative messaging before you launch. When making a big move on TV, you should be confident it’s the right big move. Take the time to pretest your creative and find the option most likely to drive results.
3. Measure both short- and long-term results. Big moves are ultimately about establishing long-term success. TV can also improve immediate sales. Look at both short- and long-term metrics to gain a better understanding of your campaign’s full impact.
Over the years, I’ve watched clients reap the rewards of bold action, including advertising on TV. They’ve raised stock prices, launched public offerings, spun off new brands and attained additional funding. But the best news is that once you’ve made one big move, the doors can open to countless other business-transforming opportunities. Your favorite brands didn’t get where they are today by thinking small and playing it safe. If you really want to shake up your industry and see dramatic growth, invest in action that pushes you ahead of the competition.