Introduction: Leesa is an industry-agnostic senior marketing leader for national consumer brands. She fosters a performance-oriented culture, utilizing data and analytics to deliver superior marketing strategy and execution, resulting in customer acquisition and national recognition for “challenger brands.” She shepherds diverse partners toward shared outcomes, delivering marketing campaigns and initiatives on-time, on-budget and exceeding expectations.
In these changing times, when more and more marketers are evaluating their 2020 marketing plans and with no certainty, they are working on agile plans and dynamically changing to meet the market conditions, I sat down with Leesa, who has led national marketing organizations to ask what marketing manoeuvres in these unpredictable times.
Ques #1 : Leesa, please share how brand marketers during a pandemic are translating big picture vision into tangible, actionable strategies?
While the pandemic may have honed everyone’s focus on what really matters to their business, actionable strategies have always been key and have been critical to a brand’s success. You’re seeing the brands who had strong strategies in place barely miss a beat, because they are staying true to their mission. Even better are the companies who had strong Corporate Social Responsibility pillars in place prior to March, alleviating the need for knee-jerk responses. At the same time, flexibility in adapting HOW to execute on a strategy is what’s allowing some companies to thrive when others are paralyzed. The ability to pivot has always been critical, but takes on great urgency when markets are no longer
Ques #2: What are the challenges marketers face with decreasing budgets?
I have almost always worked with “challenger brands” who operate with comparably small budgets. In times where budgets are getting even tighter, the focus has to be laser-like targeting combined with messaging consistency. When money is tight, no dollars can be wasted. FIrst you have to understand exactly who your target is and how to reach them – shotgun marketing isn’t an option. Then consistent messaging campaigned across all appropriate media allows a brand to appear bigger than having varying messages. Adding some sort of short cut like a mnemonic, memorable tagline, known spokesperson, etc. can also stretch your dollars further.
Ques #3: What would be your guidance to marketers to stay focussed in these times?
These times bring all kinds of unexpected distractions from more people working with kids, pets and partners underfoot, to the regular call of the refrigerator (who doesn’t think that there will be something new in there if you just check one more time?), to worry about health and job security. But it is also a time to cull down the things you’re focused on. More than usual, it’s time to use the 80/20 rule to double down on the things that matter and not worry about the things that don’t.