Nimble Marketing

Keith McArthur, he of Veritas and formerly of the Globe and Mail, sent me an email today pointing me to this Facebook group, started by one of his mates.

The group was set up by a group of three veterinary clinics who are calling for Ontarians to donate their (now unwanted) Michael Vick jerseys to line the cages for their abandoned dogs.

Ironic and amusing.

But I think the bigger, more interesting story here is how small companies can act quickly, nimbly and decisively to take advantage of the media agenda and get some buzz around their companies.

It was easy for Jonathon Shell and the Clappison Veterinary Clinic to start this group and email all their contacts but can you imagine a large multinational pet food company doing the same?

It’d take an idea from the account team, that would need to be approved by the account lead, presented to the client, approved by his/her boss and, if it was controversial, by his/her bosses boss.

In short it’d never get done.

So small organisations can be more nimble, more reactive and sometimes more effective with their marketing tactics. Small must be the new big. Right?

But there must be a reason that big organisations are big. They must be getting some sort of return on their marketing investment (ROMI). Right?

Well, it comes in two parts. First off, is that logistically, small organisations simply don’t have the bandwidth, the resources, to be constantly on the prowl for opportunities. They simply can’t do it all the time without abandoning their core responsibilities. So while the potential to perpetuate all these cool little marketing tactics is there; small organisations simply can’t execute on enough of them to properly scale.

The second part of the answer is that bigger organisations don’t need to jump on these waves of media interest. To micro-market. They can generate their own momentum through thoroughly developed, well thought out and well funded strategy.

Yes, they’re putting their proverbial eggs in one very expensive basket, but at least it’ll get approved. It may bomb, but it was approved.

No one in these sort of organisations wants to be seen making a mistake without knowing someone else can take the heat if need be and that’s why I’m writing about the Clappison Veterinary Clinic and not a large multinational pet food company.

Big organisations really do need to think small these days. To market to the one, not the many.

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