Risk Management & Innovative Marketing – 3 Questions I Ask Every Client

Looking in a bowlLooking for innovative digital marketing? I suggest checking your risk tolerance first.  Seriously!

It is a lot like a trip to the financial planner. Pick a number between 1 and 10 that best describes your risk tolerance and matching it to your marketing plan.

Just saying “innovation” is easy.

Everyone wants the big hit, the video that goes viral, millions of hits, and a call from a network morning news show.

Unfortunately it is just not that simple.  Not everyone wants to go viral rapping in their Christmas jammies like local news anchor Penn Holderness did when he announced his new job.

Still kudos to Penn for taking the risk!

Putting your time and money into an innovative, out-of-the-box marketing plan that tests uncharted waters is not easy. It’s just like investing money. Risk equals reward, and risk is a nerve-wracking proposition.

So I always ask these 3 questions before designing a marketing plan- 

  1. Is your business or non-profit progressive? Think of your audience, their behavior and the goals for your marketing effort.  For example trying to make a major gain, or out flank a giant competitor requires more risk than merely evolving your brand.
  2. Are the bosses really on board with innovation?  Talk with the internal stakeholders and make sure the risk/reward position is clear and expectations are in-line with reality.
  3. Finally – how well do your customers, staff and management tolerate change?

Don’t get me wrong – innovation is the hallmark of my company, Ester Mae Marketing. I am always in favor of marketing that cuts through the noise. But with more than 15 years in this crazy world of digital marketing, I have become a realist.

Buy-in is critical to any marketing effort, and risk tolerance is huge part of the equation.

My best advice for clients?  Borrow a page from the financial planner, pick a number between 1 and 10 and do some honest soul-searching about your risk tolerance. It will not only save a lot of time and frustration but in the long run it will save you money!  (And that is always a 10!)

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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