How to Change a Marketing Strategy

Fortune 500 companies have been using ABM as a way to create campaigns that give their target customer an experience they never had before with their brand. Here is how your company can do the same, using GumGum's collaboration with McDonald's as a case study.

Changing your marketing strategy can feel like pulling teeth if you don’t plan. In the same vein of thought, too much planning will make you want to put it off indefinitely. Every company needs change to grow, and marketing differently could be the change you need to drag your company up to the level it deserves to be.

Here’s how to change your marketing strategy and ensure your success and an example of how two major companies pulled it off.

GumGum and McDonald’s Super-Sized Deal

I can’t overstate how important planning is. Take your company’s profits so far, and plot them out so you can see any trends. From there, decide what things have helped. If it’s just been a steady slump downhill since you took charge, it may be time to change more than you’d like. Realistically plan where you’d like your company to be – and how you can get there from where your company is. Whether by redesigning the product’s packaging, or using highly personalised account-based marketing campaigns, look for a strategy that best emphasises your product. If it’s what will work- don’t scare away from combining a couple of changes at once.

GumGum, a computer-vision company, created an ABM (“account-based marketing”) strategy for McDonald’s executives to gain their interest as a client. They created a “Burger Kit” to 100 executives at McDonald’s, each with personalised “Receipts” that included their names and included different strengths of GumGum as a media company in each layer of the “burger kit” from the third-party’s delivery to their potential client.

They then posted these burgers all over social media through a specifically content-driven strategy that targeted key decision-makers.

Realistically plan where you’d like your company to be – and how you can get there from where your company is.

GumGum Considered McDonald’s Culture

Take a look at how your company culture is affecting your marketing. What beliefs does your company operate under daily? How are those benefits to the customers and your employees? Think about what image you want the community to have of your business, and if you’re putting that plan into motion.

People view companies as personalities because of social media, so your company’s culture and nature must align with what your customers want to see.

Now, let’s revisit the GumGum strategy team’s impressively personalised campaign to McDonald’s. They took into great consideration the company’s biggest product, the Big Mac, and made it personalised to their brand. What they did was re-envision the branding of McDonald’s to their own brand’s strengths. The personalisation was down to the actual ingredients of the Big Mac and the personalised receipt that wraps around the faux Big Mac as if it were taken from the store.

GumGum’s Performance and Outcome

How has your company been performing? If you’re undergoing a marketing overhaul, usually, that means things haven’t been running well. This strategy change is when you can cut the fat and figure out what your company needs to survive. Look at what you can change in your company’s performance to make you more marketable.

GumGum, as a result of their targeted social media campaigns of these burger kits and sending the personalised faux burgers with key identifiers of how they can collaborate, scored a meeting with McDonald’s executives and a multi-million dollar deal.

GumGum’s Employees Shown in McDonald’s Deal

These people are the lifeblood of any company. What image do they put out to the world? If your customers see your employees in person, what’s the opinion on their uniforms or dress code? If clients speak with your employees over the phone or email, are they sending you across your company’s personality? They’re the first contact customers have with your business, make sure that the first impression is a good one.

How does this apply to the McDonald’s deal? GumGum showed their creativity by combining the brand’s image and the assets that go into creating campaigns of this caliber. It shows how each person on their design and technical teams can quantify their product with their creativity.

Look at the actual design of the personalised burgers: “…the patties mentioned first- and third-party data. The onions touched on targeting. The special sauce promoted our computer vision software. There was even an augmented reality tattoo that could be accessed by a smartphone.

GumGum’s Product with McDonald’s

When you look at your product, whether it’s a competitive banking program or a toy for kids, does its style of presentation work for how you want your customers to view it? Does your product automatically come across in a way that would make your customer demographic get excited about it?

Some companies go for ostentatious marketing to make sure they catch the viewer’s eye – like how GoDaddy uses shocking and borderline inappropriate advertising to get potential users just to click their URL. All of the ads and hubbub are just a way to get you to host a URL through them – though shock advertising like this can be polarising and isn’t suitable for every company.

GumGum in this particular case showed and quantified their product through social media to gain McDonald’s attention. The final advertisement that they created for the general public to see mimicked McDonald’s already-existing advertisement campaign of “I’m Lovin’ It,” on a big platform like Instagram and Youtube.

When you look at your product, whether it’s a competitive banking program or a toy for kids, does its style of presentation work for how you want your customers to view it?

McDonald’s as Customers

What do your current customers want? They have the best view of your company since it caught their eyes before. You can gather information by putting out an anonymous google poll, or by using comment cards at your physical business. Communicate with your customers, ask what they think would help reach more people like them, and listen with caution.

You absolutely should not follow every idea a customer has, but you should take the time to pull out the right ideas. Your customers put money and faith into your product for a reason, and they’re how you’ll be able to succeed in the long run.

In this case, GumGum’s customer was McDonald’s company and its key decision-makers. The way they utilised social media and gained an attraction to their campaign, however, in effect gained the attraction they were looking for. GumGum thought outside of the box and repurposed something that is their target company’s biggest product.

Putting Everything Into Motion

Get your marketing strategy going! If you’ve planned enough, and taken the time to train and listen to employees, it’s time to get going. Work hard to make sure everything you can control goes according to plan- but if anything fails, you should be flexible. Nothing is perfect, and issues come up even during the best-laid ideas.

Work around any situations that might jeopardise your company and learn from those. Your company’s livelihood depends on how you handle these steps back, so don’t make a problem worse than it already is. If your customers have concerns or questions about the changes, be open, and listen to what they have to say.

GumGum’s plan in this case was to strategise, pull the data of their potential plan, and deliver to the executives their intended message. The “Big Mac with Computer Vision” had a very strategic message for their potential McDonald’s stakeholders. When re-proposing their message, it also set up for McDonald’s to identify with it.

Review, Decide if it’s Worth Keeping

After your plan is starting to yield results, look them over, and decide if this is what you wanted for your company. Is it turning in high enough of a profit? Are the changes capable of being kept up in the long term?

If the plan is failing, or anything is happening so that you have to revert to the old marketing strategy, it’s nothing to be ashamed about or hate. Learn from it, take heavy notes, and get up and start moving forward again. There’s no right answer to running a business, but your customers will notice how you conquer failures. Show them your company can roll with the punches, and is there to be a reliable staple in their lives.

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