Three key ingredients of successful marketing



Global marketing expert Greg Creed explains how you can deploy a transparent and flexible consumer engagement methodology to grow your business.

Creating a distinctive marketing campaign to achieve high consumer engagement and response levels is always a massive challenge. According to author and former Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed, crafting that breakthrough campaign depends on harnessing the power of ‘R.E.D.’ or ‘Relevance, Ease, Distinctiveness’ marketing.

Citi Latitude invites you to learn these three key ingredients of successful marketing in an engaging session with Greg, and observe its five key actionable takeaways.


Takeaway 1

To dramatically improve the marketing fortunes of a business, its leaders should opt for a framework that’s simple but effective. This framework must include three key ingredients – Relevance, Ease, Distinctiveness or “R.E.D.”

Whether your organization is big or small, the desire to reach out to your clientele, improve engagement and ultimately grow your business through effective marketing is universal. However, what I find is that a lot of people don’t even know what questions to ask the market. The R.E.D. methodology can provide clarity and ultimately lead to a real breakthrough marketing campaign. It’s all about making a brand relevant, easy to access, and shaping it to be distinctive for the consumer.


Takeaway 2

While the three key ingredients of R.E.D. marketing success are easy to comprehend, the question that crucially needs to be answered is which of the three ingredients is a marketeer or a marketing team missing out on? If the three don’t align, success may not follow, and the marketing approach may seem opaque.

For instance, is your brand good at being ‘relevant’? Is it 'easier’ or ‘distinctive’? Let's assume a brand is very distinctive. What its marketing professionals then tend to do is double down on the distinctiveness and realize much later in the journey that if they don't make their brand relevant and easy, just being distinctive isn't enough on its own. I would argue that unless you make your brand relevant, then ease and distinctiveness don't matter if you're simply not relevant.


Takeaway 3

Businesses cannot market their products and promote their market credentials in a cultural vacuum. One of the biggest mistakes people make today is getting caught up in functional differentiation, rather than making sure their brand is culturally relevant.

You’ll find outfits where all functions within a system become ascribed to a particular unit or site. But if that one part fails to fulfil its task, the whole system will have great difficulty surviving. This is a dangerous path to follow in today’s world. I believe there are two parts of culture that really matter today for organizations and businesses – what's going on in society, which is evolving at a rapid pace, and the culture within your organization. Marketeers must remain conscious of both. Then when it comes to writing a great marketing strategy, they have to reverse the order in which it is conjured up. Instead of strategy, structure, culture, the order should be rejigged in terms of culture, strategy, structure.


Takeaway 4

It is very easy for business leaders to fall into the trap of not wanting to take a position on a particular issue of our times because it could upset some people. However, the problem is that society, and, more importantly, people employed by the business will take a position for it, and that's invariably the opposite of what business leaders want.

So, marketing managers and business leaders can decide either to upset 50% of their base by taking a position, or upset 100% of it, including their employees, by not taking a position. That’s because people will assume you're taking the opposite stance to what’s considered just in their minds, particularly if you're a large business or organization. The assumption by society might be that you know you're not doing good but rather just trying to make a lot of money. Great brands are built on taking a position just like great leaders are built on taking a position. Of course, you will cop some flak but at least then your employees and your customers know exactly where you stand.

Takeaway 5

Finally, a key marketing lesson to learn in our digital age is the art of “less is more” or knowing how to be continually clearer by saying less, and not necessarily putting forward a long misaligned or incoherent message. This point intrinsically leads on to distinctiveness.

I often find that companies try to change too many things all at once leading to a confused message that consumers simply fail to pick up on. A confused message with an information overload rarely works with customers today. However, simple, targeted and measured messaging is likely to standout. It could also ensure the three most important things that make your brand distinctive – it’s uniqueness, ownability, and consistency.