Gordan Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares is the spitting image of what the pandemic did to businesses around the globe. He slams through the door and rips up everything they did until then, questioning every move and constantly screaming in their face.
To many marketers, that sounds proverbially familiar when it comes to the impact 2020 has had on marketing strategy – disruption is now the name of the game, so where do we go from here? That’s one of the topics AP Director, Justine O'Neill, recently covered on the MAD//Fest stage at DMEXCO. Watch our 180-seconds video including a short Q&A session below.
Like many of the restaurants in Kitchen Nightmares, the majority of companies had to adjust and reinvent themselves in some way shape or form - or they’d be left behind. Plan after plan was ripped up as new restrictions were thrown at us left, right and centre at record speed. At Analytic Partners we have always said that brands need to adapt and evolve to thrive, and we had no idea how relevant that was going to be in 2020.
Accept the measurement challenges
What was particularly astonishing to see were companies and brands who were previously poor at or found it hard to adapt surprising even themselves at the speed and agility with which they have pivoted, ducked, and dived. We have seen adverts filmed on iPhones, e-commerce channels set up almost overnight, and red tape or steadfast barriers that existed being smashed through at record speed. A lot of these plans were built on the spot through trial and error, which showed the uplifting effects of agility compared to standing still or any wait-and-see approach.
While no doubt being challenged, many teams have been rejuvenated. All of the sudden, they were able to cast off the bonds of past plans and forced to rethink their “let’s do what did we do last year and add/take away a bit” mentality that is more prevalent than we will admit to ourselves.
Test and learn from mistakes
Everything from changing consumer habits to Facebook bans have added more flames to the fire and have forced the rule book to be rewritten. In some cases, it has awoken a curiosity and desire for further change within organizations.
Test & Learn and experiments have become the buzzwords we are hearing lately. So much so that we brought forward the launch of Analytic Partners’ Agile Learning, the integrated experimentation solution within our GPS Enterprise platform. We are seeing more and more brands are setting aside dedicated budget to run these tests. And really any kind of Scenario Planning is vital in constantly changing environments. Our latest ROI Genome report has shown that companies who adopt data-driven scenario planning drive growth at least 5x greater than companies who do not.
Build on experience
Even Gordon Ramsey doesn’t have the answers to all of today’s challenges. His knowledge is built on and grows with his experience. When you watch a couple of his Kitchen Nightmares episodes you start to see the similarities about what he is recommending to the restaurants, because it is all based on what he has seen work before, tailored to their specific needs. The stark confrontation may be quite challenging for the restaurant, but in the end, they will learn from his experience and they will emerge stronger and more knowledgeable.
Stay hungry and agile
Whether in a restaurant or in measurement, we must remember: there is no ‘new normal’, because there has never been an ‘old normal’. The world was constantly changing before COVID hit us, and it will continue to change long after the pandemic has vanished. But in a situation like this, you can live up to the challenge and embrace what Just Eat’s UK Marketing Director called “two years’ worth of learning in six months”.
Change, no matter how much we hate it, is good for our soul and our brands because it opens our horizons. Only those who embrace the constant of change, let it scream at them, and spit food on their floor until they get it right will thrive long-term. While we need to acknowledge that in some industries the future is uncertain, we need to capitalize and build on the desire to evolve and see what else we can do.
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