The days of too much silo marketing to “General Market” and “Hispanic Market” [and American African and Asian markets] will probably peter out  in 2018. The segment called “General Market” belittles, confines and even demeans the work that American Ad Agencies do – dangerous at a time when Management Consultancies are creeping in; and our business is ripe to be divided and conquered. So, if there are to be labels, the term General Market should be replaced with “Total Market”.

Now in marketing the truth holds that regardless of how many segments a brand serves, there should be only one purpose and one positioning.  “Why the brand exists” and “what the brand stands for” need to be crafted to be adapted for brand activation in any segment and to stand the test of time.Simon Sinek has made “why” the buzz word of the day. In neatly captures the intent of the brand and raison d’ etre. But I’ve added the notion of ideology to brand purpose and would much rather define it as Ideology X Intent. That way, the Belief or Credo of the brand gets incorporated into the Purpose which should be bigger than just a Why. It takes a lot of work to distil it all down to a simple sentence along these lines: “We believe…so intend …”

It’s worth repeating that a brand’s total market purpose should be able to be sustainably and profitably “Tailored” to any and every minority group in omnicultural America. “Omnicultural” should replace and supersede “Multicultural” [ which really means “Hispanic” ] and “Ambicultural” which sounds cool but is hard to describe. Further “Omnicultural” should  include the White tribes plus the some 10 major Latino ones plus the top 5 Asian segments, not to mention African Americans who comprise 12% of the Total Market.Where [ Total Market ] positioning is concerned much more thorough exercises will be conducted in 2018 hopefully with CEOs joining CMOs  around the table with their Agency partners. Indeed, it has been predicted that positioning will return to its former pre-eminence. Top of mind in positioning thinking will be Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” mantra namely: “The individual with, for example, the sharper beak, the longer horn, or the brighter feather would have the best chance of surviving and procreating its kind”. 

Securing that proverbial “sharper beak” in a mind bombarded by over communication [ exploding exponentially as “content” becomes king ] and over product proliferation, will be no easy task and not for the faint hearted.  Further marketers, operating in a world of industry disruption, will have to go way beyond owning a sub category; but that’s a good place to start.

Increasingly positioning will take 99% perspiration as marketers conduct macro marketing [ political | economic | socio cultural | technological ] analyses and superimposing these on analyses of their industry [ power of buyers | suppliers | new entrants | substitutes | competition ] to generate S.W.O.T insights. What to stand for will then be rooted in business strengths and competitor weaknesses; all to capitalize on the opportunity. This must have to be done, to use Bill Gates words, at the “speed of thought”. Because while some will still be fiddling with their Strengths and Opportunities, others like the proverbial Ubers, will be disrupting  their industries like crazy.

These then are key tasks to be conducted in crafting Total Market strategies. Reality being what it is, the CMO will be held accountable for delivering brand purpose and positioning recommendations that will give the CEO a good degree of reassurance that the business deliverables will be met. CMOs will in turn deflect some of this pressure onto their agencies,  demanding that they work in concert and in double quick time. The dismantling of silos will result. “One throat to choke” will go beyond a joke to truly being the name of the game.

Where marketing communication is concerned the best Positioning Statements have four components: Who | Is | That | Because.

This is where the powerful, indispensable science and art of “Tailoring” comes in. Under the umbrella of the master WHY we exist and WHAT we stand for, tailored plans will be created for each significant segment of OmniCultural America as follows:

“Who” – A relevant  insight  for each and every segment that taps into the master “human truth”

“Is” – the brand’s meaningful difference for each segment, together with the master relevant differentiation

“That” – the brand’s promise to each of the segments together with the master brand promise

 “Because” – reasons to believe for each segment together with the master RTBs.

All this and more will serve as input for the creation of Ideas. A word on this. Curiously Ad Agencies have never charged for or sold big BRAND IDEAS. The worth of “Brand Ideas” must be championed by agencies in 2018. This, along with brand purpose and positioning, is the foundation of what differentiates us from consultancies.

Big Brand Ideas are generated out of the purpose and positioning and rooted in an enduring and profound human truth. The competitive mental angle they provide should be sustainable and not easily copied. Out of these Brand Ideas, Campaign Ideas are generated. These are most commonly expressed in the Slogan. The buzz word when talking about rolling out Campaigns will continue to be “Storytelling” although in truth only the very big players will be able to afford true storytelling.

To summarize, persuasive communication in 2018 will be launched by cracking the Total Market Campaign Idea and then making this relevant or “tailoring” it to the key segments targeted across the brand’s omnicultural audiences. Tailoring to America’s Latino segments will become increasingly imperative for more and more marketers and new and exciting ways to do so will flourish. Tailoring will also increasingly extend to interventions at touch points across the Purchase Decision Journey and related Shopper Marketing ideas. And of course, tailoring as always will ultimately get down to a target of one – personal marketing and persuasive communication.

Having said all this, maybe I’m getting carried away envisioning how I see the meaning of the “Total & Tailored” notion being played out as we embrace the New Year in omnicultural America. Maybe most of the stuff here is just best practice. You be the judge dear reader.