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BOLD Marketing Takes Brains and Balls

Did the title catch your attention? 3 parts context, 1 part controversy

Pour over ice then shake

Serve in a 16:9 glass

The concept of “bold” marketing is a giant subject to unpack. It’s nuanced and vastly different across every audience and industry.

Regardless, there are THREE requirements you need to meet before undertaking a marketing campaign that would be considered bold.

  1. HIGH amounts of creativity

Creative is the biggest difference between coming across as cool or cringe. The ideas must be daring yet grounded. Surprising but not confusing. It won’t be a perfect fit for everyone but it must be a perfect fit for the narrow target audience you’re hoping to activate.

  1. HIGH levels of audience understanding

If you don’t know your audience on close personal levels then you won’t know what they would even consider to be “bold.” You also run the extreme risk of missing the mark which means eating the full consequences with minimal reward. The goal is to be deeply relevant which requires deep insight.

  1. HIGH levels of market understanding

What feels bold to you might be the norm for the market. In which case, you better be really bold really fast. Once you understand the standard for how your contemporaries are positioning themselves, the type of messaging they rely on, the kind of tone they use as brands, and the generic customer journey they deploy THAT’s when you’ll know what “bold” means in context with the marketplace.

Now there is an argument to be made that these three requirements apply to all marketing, not just a “bold” approach. You would be correct.

However, it’s possible to get away with running campaigns without high levels of any of the three above. We see it everyday.

Not the case with a bold choice. The blowback from botching a daring campaign (due to underperformance in the aforementioned areas) can be catastrophic to brand reputation and potentially put your job in the crosshairs.

There will always be a risk (that’s why it’s bold) but in the case of failure you will at least have the data and talent to prove that every key indicator pointed toward a win.

Stay bold my friends.


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