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Archive for December, 2014

Responsive Or Adaptive?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


Marketing is the creation and nurturing of relationships such that people desire that which you are offering. Oh sure, we could complicate the definition, but in essence, THAT is the definition of marketing.

Within the marketing bubble are a series of “tools” (strategies, approaches, methods, tactics, etc.). The way in which those tools are utilized fall into two distinct categories; Responsive and Adaptive.

For a moment, close your eyes and picture a Redwood tree. Redwoods have mammoth trunks and massive branches. Adaptive marketing is analogous to the trunk, and Responsive marketing is analogous to the branches.

Adaptive marketing involves the structural changes that are applied to a marketing strategy with the intention of creating a major shift with respect to the current environment. For example, let’s say that a new tool hits the landscape (i.e. Pinterest) and is a better fit for the immediate future of your business. It behooves you to make the appropriate corrections as a means of optimizing your operation.

Responsive marketing involves the minor, often instantaneous (“on the fly”) adjustments to one’s business, typically where infrastructural changes are not necessary. For example, let’s say that your business COULD make good use of highway billboard visibility, but determines that the CBR (cost-benefit ratio) is such that an investment of that magnitude would be inappropriate and very unwise. One Monday morning, you receive a call with an offer that’s just too good to pass up – three months of prime billboard exposure for 75% of the normal media rate. You immediately jump on the opportunity knowing that you are not shifting directions, but recognize the value of this rare opportunity.

You would think that most companies are an effective mix of both Adaptive and Responsive marketing. And if you did think that, you would be wrong. The fact of the matter is that most small to medium-sized businesses, that inherently have the ability to modify their operation, are very resistant to do so. The reason that they are not willing to be both Adaptive and Responsive is less complicated than you might think. It comes down to false logic and ego.

Many businesses believe that the customer should modify themselves to suit the business. To a small degree, they are correct. For example, if you don’t like raw fish, and instead, prefer a burger – then demanding that a sushi restaurant have hamburgers on the menu, is completely unreasonable. On the other hand, if the products carried by a business are pricey, and the business does not accept credit cards, then the loss of revenue is on the business, not the consumer.

From time to time, the environment (the marketplace) dictates that Adaptive marketing changes be embraced. A business that makes handmade furniture should never resort to making their furniture on an assembly line in a factory over in China. On the other hand, they want to move from a printed catalog to a website (an Adaptive change) as a means of retailing their products. And, if the opportunity were to reveal itself at an incredible price, setting up a booth at the premier furniture show attended by tens of thousands of consumers, would be a smart Responsive marketing decision.

Thanks for reading this edition of Dr. Marc’s Blog.

Have A GREAT Day!

…Dr. Marc & The Mind Virus Team