By Greg Paull, Co-founder and Principal, R3
There is no shortage of issues to keep marketers up at
night. With revenue down in many categories, teams working from home, supply
chains disrupted, and consumers doing cartwheels in all directions, no one can
blame marketers for finding solace where they can.
Regardless of which camp you’re in, FOFO (Fear of Finding
Out) is the one place of refuge marketers like to hide in from time to time.
FOFO is a term used in the medical community to describe the psychological
barrier that stops people from seeking medical advice for worrying health
conditions. FOFO is the complete opposite of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and is
common in many areas in life.
There are three things that set FOFO in the hearts of
FOFO #1 – Is our team and partnership structure
Building a strong team that can withstand the winds of
change should be the primary concern of any CMO. Marketing teams which have the
right mix of talent, innovation and experience to adapt to new ways of working
will deliver for any brand and business.
P&G has embraced FOFO in the last two years by breaking their model – by changing their corporate structure and changing agency relationships in place for 50+ years through Fixed and Flow, in-housing and pushing holding companies to work together.
FOFO #2 – Are there leaky pipes in our media and
Every dollar counts, and with higher accountability comes
the need to examine the health of media and financial processes. An increase in
fraud during the pandemic means that marketers need to put checks in place and
move to fix gaps quickly. Ignorance is not bliss.
Unilever has embraced FOFO recently by being a leading voice on Brand Safety and Diversity and pushing their global marketing communities to be better at appropriate content.
… Every dollar counts, and with higher accountability comes the need to examine the health of media and financial processes. An increase in fraud during the pandemic..
FOFO #3 – Are we digitally integrated and competitive?
The imperative for digital transformation has been revived, but not in the way it was at the turn of the Millennium. Marketers now realize that posting videos on YouTube and engaging social influencers on IGTV does not mean that they have fully embraced digital marketing – especially when first-party data, e-commerce and customer experience remain disconnected set-pieces.
L’Oreal has embraced FOFO by radically changing their talent pool, forcing every marketer and potential candidate to sit a digital ‘test’, hiring 3,000 new digital talents and pivoting to e-Commerce and online engagement better than anyone else.
… When receiving diagnosis from experts and consultants on the health of your marketing teams and processes, always make sure that they empower you with immediate action…
The FOFO Recovery Program
1/ Confront Your FOFO
The first step is to be open about the risks to your
marketing continuity. Find an expert who has qualified experience and shows a
genuine desire to help and keep an open mind.
Bring in talent from your Finance and Internal Audit teams
as active stakeholders to help you hold marketing accountable.
Look in the Mirror.
Look for Best Practice.
2/ Create a Culture of Confidence
Great leaders remove the blame and provide confidence that
the wrong course can be corrected. Client agency relationship evaluations are
not just about identifying pain points, they help build better cultures within
- Celebrate success.
- Recognize failure.
- Pay your agencies on results.
- Ask your agencies how you can improve
3/ Think Short & Long-Term
Giving people a “how” is as important as communicating the
“why.” When receiving diagnosis from experts and consultants on the health of
your marketing teams and processes, always make sure that they empower you with
Greg Paull is principal and co-founder of R3, a global independent consultancy focused on driving transformation for marketers and their agencies. www.rthree.com
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