Just do it: turn marketing objectives into business results like Nike

NIKE is a brand that we have admired for some time: a business engineered around consumers that leverages rather than resists change to deliver remarkable customer experiences.

NIKE has a stated goal that its marketing will deliver incremental sales of $10 billion in the period 2014-2017.

Definitely a substantial marketing objective and one that we are confident that NIKE will exceed.

Here’s why we are confident.

NIKE is growth company

NIKE have a stated growth agenda and their marketing sits at the heart of it: there is recognition from the top down that profitable brand growth drives shareholder value.

The business has a multi-dimensional portfolio and believes that there is always growth to be found. Often, as Trevor Edwards, the President of Brand, says, this growth comes from looking deeper within the business and at customer behaviour to changes perspectives and identify new growth opportunities.  

Clear, tangible goals

NIKE have set stretching, measurable targets for their marketing acivity: to add $10 billion incremental revenue between 2014 and 2017. That’s an ambitious target but one that they are committed to.

The company’s goal is to be the best and the number one from performance to lifestyle.

Relentless focus on the customer

This is where the NIKE story becomes extraordinary.

Consumers and consumer understanding are at the heart of the business.

As Trevor Edwards puts it:

We focus on the consumer, and we understand them better than anyone else, so we can serve them better. We create innovative products and services for them, and we provide them access to those amazing products through compelling experiences across multiple channels all around the world.” 

There are three points to emphasise here:

  • NIKE realises that consumer understanding is a competitive advantage;
  • They focus on delivering experiences rather than pushing product
  • The experience is united across all channels.

NIKE call this the “Category Offense” and it is much wider than a marketing strategy cutting across Retail, ecommerce and innvovation. By taking this approach NIKE build a connected, holistic experience for customers that exists online and offline.

It’s an amazing commitment that comes from the top and perhaps Amazon are the only other business with such a complete focus on the customer.

Embrace change, don't resist it

We all know the disruption that the shift to a digital world has created. Where many companies see this as a challenge, NIKE have seen it as an opportunity to:

  • Better connect & better serve customers with more personal relationships;
  • Engage customers with inspiring stories;
  • Launch innovative products that improve the experience of participating in sport. NIKE+ Running, the NIKEFuel system and the NIKE Training Club are great examples.

NIKE believe that ‘digital commerce’, the seamless experience across devices, will deliver $2 billion in incremental sales by end 2017

3 steps to consumer engagement

NIKE follow 3 steps to engage consumer and build strong customer relationships:

  • Get the basics right – NIKE execute with excellence from product quality to ecommerce fulfilment. The introduction of NIKE factory shop has enabled NIKE to reach a wider customer base – those who buy into the brand but are less interested in the latest products and are looking for value.
  • Add utility and entertainment – NIKE do this better than anyone else and have truly harnessed digital channels to support and entertain their customers. This has taken the experience way beyond sporting attire. NIKE+ Running and the NIKEFuel system are only a couple of supreme examples. One could even argue that NIKE have taken the Quantified Self movement to the mass market.
  • Surprising, relevant interruptions – Not perfect but they will get better. NIKE uses the intelligence they collect to communicate with their customer only when the time is right and when they have something to say.

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