Jul 30, 2012

How to use IMPROV for Marketing Strategy and Planning

I recently took a class to learn how to use “improv“ (improvisational theater) in business. To my surprise and probably to the surprise of many of you, improv is not about coming up with funny lines and going crazy on stage, it is rather based on simple and very effective principles:


“Improv teaches actors to listen and be aware of the other players, to have clarity in communication, and confidence to make choices instinctively.”

So, how can you use that in marketing? Well, it is almost 100% the same – great marketing is about:
  • Listening to customers and being aware of their needs and situation (empathy).
  • Clearly communicating to them your value proposition, benefits, and how to use your products and services.
  • Making choices and fully committing to it: Focusing your offering on what’s really important for the customer based on what you have learned from them.
And frankly, based on my experience in working with start-ups and other companies, these three areas often represent their biggest challenges. Companies don’t really listen/understand their customers and their needs, they communicate using vendor terms/buzzwords/tech-talk, etc. and finally, they lack focus and try to be too many different things.

So, how about adding a little improv to your marketing strategy planning? Listen and observe, communicate clearly and then focus on what's right for the customer.