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Why You Need Surge Capacity in Your 2011 Marketing Plan

What can moscato teach us about marketing planning and skillsets of socially-savvy marketers?   More than you might imagine.

This sweet wine sourced from the Muscat grape was a rounding error on annual wine sales in the US.

Until Drake came along.

“Of the Sir Francis variety?” you ask.


Drake is a hip-hop artist.  He rapped “clap clap bravo, lobster and shrimp and a glass of moscato” (you’d find this poetry in the single entitled “Do It Now”, of course).   And not long thereafter, a spark became a moscato wildfire, as you can see from the Google Analytics chart here.

Sales of moscato spiked 76% in the last year—not bad when overall wine sales were flat.

Looking back a year ago, that’s a pretty big opportunity for a wine marketer sitting on a sleepy moscato brand.  But it would take keen listening and a marketing organization with some surge capacity to take advantage of the wildfire.

In  “Why You Need a New Media Ringmaster” (appearing in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review), I wrote about the three traits most distinguishing a new breed of social media marketer from more traditional marketers.  One of those traits is “high decision clock speed”.  New Media Ringmasters don’t just make quick decisions themselves—they set their organizations up to operate on a much faster cycle time.

That starts with establishing an enterprise listening system that is comprehensive.  Further, it means spreading listening tentacles into the proper workflows around the organization (not just in marketing), to ensure speedy response on smaller scale issues.  As important, for larger opportunities, it requires marketing leaders to think differently about resourcing marketing initiatives. There’s an increasing need for marketers to maintain more “surge” capacity—both within marketing and among key agency partners—so their brands can capitalize on flash opportunities, like the Drake moscato mention, before competitors do.

We’d love to hear from you—what are you or your marketing team doing to increase your decision clock speed?  How are you building surge capacity into your 2011 marketing plan?  By the way, these are among the issues that MLC will take up in its 2011 research.  Send me a note if you’d like to talk with us about this (

For another great example of a flash opportunity, see Bob Nunn’s blog on “Movember”—yes, it’s the perennial surge in popularity of mustaches around November, and how major mustache grooming brands seem to be a day late and two bits short in taking advantage of it.  Or, if you haven’t read it, get yourself a complimentary copy of “Why You Need a New Media Ringmaster” .

Also, be sure to check out our upgraded marketing planning solution. MarkPlan™ 2010 is a software suite that leads you through a series of well defined steps and proven templates for building strategic marketing plans that fit your organization.  Think of it as a TurboTax wizard that will help you generate your marketing plan.  Learn More.

Comments from the Network (1)

  1. Wide Angle » Social Media Mission Control = White Elephant?
    on January 11, 2011

    [...] mission control enable you to spot and jump on “flash” marketing opportunities? Will it provide you with speedier one-to-one response time for customer support, driving up CSAT [...]

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