Our marketing world is light years behind other industries. Go back to the Apollo 13 movie ... almost fifty years ago, NASA threw Ken in the simulator to figure out a startup procedure utilizing fewer amps than you use in your living room.
Here's what we need ... and heck, maybe I need to write the simulator myself ... if you are an enterprising person and have ideas, send me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) ... ok, back to what we need.
- Program actual customer dynamics (rebuy rates, spend per repurchaser, new customers etc).
- Program relationship between ad spend and demand generation, by marketing channel.
- Program actual inter-channel dynamics (online customer buys in-store, becomes loyal store buyer).
- Program liquidation dynamics (i.e. buy too much inventory, need to liquidate it, lose money in the process).
- Program impact of "human issues" ... for example, by squeezing headcount, you cannot grow the business as fast or expand into new areas.
Now that the simulation is set, you, the user, get to turn the dials. Invest in customer acquisition ... invest in customer loyalty ... build an omnichannel brand ... focus on excellence within a single channel, you make the call. At the end of a year, you get to see the fruits of your labor. Or, you might decide to fire yourself!
At the end of five years, or ten years, your business will have evolved along a trajectory that would be different than how another individual, running the exact same simulation, would see their business evolve (because everybody would make different investment decisions).
Why would the simulator be important?
Well, you'd get to test your hypotheses before randomly trying stuff that would destroy the brand you work for. If you think that omnichannel is the best strategy, go, make it happen ... but then be sure to compare how the business evolves against a business strategy of maximizing one channel at the expense of others.
Ok, tell me what you think. Do you think our industry needs a simulator? If you agree, what needs to be programmed into the simulator? How much would you pay for a simulator? Let me know your thoughts (email@example.com).