The Y-U Protocol – An overview for the existential marketer.
The central tenet of this protocol is choice and how the use of explicit and implicit methods by a marketing professional effectuate that choice while satisfying conscious and unconscious self-imposed requirements for an iterative process.
Choice can be defined as a function of preference and selection. We as marketers are tasked with guiding our audience to a perceived free exercise of that choice but one that favors our goals.
With preference as the main factor for inclusion into the primary consideration set, we must understand that this is a timeline centric influencer. Members of this set may include offerings of which the audience has no previous awareness but that is a very small needle to thread. Most likely inclusions are offerings that have exposure through previous research, media, social media and personal recommendation.
Selection thus can be seen as the culmination of considerations based on preference, crystallized by a more informationally sound process that compares and contrasts offerings. At this point, if your offering does not exist in the primary consideration set then it is highly unlikely that it will be included in the final choice component. This of course excludes those offerings that rely on impulse as a primary motivator.
Let’s, however, step back for a moment and consider that to achieve these goals, the primary iteration must include a multi segmented analytic understanding of the nature of our target audience, the market and the evolution of this offering. We must be cognitive of the fact that our target audience is not a single entity with uniform motivations, desires or needs.
This protocol, it is fair to say, is envisioned as a unification vehicle and a meta significant macro level codification of marketing best practices independent of industry and offering.
The Y-U Protocol can be seen to incorporate and expand our understanding of established and defined concepts such as differentiation, cost leadership and functional focus strategies within the sphere of local and global marketing campaigns.
Its focus as examined in this piece thus describes a small subset of the various forms that influence the marketing superstructure of an offering from inception to retirement; the nature of the relationship of marketing goals to form and function and the role of the departmental matrix within sentient organizations.
The scope of such a protocol extends through interactions with sociological, mathematical and scientific referential structures, though details of such are beyond the brief of this article.
The question that we hope to link to this protocol in this piece is what influences choice. Whether a selection can be influenced, arrived at by confluence or predicted by affluence of availability.
In a targeted post globalized society populated by a sophisticated marketing aware consumer, the challenge is to appeal to the numerous subsets of this entity as they exist today and evolve under the limitless referential effects of informational overload, social media interactions and meme symbiosis.
A protocol is defined as a set of procedures or a system of rules that bound actions or inactions in an interactive environment. In this case, a box of building blocks from which your case can be built, modified and unified with sibling offerings.
The Y-U Protocol.
The implicit influence on choice can often be the most robust method for life cycle marketing of an offering. Yet this methodology is also one that requires maintenance of exposure and a constantly evolving set of tools prevalent across established and evolving channels.
The Y-U Protocol is an exercise of those actions, reactions and inactions that keep pace with an evolutionary process of your offering in the marketing space. Its influence should be promulgated during the process of inception, design, manufacture and testing. The role of the marketing director is defined by it. At this level, it is the core function of this directorship to influence and unify the company in totality to one vision, mission and set of actions that will result in quantifiable success. More of this will be discussed in future pieces.
The actuation of this protocol, it must be stated, can only be optimized by utilizing the complexity of pre-meditation. A perfunctory exercise of its use is destined to be an abject non-event. Its DNA is one of subtle dissonance that leads to an emergence of your offering from the white noise.
The scope of this protocol is a dynamic evolving set of forms best understood by visualization using set theory.
Consider a “Proper set” of marketing strategies that approximate the Y-U Protocol (P0), within which we can visualize a nested system that bounds the analytics of audience structure (A0-An). Each nested set consists of a subset of forms that exhibit unions and intersections with others (F0-Fn).
For our purposes and that of brevity, we can perhaps look at A0 and examine some of the forms that exist therein. To further simplify the example lets apply a real world example and focus on the implementations of one organization. Please note: This example does not interpret the full scope of this organization’s marketing methodology nor its complete usage of the protocol but is simply a snapshot.
Few examples exist where one organization has produced a set of products that have captured the imagination intra and inter generationally. Much has been written about Apple™ and its product range over the years and the story continues.
Predictive: Apple™ products have used the predictive form with great organizationally pervasive unity. Producing offerings that stretch the bounds of what the market needs or wants to a vision of what the market can absorb. For any commercial organization that has shareholders to satisfy this is truly inspirational corporate aptitude.
Object Permanence: From the age of only a few months, the concept of object permanence is important to our understanding of the world around us. When we look at the Apple™ product set from iPhone thru to Airpods, we can immediately see what binds their offerings to the organization and to the vision that Apple™ offers its customer base. Thus, when new members of the product family appear, there is an inherent familiarity that mitigates a part of the process of introduction, fast tracking the marketing initialization.
Alliterative: The alliterative presentation is not only exhibited in the literal definition but also the perception that Apple™ solutions present. Their philosophy of independence from the market pulls other players into a developmental arc that enables new market segments to emerge.
Janus: Janus is the name of the Roman god of doorways, pathways and transitions. Often, mention of Janus, indicates an evolution from the past into the future. In their marketing Apple™ often casts its products in that light. With sleek futuristic designs, packaging and functionality, their products are seen in the marketplace as cutting edge. Few product launches garner the media coverage or the consumer frenzy that is seen at an Apple™ event. Needless to say the marketing capital from such a following is priceless.
Cohesive: Apple™ incorporates cohesion in its range as well as any organization today. Optimization of touch and wireless technologies as well as the utilization of speech and gesture based interaction ensures that once initiated, the user is immersed so transition to another technology involves a learning curve that may seem difficult to master.
Recursive: The recursive form of the Y-U Protocol often linked with simplistic forms such as repetitive scheduling of ads and recursive themes in campaigns, is however more thoughtfully implemented by Apple™ from design elements that harken back to the architectural characteristics of art deco with late century science fiction references to tactile elements that are pervasive throughout the range.
Memory Stamping: Implementation of function that permeates an industry and becomes standard is one level of memory stamping. The audience perceives that function as one that is a fixed standard. Apple™ has taken this a step further with Facetime™. Among audiences that utilize this function across platforms, it is often referentially Facetime™ no matter the technology or the brand. Last seen perhaps with mutually interchangeable Hoover™ and vacuuming as in “Have you hoovered the carpet…”.
Going back to our set structure A1 could be defined as our market influencers. Intersecting with A0 forms this is another set of forms that takes a step towards focusing our campaign to quantifiable actionable design.
Push-Pull Influencers: Critical elements of a cohesive marketing campaigns, employ both of these structural elements in the presentation of their offering. While the push element seeks out the audience the pull element uses exposure to encourage the audience to seek out the product. Whether they are seen as distinct elements or two sides of the same element is dependent on your offering and the structure of your audience demographic.
Accessibility, Quality & Price: Whether you countenance the esoteric basics of the Y-U Protocol or not, these influencers are undeniably the fundamental basis of marketing infrastructure. Few offerings are not subject to competitive accessibility challenges, comparative quality considerations and price to demographic matching.
Fad, Fashion and the Jones Factor: Parse the iterative process and you will find many elements sidelined or bypassed by the Fad as described by reference within social structures. Social groups adopting a fashion imperative or a peer critiqued choice will sequester the iterative process and price considerations to a subset of considerations.
Antecedents & Consequences: Insurance is an offering that is familiar and yet can effectively describe this form of the Y-U Protocol. An antecedent event or visualization of a consequence can effectively influence the decision to get insurance. It is important to remember that your offering is still not the final choice for the audience. A further selective form is required to complete the choice.
In conclusion, the Y-U Protocol is a dynamic marketing structure that encompasses the complete timeline between inception and deliver of an offering. It is a teachable set of tools that brings together a diversity of knowledge, multiple disciplines and the principles of influence upon choice. The efficacy of this protocol is dependent on communication and a deep understanding of your audience.
Regardless of market, geographical location and demographic a well versed student of marketing can create campaigns that are lean, effective and adaptive. An effective marketing director can influence a team significantly more than any number of tools and a knowledgeable teacher can shape a team better than any hiring method.
For many organizations, guidance through this structural imperative is not a role that can be satisfied by the director of marketing. The role is simply too expansive.
With greater prevalence in European markets than in the United States, the Non-Executive Director of Marketing (NXDm), is increasingly accepted as an essential addition to the marketing group and the board.
Typically, possessing expansive experience within a range of industries, this individual brings both corporate and entrepreneurial experience to the position. Though not an employee, this person is also not considered a consultant.
The scope of this individual’s responsibility extends from business performance analysis, campaign design and input on direction while reporting to the board and acting as an independent arbiter where necessary.
The advantages of having an NXDm as part of the team clearly extends from access to experience thru cost savings as schedules only extend typically to under 5 days a month. Cost commensurate with experience is a fraction of that which is associated with any other board member.
Another major consideration must be having access to such a significant teaching asset.
It is essential that a qualified NXDm has real world teaching experience. Newer marketing concepts and methods when introduced to your team will require to be adequately taught and implemented on a significantly short schedule.
This then is an overview of the Y-U Protocol and the role of associated professionals in its introduction, instruction and implementation in your organization.
Reference note from the author:
For over 20 years I have been a business and marketing consultant working in various industries and educating marketing professionals. I believe that an informed marketing professional can develop the tools to influence choice organically raising the profile of their brand and dramatically improving profitability.
My blogs and articles are based on experience gained and strategies developed using the Y-U Protocol. Over the years I have translated my experience into teachable courses that can be tailored to meet the needs of most companies.
My experience and qualifications can be viewed on my company consulting pages where my services as an independent consultant or a Non-Executive Director of Marketing (NXDm) can be contracted.