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Category : 10 Keys

INSPIRE ACTION

Key #9 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here

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Every business and brand that grows has a Golden Goose.

Sometimes that’s sales. Sometimes it’s direct mail. Other times it’s e-commerce and a digital, affiliate network. Sometimes they tell me it’s “word-of-mouth.”

For a while, whatever it was, it produced the Golden Eggs. It worked. And the Goose’s enemies were marketing and branding. Or perhaps they were the Goose’s servants, such as when the marketing team was really the sales collateral team. Or the direct mail team. Or the in-house studio.

“Our salespeople sell and they’re starting from zero.” “We’re the leader in our category, but no one knows it.” “This channel is just getting too expensive – we need what’s next.”  The Inspiring Action Moment is launched with sentences like these.

Our clients have some things in common. They can’t wait two years or even six months for “the brand campaign” to start working. They can’t tolerate poorer sales numbers while they invest in getting more famous. And they aren’t willing to match large advertisers dollar-for-dollar in order to capture a share of the market.

The kind of brand building they need is the kind that makes the selling more efficient right away. They need the kind of brand building that improves their return-on-marketing-spend right away, and then just keeps getting better.

And often they need more than a marketing revolution. They need at least an internal culture evolution as well. They need a team with a new common understanding of what it takes to succeed at the next level today.

This is what we mean when we say “inspiring action.” The great thing about an Inspiring Action Moment is that it can lead to the most exciting and impactful era for a business. Are you ready for yours?

-Mark DiMassimo, Chief

 

Prioritize Creative Excellence

Inspiring Action

Key #8 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.

I led a brainstorm with a new client just the other day.

Their list of “growth blocks” was so like what other marketers have said, I thought I’d share them with you (and let you in on a powerful solution):

“We have the goods, but we don’t connect with the audience as well as we should,” admitted the COO, who had previously been the CMO.

“Seems like there are two kinds of creative people — those that understand the product and those that are great at talking to the audience. Unfortunately, we’re having a lot of trouble finding the overlap,” said the marketing director, still working through the grief of the recently ended agency relationship.

The internal creative director continued: “Most people don’t define creative excellence the way we do either. To us, it’s all about results first, and yes, being true to our brand. But that doesn’t seem to inspire or hold the attention of the best creative people. Plus, how do you literally put two messages into one communication. Isn’t that going to hurt results? I’m confused …”

Prioritize Creative Excellence.

What works better for growing a brand and business: great creative or powerful sales activation?

Here’s an intensive analysis of all 700 cases in the files of London’s respected Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), which found that companies with both outperformed those with either by a wide margin.

In fact, they found the two most important factors for success were advertising spend and creative excellence (as measured by, believe it or not, awards). Of those two most important factors, creative excellence even edged out size of budget as the most important factor.

In an increasingly crowded marketing landscape, great brands win. Great brands are built by great experiences, amplified by communications that move people powerfully. Smart marketing organizations are full of great strategists and brimming with great strategies ready to be tried. Most simply fail to be executed with great, on-strategy creative.

Connecting great marketing to winning creative isn’t easy, which is why it’s not normal either. Getting two very different tribes to work together to transcend the ordinary takes specific values and skills. Check out my Inspiring Action in Creative Teams: Seven Strategies for Prioritizing Creative Excellence.

-Mark DiMassimo, Chief

 

Practice Brand Direct

Key #7 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.

One of the best things about doing my Inspiring Action Interviews has been the opportunity to have deep conversations with several of my most successful clients.

These are the CMOs that CEOs worship – marketers who have been highly successful again and again.

A common theme came up as we talked about the formative experiences we’d shared.

PODCAST THUMBNAIL

“Since that time I’ve been what you’d call a Brand Direct marketer.” – Ty Shay, CMO LifeLock

“That methodology has become the methodology I’ve applied ever since.” – Leslie Dukker Doty, CMO the Reader’s Digest Association

I first wrote about “brand direct” publicly almost twenty years ago. Since then the direct economy has taken over our lives, and just about every industry has been disrupted by it. This has mostly been a very good thing for me, as our clients over the past two decades have been doing more than their share of the disrupting.

Drowning in data, today’s marketers cry out for coherence. Even with programmatic trading desks, dashboards and optimizations, incremental improvements are only detectible to sophisticated machines.

Significant, meaningful, ongoing improvements in marketing efficiency are still possible, however. They simply require more than mere visual and verbal consistency.

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The answer begins with a journey of discovery. The path of that journey is the customer journey itself. Together, we learn to see things from the customer’s point of view, from the prospect’s perspective. We uncover the insight – the inspiring idea – that will change and organize everything.

Then, together, we mine that inspiring idea to accelerate growth by up to ten times. Of course, this also dramatically alters the marketer’s journey!

Let’s alter your journey too!

-Mark DiMassimo, Chief