“Your brand isn’t what you tell people it is. It’s what people tell people it is.” – Mark DiMassimo
Many people have learned to start a fire from the bottom, with kindling and firestarters underneath, then small twigs, and larger wood on top.
Expert firestarters will tell you to reverse that method – for more certain results, start with the top.
Brands built around a powerful emotional match – a single emotional strike zone ignited by a powerful emotional idea that sits above and informs every brand touchpoint – tend to grow faster and burn hotter.
Many marketers try to build a cohesive brand and a self-perpetuating business through offers, promotions, personalization and other performance marketing techniques. Starting from the bottom creates an unruly fire that needs constant tending and that often fails to achieve the integrity and heat of a self-perpetuating blaze.
Starting from the bottom leads to a common marketing malady –the balkanization of target.
Today personalization and micro-segmentation are all the rage. Performance marketers have built a multi-billion dollar industry, but much of the value they capture in the short-term is at the cost of the long-term brand and enterprise value of their clients.
Make no mistake, igniting action is essential to the creation of value, but action at the cost of brand is unsustainable and irresponsible.
Often the process of building a sustainable and growing blaze starts with putting the brand back together again.
Starting with key segments and personas, the successful marketer looks for a singular “emotional strike zone” – a common emotional target that is shared.
The “emotional match” is the key idea or purpose that strikes that target and ignites passion.
The process looks like this:
Segments and personas -> Emotional Strike Zone -> Emotional Match
Once the team understands the emotional strike zone and the emotional match, attention is turned to accelerating the actions that create value and growth for the brand and business.
When you start from the top, you build a marketing blaze that becomes self-perpetuating. You set it and feed it and the heat does more and more of your work for you. Does it really work? Check out some of our clients’ recent public results.
Our clients are responsible for building brands and businesses simultaneously.
This often means urgently lowering the cost of acquiring customers and revenue while launching, relaunching or refreshing the brand.
Brand + Business Building.
Often, before we started working together, these leaders felt they alone bore that responsibility and perspective. Lots of people had solutions to sell them, but fitting those solutions together into a whole wasn’t anybody’s problem but theirs.
When we started working together, for the first time they had accountable partners responsible for growing the business and brand, and able to speak in the language of the CEO and the board too – the language of results.
Not all of our clients are public companies, but recently some of our public clients have released results that I’d like to share.
Weight Watchers has just posted their fifth straight quarter of membership recruitment growth, and marketing is credited to helping drive the growth, of which DiGo played an integral creative role.
After last year’s tax season, Jackson Hewitt moved their account to DiMassimo Goldstein, and the company has just reported our first results together. The short of it is that we preempted the rest of the industry and, with our smaller budget, outperformed everyone, including H&R Block.
These are public companies turning a corner. Their management teams are tight and urgently focused on results. They can’t sacrifice brand for revenue or revenue for brand – they need both urgently.
In this, they have a lot in common with our growth-stage clients who are changing industries and bringing the new world of Direct 3.0. The marketplace is changing quickly around industries, and while we help our clients seize the opportunities in Direct 2.0 platforms and technologies, we help them transform marketing for the marketplace beyond with powerful direct brand experiences – Direct 3.0. (Here’s a video on Direct 2.0 to whet your appetite for learning more about Direct 3.0.)
If you are at a giant company with a strategic sourcing department and a matrix management structure, you probably can’t hire us because you probably aren’t on a team with a leader who really is responsible for building both the brand and the business, and because you probably can’t really use a truly integrated, accountable partner of our size.
But if you are at the moment of extreme focus in your business where both marketing results and brand value are urgently essential to building the value of the enterprise, then finding true partners may just be a possibility worth considering.
If the results referenced above prove anything, it’s that when your brand inspires action and those actions build your brand, some wonderful things can happen.
If that’s what you’re working on, know that we are with you!
Two weeks ago, we interviewed Media Director and SXSW veteran Rebecca Weiser on what she expected out of this year’s conference down in Austin.
We asked her to take over the DiMassimo Goldstein twitter account – which you can check out here – and share her experience with all of our followers. This year, like all of the others before it, was full of inspiring brand surprises and creative guest speakers. Having been to SXSW six years in a row, she also provided a few pointers and tips for first-time attendees. If you happened to miss her real-time coverage, don’t panic: we’ve got you covered here. Check out a brief recap of her incredible week below:
The Facebook house and the Chips Movie donut shop both had some truly inspiring actions.
As many expected, virtual reality played a major role at this year’s SXSW. Here’s a sneak-peak into some of Rebecca’s favorite VR experiences of the weekend.
Storytelling was a prominent feature in many of this year’s events.
We’re already counting down the days to next years’ event, and as always, we’ll be there!
This past January, our Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann was invited down to Miami to be a guest speaker at the world-renowned Miami Ad School.
The campus, which is nestled among the mural-covered warehouses of Miami’s design district, is a creative utopia. The sun ricochets off the building’s vibrant pink exterior. The courtyard is full of abstract sculptures, all of which are equal parts wacky and genius. The inside is just as inventive, with denim-lined walls and a towering gorilla constructed of duct tape.
This is much more than just a school. This is a museum of ideas. A place of inspiration.
Tom approached the podium and addressed the student body as “the leading creatives of 2020.” In a way only he can, he inspired and challenged the room full of young writers, designers, planners, and thinkers to use their creative power for good.
Over the course of the next half-hour, Tom shared his unique perspective on advertising with the audience. He talked about the future of brands, the power of actions over ads, and the qualities needed to hone your creativity and direct it toward making a positive impact on the world around you. It was an empowering presentation. To view an excerpt from the speech, check out the video below.
Throughout the remainder of the week, Tom led two classes in an agency-simulation exercise. In a very real-world scenario, the students were assigned a client, handed briefs, and tasked with presenting campaigns in just two days. Watching the students, many of whom were from foreign countries and different cultures, come together as a team to collaborate on ideas left us feeling inspired. Creativity is the language of the world.
We’d like to thank all the staff and students of Miami Ad School for welcoming Tom as one of their Industry Heroes. We hope to be back again in the future!
To hear more from Tom Christmann, look out for his upcoming podcast titled “The A List,” in which Tom interviews a who’s who in the creative world.
By: Desiree Cortez
My largest obstacle was finding a career that inspired me.
From the very first time I can remember thinking about what my career would be, I always knew I would be an attorney. As a child and teen, I prided myself on being able to argue with the best of them – and win. I entered college knowing that I was four years away from entering law school and finally being close to fulfilling my destiny. The first dent in this dream was being waitlisted by my law school of choice. I was devastated to learn that the rest of the world didn’t see my destiny as clearly as I did. The second dent occurred when I “settled” on a different law school and spent the first semester painfully bored in every single one of my classes and finding nothing in common with any of my fellow students. I wasn’t nearly as in love with being a year 1 law student as they were. I was stunned to realize that my own heart and mind weren’t in line with this dream I’d had since childhood. The third, and final, dent occurred when I took the second semester of law school off and spent a few months temping at a law firm. I thought that maybe living and breathing inside my ultimate goal would reignite my passion, help me find my way. It didn’t. It only solidified what I had slowly come to realize. I didn’t want to be a lawyer. But what does a twenty-something do when the one and only dream she’s ever had is no longer the reality she wants? I love to read and was an English major in college, so I explored going to graduate school for literature. But I was tired of listening and talking. I wanted to do. I’ve always loved tutoring and studying with other people. So I eventually ended up in the Golden Apple program, a competitive program that offered an accelerated path to my master’s in education and my teaching certification. I started my teaching career in Chicago and spent three years in education, contributing what I could to the community and my school. But I started to realize that while I absolutely loved my students, I still wasn’t in love with what I was doing. I was happy and comfortable. But that comfort didn’t feel right to me. I started to wonder if maybe my path needed to lead me outside of the comfort zone of Chicago, where I grew up and where my entire family lived.
So my husband and I packed up our car and moved to New York. From that first scary night in a new city, I knew that we had made the right move. The day I was offered an internship at DiMassimo Goldstein, I just knew that, again, I was on the right path. My entire family and all of my friends thought that I was crazy taking such a big risk. That, at my age, an internship, followed by a full-time position as the agency’s first-impression manager, was a huge step back from my years as an award-winning teacher. But I told them to have faith, because it felt right to me. Even with how strongly I believed that I had finally found my path, I never could have imagined the amazing 11 years that I’ve had with this agency. Eleven years of inspiration, challenges and amazing growth. From intern to CFO and partner. What an amazing dream.
What are the lessons that I’ve learned from this incredibly long story? Don’t settle. Use whatever opportunities you’re presented with to seek out what inspires you. What makes you feel challenged. What helps you grow. What allows you to feel alive and engaged. Look for chances to make yourself uncomfortable. Allow yourself to feel the butterflies and the nervous energy.
I like awards.
There, I said it.
No, this doesn’t mean that I conduct my work with awards in mind. And it doesn’t mean that I’m selfish, or narcissistic. It means I’m human.
And yes, it’s possible to like awards and still be virtuous. In fact, most award winners are. They hold their work to a higher standard. They put in the extra hours. They care.
But they care about the award too, because awards carry influence, and award winners know that better than anyone.
Not just for the athlete or the recording artist, but for the restaurant owner, the real estate agent, and the business executive as well.
So I don’t feel bad when I say that awards matter, and you shouldn’t either.
That’s why I am so thrilled to announce that I have been named one of the judges for this year’s Gramercy Institute Financial Marketing Strategy Awards!
Having been to many of Gramercy Institute’s events over the last five years, I have been fortunate enough to experience firsthand just how much value this award can offer — and my business is better for it.
This particular award recognizes strategic excellence in financial marketing, and the winners will be invited to and recognized at a ceremony in front of the world’s best financial marketers. If this interests you, the deadline to submit an entry is February 15. You can enter and find additional information on the website HERE.
Wishing you an award-winning career.
-Mark DiMassimo, Chief