Key #9 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here
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
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
I once worked in an agency that did good work, had smart people, and yet grew relatively slowly. Even though I was on the creative side of the business, I was an avid proponent of growth because I knew how much better and how much more fun a growing agency could be.
I did a little informal listening tour around the agency.Read More (more…)
Key #6 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.
One of my clients once told me about The Wall.
“The Wall” is what she called it.
“I’m squeezing my brain, my team, my budget and every hour of the day to build this thing, while all around us there are new services gaining market share with little or no advertising.
“My product is dated and it shows – yet I’m in my marketing silo and don’t have the power to change it.
“I know total marketing success requires a product that does a better job of selling itself, but what do I do without the power and the tools to make that happen?”
I told her that she wasn’t the only marketer facing The Wall. Yesterday, the best marketer with the deepest pockets won. Today, everyone is a click away from customer comments and reviews. That means the best customer experience wins.
Fortunately for my client and others like her, customer experience isn’t just about function. It’s not even primarily about function. It’s more about emotion and meaning. Which means that marketing is as much a part of a winning product as the product itself is.
My new client and I determined to work with our teams to do two things:
1) We would determine the emotional meaning of her brand.
2) We would use every lever, every touchpoint, to enhance that meaning.
We remade the aspects of customer experience that she could influence. And then we measured the results.
Based on those results, my client quickly developed the reputation of a “fixer” in her company. She was given responsibility for overseeing the website – effectively the core delivery of the product – in addition to marketing. Extending our insight about the emotional meaning of the brand deep into the customer journey yielded still greater incremental results.
Today, my client can work just about anywhere. Fortunately for us, she’s extremely happy and highly valued right where she is.