Is your brand “The Sh*t,” or is it just sh*t?
By Kelly Pyper, Founder & CEO
We love the fact that marketing budgets are closely scrutinized. Budgets should always be scrutinized! In this heavily digital marketing world, never before have we been able to justify ROI as quickly and track it so closely. We used to recommend pre- and post-campaign research, at an enormous expense and slow pace, in order to judge a campaign’s effectiveness. Now, we can track the full funnel from impressions to conversions, ultimately resulting in the cash register ringing. It’s awesome, and yes, I totally geek out on this. So here we are in 2020, and times sure did get tough for everyone. Marketing department allocations, once again, were deemed as “fat” and “unnecessary,” suffered from the budgeting axe, despite the fact that history has already proven that brands who lead their space during lean times become success stories during boom times.
Make Marketing Count
No one is immune from COVID (literally), but there are companies that will thrive due to the strength of their brand and their competitor’s decision to neglect marketing and be, well, not competitive. Business success during COVID and other economic tribulations definitely has some to do with operations (if you’re a bar and shut down, like many of our friends along Central Avenue, there’s little that marketing executions can do for you during this time). Outside of operations, how well you’ll recover has a great deal to do with your brand’s strength and your marketing strategy. Where do you start? Now is as good of a time as any to ask yourself...
- Who are you talking to?
- Why do they care?
- What are you asking them to do?
These questions are simple yet most brands fail to ask themselves one of these questions, let alone answering all of them. That’s where we can help! Not only can we help facilitate the answers, but to also guide our clients where they should go from here.
Brand Platform and Positioning
If your brand is new, or if you just never gave it the TLC it needed in its infancy, it’s integral that you develop a cohesive and compelling brand platform. Through our highly-detailed discovery process, we help clients identify their challenges, advantages, and character, while developing their core values and brand pillars. We begin to identify who is our customer. At this early stage of the game, tone of voice becomes critical, especially as it relates to articulating your why. Creating a robust messaging matrix alongside the brand platform allows us to organize, summarize, and systemize the messages you’re delivering to your target especially as it relates to a brand’s core values. With this information in hand, we’re then able to articulate the brand’s positioning statement, promise to customers, and unique selling proposition to communicate how your brand is better, different, and the clear choice for the consumer.
Your logo isn’t your brand. We just can’t say that enough! Your brand’s visual identity encompasses colors, fonts, iconography and illustrations, photography, and every nuance of how those elements interact. And, most importantly, the identity doesn’t end with visuals—your brand’s voice has to come to life just as much as its appearance. Messaging matrix to elevator speech to boilerplate - we love to begin to bring a brand to life just using our carefully crafted words. Articulating your position in your brand’s voice and in a way that appeals to customers is absolutely essential. Our creative and content teams work together to develop everything your brand needs for a consistent identity across platforms. This might include polished copy for your website, brochures, and social media, as well as expertly designed assets for both print and digital use. From a creative perspective, you’ll likely need social media graphics, brochures, business suites (including business cards, email signatures, and stationery), and website updates to keep your brand looking sharp wherever your prospects might find you.
Marketing Strategy & Plan
Once we’ve developed a strong foundation for a brand, we begin building a concrete strategy to go forward. Marketing only works with clear, measurable goals and objectives to work from with key performance indicators (KPIs) as a barometer of the campaign’s success. In this phase, we begin with a SWOT analysis and continue as we hone in on our target audience, going further into their purchasing behaviors, thought processes, and demographic information to truly understand who we’re speaking to. Part of developing the strategy also includes building the brand architecture. This allows us to approach the brand as a whole and develop the hierarchy as to how each service line or business unit relates, differentiates, and interacts with the others—mapping out a client’s journey with the brand. This also will allow us to create a strategy for positioning, pricing, and promotion of each service. So now we have a synthesized marketing strategy and it’s time to identify and explore the 360° of available tactics from advertising to content, direct to public relations, and everything in between. We remain unbiased as we put everything on the table for consideration and then prioritize tactical recommendations in terms of target, budget, timing, and other factors.
The best laid plans only work if you can follow through on them. Once the strategy is set and the plan is approved, we work with you and your team to bring those tactics to life. A wide range of tactics, including website updates, campaign and promotion-specific initiatives, and consistent ongoing content marketing are all in our wheelhouse—and we’re happy to put our brains to work for you. This is where the over-thinking really kicks in! We are constantly analyzing, optimizing, and, yes, scrutinizing. If your initial tactics aren’t getting the desired result, a new approach is necessary. Even if your results are good, chances are they can be improved even further by evaluating how money is being spent, how audiences are engaging with your content, and identifying new campaigns and tactics to explore as time passes.
Let’s Get to Work
We’d love to talk with you in person about how your brand can continue to grow and flourish despite the current economic situation, we’re here for a chat. Never hesitate to get in touch!