Dear Prospective Clients:
- It is the consumer experience that makes branding what it is for your company, not a logo or your company name. From the advertising and marketing, YouTube videos and web site, on through the sales, customer service, through the lifetime of the product or service experience, and even beyond to the warranty-- it’s all branding, and must be clear and consistent!
- Consumers change their perception of your company in real time! They formulate and reformulate their opinions through all of this activity, and through continuous interaction with any product or service. Thus, you must continue to promote the same messages across media and marketing channels.
- An ad or image can only go so far. The complete experience is what matters! Consistency in representing who you are throughout all platforms is crucial to your success.
So, why the tutorial on what a brand is? Because many brands are killing themselves by creating “silo” marketing teams. What do I mean? Many companies have decided to divide their marketing and advertising amongst different agencies, based on the media platform. This equates to a piecemeal approach, with the assumption that each agency or marketing group is an expert in X, Y or Z. The thinking behind this is that it would be better to manage multiple agencies whose core core competencies lie within only in one aspect of advertising. Is this stragety wise? In short, no!
But why not? It could make sense, after all, we have 13 specialists working on our marketing challenges. Let me ask you this, do you go to see a neurologist when your finger hurts? If you did, would he somehow likely attribute your finger issue to a pervasive brain issue? Why? Because he knows about brains, not fingers. What you need is someone who can holistically help you regardless of your challenges. Someone who understands the entire body of work, if you will, and isn’t a one trick pony. Otherwise, what you get is advertising and marketing that doesn’t look anything alike, doesn’t have the same feel, is inconsistent in language as well as in tone, and lacks overall brand uniformity. What you end up with is a mess.
A truly full-service agency should be able to work with you in a completely holistic way. They have experts in all fields, or access to them. They have to be media or channel-agnostic, brand aware, and understand the complete picture of your organization; not just one part of it. If you find a good full-service agency, they’ll do more than just marketing and advertising for you. They’ll provide solutions to challenges that you didn’t know you had. They’ll ensure brand strength and vitality. They’ll dig deep into customer service and let you know if there’s a better way of handling those phone calls or inquiries. They won’t bury themselves in one silo, to never provide a new idea. In short, they will add more value beyond any particular marketing facet a specialist could offer.
Let’s face it, if I’m an expert in digital, and you hire me for digital work, why would I ever admit that more money should go into mobile? Or, admit that your PPC activities are really being driven by your “traditional media”?*
*Hint: check out your brand keywords --if they’re carrying the load and you’re not a major brand like Coke or Apple, then maybe something else is driving consumers to your site rather than that “last click” of PPC.
In summary, a good full-service agency can certainly facilitate and shepherd your entire campaign’s look and feel better than a torrent of “experts”. You must allow the agency to be an integral part of your organization in order for it to be the most effective, so it can manage your brand experience, thus ensuring you maintain an unswerving and clear brand presence.