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Marketing is changing. Are you ready?

My agency just celebrated its 10-year anniversary. I remember in 2002 when I first started in marketing – it was so different back then.

Social media did not exist, mobile phones were far from being smart and things felt so simple. It actually makes me feel a little nostalgic. I loved and miss those days, when advertising on buses was the main way to get things done. Video billboards were just starting and Google ads were the big new thing.

It seems the world has progressed way more than just two decades since. Things are more complicated than ever, but at the same time, they are much more technical and data driven.

Now, if everyone does the same thing, if everyone is data driven and if all marketers look only at numbers and how to improve funnels with hard data, what will distinguish between them?

Yes, my dear friend, you are correct: their soul, or maybe we should say the brand’s soul. Companies can be amazing, grow, sell and scale, but only a few will outlast the rest – those that are running a brand and not just a business.

In my line or work I deal with lots of companies in various stages of growth and we offer services accordingly. Some small startups simply need to tell their story and build a 3–5-minute pitch to raise their next round. Others need a whole marketing team (we provide outsourced marketing services) and then there are those that need help with creative or performance marketing. No matter who they are, or what stage they’re at we ask for their brand book. Now, please let me specify something and be very, very clear: A brand book is not just your graphics!!

When we onboard a client, I like to have a one-hour session (of which I’ve probably done hundreds in the last 5 years) where I ask the client what is they do. It takes about 57 minutes or so and by the end they understand that what they thought they did or how they presented themselves is not who they want to be. Usually, this takes us down the rabbit hole where the fun starts:

1. We build the language, the wording that helps us write the creative.
2. We come to an understanding of how to service the audience and clients, and know what to say and how to behave.
3. We begin to think with the brand and not just to please a certain figure in the company.

Because we know the brand. Like any good actor, we go into character, create the persona, dress like the brand and talk like the brand.

This piece is crucial as it removes phrases like, “Well, I don’t think it will work,” or, “I would never click on that.” Good marketing needs a good brand to rely on. Magic happens when it’s not a matter of my or my client’s opinion, but rather the way their brand should behave.

The key is understanding that it’s all about building a well-rounded character that has its own ideas, feelings and values. We need to know where the brand is coming from and where it’s headed (story and vision).

I often meet people who are happy to share their brand book with me but, sadly, it only consists of graphics (how the brand should dress) and maybe some generic values or a story.

Language creates everything, so how can you build a brand without having all the pieces in place?

It’s always a work in progress, a never-ending task to keep improving and growing, an ever-changing commitment to ensure our brand is on point.

Good marketing is a combination of so many things but the most important in my opinion is a strong brand. Why?

  1. It will be able to make tough decisions for us.
  2. It will keep us in check and tell us where to go.
  3. It will help us focus and move toward our vision.
  4. It will keep the wrong people away.
  5. It will always evolve and inspire us.

It is always a work in progress, never ending always changing concept and that Is also what makes it so exciting.

Keep working hard, feel free to reach out with thoughts, ideas or just to say hello.

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