Size matters But maybe not how you think it does!

“We’re too small to worry about brand, our budgets aren’t big enough” is one of the common responses we often we get when we talk to a new prospect and no matter how illogical the statement, we have to guide them over the threshold to opportunity.

When it comes to making an impression the smaller something is, the harder it has to work and when in marketing terms the smaller your marketing budget is the less activity you can afford.  It’s only logical that the less activity you can afford the more you need to ensure that everyone of those opportunities count,  so getting the most out of these things requires a dedicated focus on 'brand integration' so that every customer touch point builds on the last, i.e.

the smaller you are the harder you brand has to work, the smaller your budget the more important your brand is.

So what about the other end of the scale?

“We have corporate guidelines, we have marketing managers with their own targets and objectives.”    So, the budgets get bigger, you have more activities and a larger team to implement them: should be all good news, however, bigger companies can often end up like a collection of smaller companies - keen to be different, to do there own thing.  And even if this isn’t necessarily a political thing, it can often be a natural reaction to being set your own goals.
The challenge for a Marketing Director in a larger company is making that market spend bigger than the sum of its parts, and the only way this is possible is by having a story – a consistent narrative that underlines every single activity.  Yes, your marketing will be full of rich and diverse campaigns but they should dovetail with that underlying narrative, consistent framework and theme – at every single touch point the customer needs to know who its from, have your brand values refreshed with an added new sizzle to spice things up, i.e.   
The larger you are - the harder you have to work to deliver a consistent and dynamic brand entity

All tooled up!

It’s an amazing time where day by day technology delivers fantastic (favourite word) new tools and sources to enable us to discover answers, gauge opinion from the masses and more often than not get solutions to our needs in the moment all demonstrably putting power in the hands of the people - so its all good news, isn’t it?   
Well, maybe, it’s only logical to presume that there are consequences of this progress, of this growing phenomena.   Having access to perhaps nuggets of information not knowledge,  a microscopic focus, not the big picture,  Fast fix, short term, constant punchlines, but no narratives… Scratching an itch but not washing the dog. - You get the idea.

Perhaps that sounds a little damning of what really is an amazing time.

but maybe someone left the door open,
forgot to put fuel in the car,
Because all of these tools, are just that, tools, mechanisms there to the launch work to promote, measure, nurture, and build the brand, so the question is where’s the brand, who’s the brand guardian, where’s the marketing plan and where’s the marketing fundamentals.
More and more we are seeing companies armed to the hilt with these facilitating tools and launching themselves into activities with vigor and often gay abandon, and it’s great, but all this activity might well be burning bridges, not building brand, more often than not being delivered in fire fighting style, ad hoc.

Marketing after all is and always has been the combined force of multiple activities crafted to sing from the same hymn sheet in perfect harmony, lifting the brand in chorus, nestling deep and warm in the heart of the prospect.

Now I don’t mean your logo, I mean your brand - your unique corporate personality, an amalgamation of a whole host of ingredients to create a memorable feast - who you are.

Ok, not every company can afford a senior marketing team to develop, deliver and maintain but there are ways that the ‘knowledge gaps’ can be filled so that your teams energies and can be supported and directed to greatest affect.   It is a brilliant time – but check the marketing fundamentals, ensure every element of your marketing consistently carries your own corporate personality in a coherent dynamic fashion, and you’ll reap the rewards.