We’re lucky to work with a number of inspiring clients and brands who are legitimately trying to improve the community around them. Over the years we’ve learned a lot from them, and with them. And the more we go at it the more I’m convinced that a simple secret to better marketing is to focus more of your energies on the inside. When you focus on the inside the rest can often take care of itself.
Technology and social media are forcing brands and their organizations/backers to be more transparent. Whether they want to or not. So you can’t hide behind a marketing screen anymore. We are witnessing the disintegration of the BS era.
How do you set up for a more transparent, no BS world? The simple answer is to stop worrying so much about external advertising, and focus a lot more on the internal marketing.
Defining and articulate your PURPOSE. The brands that rise typically bring purpose and point of view to the table. They’re on a mission, trying to make a meaningful difference in their world and for their customers. They never quit working at it because there’s always more that they can do in service of that purpose. So start by finding your purpose, embracing a point of view, and acting/speaking on it with sincerity.
Then turn to HR and internal communications efforts before advertising. Long term success will come if your inside team buys into the purpose and acts upon it every day. We should all pay a lot more attention to organizational structure, culture, internal communications, and reward systems rather than external messages and ad budgets. The simple truth is that if you do a good enough job on the inside, the outside just may take care of itself.
Employees who buy into purpose and act upon it daily will optimize brand experience across all fronts. The brand experience becomes their obsession. And when the brand experience is that strong, products and services market themselves.
When we do turn to communications planning, we default to owned and earned media…over bought media. Owned and earned media include all the platforms a brand “owns” (websites, blogs, events, etc.) or “earns” (word of mouth/mouse, buzz, etc.). Owned and earned media necessitate dialogue, transparency and interaction…as opposed to monologue, BS and bombardment.
And when we do consider paid advertising, we look at it as a necessary evil (to help light a fire) and work to eliminate/replace it as quickly as possible. Also, we lean toward paid media that’s completely measurable…so we can see if/how it’s working.
So….nothing too groundbreaking here. But it becomes clearer every day to us that inside out marketing, driven by purpose, is working.