I am constantly asked what makes a brand loved and in today's fast-moving world of inter-connectedness it is essential to have a framework of key points to work from, so below I have put together the top 17 that will assist any marketing person in this field.
Build contacts - Penetration will become more important than anything else. Focus on building brand contacts to grow your volumes. As a result media reach will become more critical than how often you talk to people. Right time. Right message. No Duplication.
Recruitment - The loyal consumer bucket will become leakier for your brand, so you need to constantly recruit new users and re-recruit existing users. People are more loyal to what brands can deliver socially or as a utility than they are to brands. Re-recruiting people will be more cost effective than trying to create loyalists that don't really exist anymore.
Invest in communication - Brands that invest at a lower rate than their market share in both the trade and on communication, will decline faster than ever before. You'll need to be available at multiple points 24/7, as will your brand content.
Be clear - Brand ideas, which drive content consistently across complex media ecosystems will gain ground. Brands that lack this clarity will lose ground.
Stand out - Brands that stand out will create commercial success by attracting more users, more often. Brands that make it easy for consumers to recognise them (and love them) will win.
Be contagious - Creativity will drive talk value and will deliver a better ROI than brands that still rely on old media / bought media thinking. Make your brand content as contagious as possible. Content that others won't share on your behalf is simply not worth sharing yourself.
Build opinion - Brand advocacy in both the physical and virtual world need to be built via education. You need to help consumers build confident opinions.
Always open - A multi-channel media mix is not an integrated approach. Only communication ecosystems that have no dead-end and are interconnected will drive real value for brands. Consumers who cannot continue or pick up a conversation with you 24/7, virtually or physically will move on.
The TV screen - TV is still a cost effective mass medium, which can help your ongoing recruitment and re-recruitment programs, but consumers are viewing this content in tandem with other screens and when it fits into their agenda. People don't watch channels; they'll find a way to consume good content. In Africa there's a good chance this will be via a mobile or mechanism like content sharing in an OOH environment, just ask any street vendor in Nigeria.
Out of home - Consumers will continue to spend more time away from home and will expect their content to be as easily available there as it is at home. Understand the last minute of the consumer journey and how virtual and physical experiences converge to drive a sale.
Understanding - Understanding media is more important to your brands success than ever before. Understanding the role of global media partners, how people search for you and your need to hand over temporary custody of a brand to consumers, will determine your overall success.
On your toes marketing - Marketing teams will need to execute multi-channel and integrated campaigns fluidly, in real time. Remember agility is key!
Data with soul - Big data will influence how you recruit and re-recruit consumers. We need to keep testing new approaches and how consumer needs are driving technology. 70% of our budget should be focused on what we know works. Good data will refine this better. 20% of the budget should be invested in innovation with identified purpose and 10% on developing new media partnerships that can further refine our data or create new connection points.
Creating stories - Data alone without insightful and consistent brand stories and ongoing management will deliver poor results. Data centre's made up of layers of data, will help brands refine their story, create immediacy/relevance and reduce the cost per contact dramatically. Your data needs soul.
Incubate ideas - Incubation of technology ideas that provide rich brand experiences will create a massive competitive advantage. The creative use of technology in a retail environment will enhance brand love and drive sales. Up-scaling will become less difficult as the cost of technology declines.
Targeted - Setting targets for media must be more performance driven than ever before. Ensure that you're on the front page of every search and that your share of voice in this area is more than your market share. Set targets for building your data set, you'll need it faster than you think. Understand the metrics and relationships between traditional media and search for your brand. You may need to spend less in bought media and more on Search and Performance than you have ever considered.
Content counts - Quality content partnerships that allow you to leverage a consistent brand story across your media ecosystem will count! Quantity wont. Content is everywhere and consumers want and need a relevant curator..... Could this be your brand?
A theme that runs throughout these points is that planning, preparation and engagement with clientele are key aspects that keep a business on course for growth; this is even truer in the 21st century. This now needs to happen real-time. Are you ready?
Dawn Rowlands is the of CEO Dentsu Aegis Network SSA. She has over 20 years of experience in the media industry and has most notably been a shareholder founding partner of Nota Bene, a strategy agency in South Africa, and is also the founder of Posterscope SA. Contact Dawn on .
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Great tips, Dawn - these are sure to make a brand loved by consumers. As a content marketer at www.ProseMedia.com, I especially like the tip to create a story. We are past a point where customers only want facts about a product; nowadays, customers want a brand they can trust and share with friends, and telling a story makes that happen. Nice post.