After years of managing top accounts, Karen now leads the charge on strategic media planning and campaigns. One of our most studious FVMers, she devours webinars and whitepapers on a daily basis to deliver a fresh perspective on all things marketing. With three sons, a husband, and five nephews, she spends the rest of her time happily outnumbered by boys.
Hours of client research completed:whatever number comes after an octillion
# of conclusions jumped to:0.00
Honor-bound duties:understand client needs, finish leftovers
Only thing holding hair at bay:Aussie Sprunch spray
Care instructions:requires direct sunlight, frequent watering
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have a brand problem” feels like a brave thing to say to a prospective client.
They came asking for a lead gen campaign and already mentioned “ROI” eight times in fifteen minutes. These people want results, fast. And while we could develop a lead gen campaign complete with goals and KPIs, whatever success we generated would be short-lived.
It’s tough news to break, but we’d rather be in it for the long haul.
Companies usually come to us for help with a specific marketing challenge. They’re reaching out to a B2B agency with a simple need for more qualified leads, killer content, a digital presence, or a new product launch. They know the tactics they want to pursue and are looking for a partner to help them execute their vision.
So we listen. We ask a lot of questions. And we find the holes.
More often that not, those holes are in the brand. Because for every lead generated, piece of content created, campaign launched, or website built, it all comes back to brand. If your brand isn’t watertight — if it isn’t consistent with what your marketing is saying or doesn’t connect to your audience — then the aforementioned tactics may produce numbers, but they won’t land. They may even harm your relationship with customers in the long run.
B2B marketing has become a complicated machine, and it’s easy to believe that small iterations on your tactical approach will earn you new leads, greater share of wallet, and advance your brand all at the same time. But to find sustained success, a brand needs to know exactly who it is. It needs to be strong, consistent, and cohesive across all touch points.
So before you get into any costly tactics, first examine your brand. Here’s how:
These are just some of the methods you can use to dig into your brand. And as you begin these important assessments, you’ll probably find the same kind of holes we usually uncover.
Your team won’t agree on the results. Your customers, partners or investors won’t completely align. You may begin to question everything you thought you knew about your brand. Paranoia is completely normal.
But if you face your fears, do the hard work, and begin building an authentic brand from the bottom up, you’ll lay the foundation for marketing tactics that yield both immediate and long-term success.