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:
- We build the language, the wording that helps us write the creative.
- We come to an understanding of how to service the audience and clients, and know what to say and how to behave.
- We begin to think with the…