Re-Inventing Brand Marketing

4637-thumbAs I read through an article by Cédric Cauderlier (@cedricc_be) on the 12 digital winners that I might have missed from Cannes this year I was very disappointed with the maturity of the executions – on the one hand it feels like Cannes has become the centre for creative stunts that win awards but on the other I wonder whether digital brand marketing has really come of age?

Follow the money… the true wealth of media budgets still remain with what is termed brand communication and the major part of this is still spent on costly media – TV, outdoor, press – the traditional channels.

Those running these budgets still give lip-servcie to digital media and have not really adopted any of the real changes that affect the communications business today.

But I think, at least I hope, that we are on the cusp of a change – a change to reinvent brand marketing; taking the components of the traditional approach (not sales but brand messaging and mass reach) and adding the components of the new digital era – so I suggest a new set of guidelines for evaluating digital brand executions:

– Broad reach (compare to TV or broad press coverage, not just 1000s of mentions)

– No pricing information, coupons offers or CTA to buy

– A true experience in the sense of the brand (participation or simply deep immersion)

– Memorable and trend setting (no stunts where I forget the brand please)

– Channel relevant (execution that makes sense in more than a case study)


Brand Marketing – two words for a new era:

1/ Brand
This means understanding a brand and how it lives cross channel – not matching luggage – or just a PR stunt.

2/ Marketing
This means understanding the consumer and how to connect with them, not just mass broadcast, but true adaptation both to the segment and to the channel.

So who are these brand marketers?

They combine understanding of brands, with knowledge of consumers, but also a technical understanding of our new communications channels (from social to search and back again). They take the beauty and creativity of TV and outdoor and graft it into the technicity of data mining and segmentation.

I’m not sure that yesterday’s brand communicators (lest I call them true marketers) are up to the task, and so it will take a new bread of marketer to move the pendulum. Where are you now?

By Lex Bradshaw-Zanger

A digital native and integrated brand marketer with a passion for marketing-communications and product design, Lex has a truly international outlook and experience, having worked both in major marketing agencies and client-side brands across Europe, the US and the Middle East.

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