Odds are you’re here because you’re looking for a new agency. In fact, there’s a 65% chance we’re right. According to the CMO Council, that’s the percentage of brand managers looking for or thinking about hiring a new agency in the next 12 months.
Not surprising given the reality that most agencies (digital and traditional) are more focused on delivering customer service than what you really need. According to a survey by Avidan Strategies, here's some of the most common client complaints about their agencies*:
- 73% find their agencies incapable of coming up with genuine consumer insights
- 58% feel agencies don't make "media neutral" recommendations
- Almost 50% feel agencies don't know their business well enough and are slow to respond to market dynamics
- Only 16% say agencies are "very good" at orchestrating integrated solutions
- 78% are frustrated by the way agencies manage a holistic approach to communications
*Avidan Strategies, 2015 Client Agency Relationship Survey, September, 2015
So why should you consider working with us? We have the business model, the methodology and the experience to:
- Uncover actionable consumer insights
- Create a lasting Brand Platform
- Develop the right Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Plan
- Concept and execute legendary creative solutions that will surprise and delight your customers
After decades of asking why on behalf of some of the world's best brands, we know there are eight keys to long-term success for any business - including yours. Most agencies cannot deliver on half of these - much less all eight. They simply don't have the strategy, writing, design and production know-how to create the strategies and work necessary to move the needle. Hearing "yes" from your agency might feel good, but are you really getting what you need to outsmart, outdo and outlast your competitors? If the answer's no then it's time to ask why?
The Eight Keys to Long-Term Success:
1. Know Your Customers
It’s not enough to know who they are, where they live and what they need. You must have actionable insights you can utilize to convince them you can satisfy their needs better than anyone else. To find actionable insights you’ll need to identify the most efficient and effective research and data mining tactics first.
2. Know Your Competitors
You need to study their strengths, their weaknesses and understand which ones are real threats and why people choose them over you. You need to understand their unique position in the market so that you can truly differentiate yourself from them. But most of all you need to identify the things they are unwilling or unable to do that your customers want.
3. Know Yourself
You may know where you want your company to go but you’ll never be able to map out a plan how to get there until you first truly understand who and where you are. Self analysis is hard and you’re going to need to hire a third-party to conduct a brand workshop to help you with this one. You and your team need to codify your long and short-term business objectives and make sure they’re realistic for the market you’re in and the budget you have. You need to define your core values and honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. To learn more about Brand Platform development through our Brand Enlightenment Workshop and Reports click here.
4. Find Your Higher Purpose
So after you’ve completed Steps 1, 2 & 3 it’s time define and embrace your brand’s Higher Purpose is. This is the most important step of the eight because your Higher Purpose is like a mini business plan that will drive and guide everything your brand does. In essence it synthesizes all the learning about your business, your competitors and your customers into a powerful statement that acts like a brand promise and value proposition on steroids. Warning. Seek the help of a professional on this one.
5. Gain Consensus
OK, so now you have valuable customer insights, you know your competition, you understand yourself and have defined your Higher Purpose. The next step is to make absolutely sure the key stakeholders in your company will commit to the Brand Platform you created. Verbal agreement is not enough. All stakeholders must sign a pledge that they believe in it and will support it. Then sell it through your entire organization from the C-Suite to the mail room.
6. Create A Master Plan To Fulfill Your Higher Purpose
This is where you develop a strategic plan, an integrated media plan and creative ideas to bring your Higher Purpose to life. All three should be combined in a master schedule for the calendar year to create the Integrated Marketing Communications Plan or IMC for short. The IMC plan should be reviewed every quarter and revised to adapt to market and business changes/opportunities. To find out more about our legendary strategy development click here.
7. Create Meaningful Branded Experiences Across Paid, Earned and Owned Media
Despite the hype behind social, we know a combination of paid, earned and owned media (online and offline) works best. Paid gets the word out while earned and owned support and amplify it. The rule of thumb here is that every execution should be as good or better than the medium in which it appears. All works should be impossible to ignore, hard to forget and inspire people to share it. And most importantly of all, every piece should reinforce and demonstrate you commitment to your Higher Purpose by serving your customers better.
8. Measure Results, Revise, Optimize and Repeat
You can’t improve it if you don’t measure it. Once baselines have been established and the campaign has had time to work its magic, each tactic must be measured and analyzed for effectiveness. Those that don’t cut it are perpetually revised, removed or replaced with something more promising.
Are you on your way to building a brand that lasts? If not, give us a call.