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Blake Cahill, Head of Global Digital Marketing at Phillips, is unequivocal about the importance of understanding today’s fast-moving mobile and social technologies.
‘As a marketer,’ he says, ‘if you don't understand those technologies well and how they're being used by relevant audiences, it's going to make it incredibly tough for you to do your job well.’
And he’s right. Indeed it’s no surprise that, as technology becomes ever more central to the marketing role, many businesses are now seeing the need for a special kind of professional who can bridge the gap between marketing and IT.
Of course there are already people applying technology principles to marketing under a variety of job descriptions: marketing operations, digital strategy, conversion optimisation, growth hacking and so on.
But it is increasingly clear that we are currently witnessing the emergence of a quite specific new breed among marketing professionals – the marketing technologist.
And it’s significant that most businesses embracing this new trend underline the importance they attach to the role by appointing a formal Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT).
Any brand manager will be only too well aware of the pressures that go with a rebranding exercise.
But the recent run of high-profile rebranding launches that have backfired badly, including Everton FC (as reported in Design Week recently), has pointed up even more sharply the need for caution and prudence in brand implementation.
Here are four examples of recent rebranding initiatives that make the point, not from a subjective design perspective, but in terms of consultation, brand-customer interaction and implementation.
A rebranding exercise is an exciting project for any company. But it will present challenges too, not least because the process, from concept to roll-out, can take months if not years to implement.
The value that your brand represents to your overall company value can be as much as 15%, and in the case of a business like Coca-Cola, that figure is 50%. Getting a rebrand implemented smoothly and accurately, therefore, can have a massive impact on your business.
In my experience, success is most accurately measured by the implementation phase of a rebrand. In my early career at various branding agencies, I frequently saw branding projects lose momentum, strength and vitality in the implementation stage – because the process was, to put it bluntly, chaotic.
Implementation can cost as much as 20 times the price of brand design. If you pay £100,000 for the design phase, you’ll pay £2m for the roll-out. And, if you don’t get it right, you are going to see a disappointing return on investment.
So I offer the following as the five strategic actions that, in my view, come together in assuring a successful rebrand.
There’s been some talk in the last weeks about FMCG companies investing in and building their corporate brands.
Research by media monitoring company Precise, published in March 2013 says that consumers are more likely to view FMCG companies favourably if they develop a recognisable corporate brand.
Now comes the news that Johnson & Johnson have unveiled a new corporate slogan, prompting Mark Ritson to write in Marketing Week last week in less than complimentary terms about various attempts at corporate brand building.
What all this proves is that the audience for corporate brands has extended beyond the traditional confines of city, press and internal staff to include consumers, and the principles of brand management are being applied.
In fact, both Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever place so much importance on their corporate brands that they use digital asset management systems to manage them.
According to Gartner, marketers are becoming increasingly responsible for buying marketing related technology and services. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.
Here at Brandworkz, we are seeing a growing trend for marketers to implement online brand management or digital asset management systems.
In line with this trend, marketing and brand teams in global companies are becoming used to using their brand management portal or digital asset management system widely and frequently and probably take its working resources pretty much for granted.
But we believe your brand portal can be a much greater an asset to your business if everyone in the organization makes use of it.
It’s true that people working in other departments don’t always see themselves as directly responsible for the brand. And yet, if your HR team, sales people and IT department can also be converted to brand evangelism, the outcome can be hugely positive in terms of building your business.
Here are five ways in which you can help make that happen...
Marketing automation on the rise, social media going ballistic, location-based marketing ramping up. We certainly saw some major changes in the brand management landscape in 2012.
But what do we predict as the key trends in branding and marketing as 2013 gets under way? Let’s have a look.
He’s been saving the world from assorted villains these past 50 years – and now James Bond is backing Britain. Currently being aired in 21 countries, VisitBritain’s new promotional campaign has put 007 on the case.
VisitBritain’s ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign also draws together major events, sporting achievements and commercial partners to promote the UK as a great country in which to live, study, invest and do business – as well as to visit.
In my book, the GREAT Britain campaign is a real winner. So what can it teach those of us in branding and brand management about the principles of country branding?
The last IPA Bellwether report indicated that UK marketing spending had fallen due to deteriorating business confidence and cost-cutting measures.
Marketing budgets were hit by weaker than expected sales and concerns about the strength of the economy in Europe.
In the face of reduced budgets, the challenge for marketers is to find ways to become more efficient.
We need to think smarter about how to get more out of our marketing budgets and to make sure that we invest the resources we have in the channels that demonstrate the best returns.
No-one can fail to have been inspired by the 2012 Olympics we have just witnessed. Sports men and women competing at the top of their game to win the highest prize possible in sport.
They invest years preparing for the moment they go for gold. It is humbling and also motivating to witness that determination to be the best.
While reflecting on the efforts of the Olympic athletes, I believe there are some parallels with brands. Here are three of them...
Businesses with strong, consistent, well managed brands have higher market valuations than their competitors, but building brand value involves much more than developing a great looking visual identity.
Brand building is all about managing the customer experience whether that is through your products, packaging, price, advertising communications, website, email marketing or even your sales personnel.
Each time a customer interacts with your brand, that experience defines who you are, how you operate, and how you’re different from your competitors.
Here are three tips for building a stronger brand...
Your brand guidelines and brand manual are the most important documents your company will ever produce.
A bold statement, but the truth is that these documents are your brand ‘bible’. They communicate why you exist, tell your brand stories, and communicate how it should be expressed.
Everyone tasked with communicating your brand should be consulting these instruction manuals whenever they are creating branded materials.
In many businesses the reality is somewhat different. Time and effort are spent creating brand guidelines, only for them to be left on someone’s hard drive or copies printed, distributed and ‘filed’ in the bottom of the marketing team’s drawers.
Brand consistency suffers as people may not thoroughly understand the brand.