Smarter Marketing Blog

Your brand should not be the story, it should be in the story.

Taking a break from writing your brand story

“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.

It’s not your message – it’s their story.

My thoughts on the effectiveness of advertising stories were reignited last Sunday. I was one of the millions of people watching the Super Bowl. In the run up to it I was also getting my head around why a company would shell out $4m for a 30 second ad, to be aired during the game.

Being in Europe, I didn’t get to see the ads live on the big screens, however, YouTube has footage showing 17 of the best, if you want to check them out. I was interested, though, from a marketing point of view. I wanted to see how good the ads were because let’s face it, if they are going to be viewed by 100 million people, I guess they had to be pretty good. Before I looked at them, I formed a mental checklist to use as a measure for effectiveness, as I watched them. Here’s my unscientific list:

  • Is it obviously directed at a target audience and would it connect?
  • Does it reflect the brand, as I see it?
  • Do I ‘get’ the message easily or is the product irrelevant to the ad content?
  • Would anybody care if the brand didn’t advertise – will I remember it.
  • Is it integrated with other marketing activity.

Sorry, if this all sounds a bit boring, I know there will be masses of research done by professionals to determine what did and what didn’t work, at the event. Of course I appreciate that there are different dynamics for judging any type of advertising but for me from a marketing point of view, and the only one I shared on my Facebook page, was the Hyundai ad. I think it satisfied my list above, except I can’t be sure about the last one as, I’m not aware of their other marketing activity. What do you think? Did any of the advertisements have a profound effect on you? Anyway, just to put a smile on your face here is a clever and funny video in relation to this topic by Adobe Marketing.

Now that I’m on the subject of advertising, if you’ve read some of my previous blogs, here and here in particular, you’ll  know that I’m not a great fan of ‘broadcasting the message out’ to customers. If you are / were in the marketing communication business you will remember ‘penetrating’ the market looking for customer eyeballs and monitoring ‘traffic’ to collect data. Rarely was there a mention of having a conversation with the customer.

Tips and Timesavers.

We all know that an individual recommendation can be way more influential than most types of marketing. Word-of-mouth has always been a strong factor in influencing behaviour but historically, it was usually on a one-to-one basis, currently with social media tools the ‘one’ is talking to thousands. So the trick here (actually it’s not a trick at all), is not to blast out your message but to join the conversation in an effort to stimulate positive mentions. Businesses can do this by providing a good experience, that is relevant to the customer / prospect and therefore creating a shareable story. Your brand should not be the story, it should be in the story. I was just wondering how many of the ads at the Super Bowl related to their customer’s story? I still think the Hyundai people got it very close.

All of your marketing activity should be aligned with a focus on what’s relevant to your customers. A lot of SMEs appear to be put off being online because they are afraid of negative comments and damage to their reputation. At OC&K we are constantly amazed at how many times we have to explain to the ‘doubters’ that people may be talking about them anyway – so if you’re not online managing your own reputation, then somebody else is.

Anyway, as alluded to above, isn’t it much smarter to be working with your customers and forming a relationship with them rather than shouting at them with your message. Ultimately, you are looking for your customers to share, mention and generally promote your brand because they want to, based on their experience. They won’t do it because of their demographics or because they’ve ‘liked’ your Facebook page.

I don’t suppose we’ll see any research from the Super Bowl advertisers showing if the viewers changed any behaviour because of the ads, but I’d say the half time experience might have driven sales for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Bruno Mars, alright.

If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page.  Of course if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers.   Jim – O’C&K


One response to “Your brand should not be the story, it should be in the story.”

  1. […] If you’re not managing your own reputation, then somebody else is. You must be part of your customer's story, otherwise your not relevant to them.  […]

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