The Need of Balance
Shortening planning times and blending them with the execution itself have led both branding and marketing to start thinking and acting more synchronously in creating value and delivering results. However, some companies don’t realise yet that this is happening.
The balance among creating value, generating results, and having a positive impact is a must.
Reality shows that in this disruptive and chaotic environment, there is an enormous pressure on companies to act by providing structure, driving change and communicating sincerely. Essentially, people are expecting that they are simultaneously addressing short- and long-term demands, and also responding in an executive manner to new and growing pressures from citizens about their corporate social and environmental impact.
Four Keys to Build Balance
1. Redefine Customer Insights
Marketing must understand their customers’ needs and accept that this knowledge has an expiry date. This leads to the need to continue to collect and use customer data, and to address different market uncertainties in new ways.
It is an intelligence effort that will add value not just in marketing, but across the enterprise. More importantly, it is not the information itself, but what the company will do with that information.
2. Accelerate Transformation
People are going digital across the entire customer journey. Marketers have known this for some time; however, the key is to realise that in recent times these customers have learned and acquired a higher level of dexterity.
Today’s disruptions create opportunities to go digital, which triggers marketing success and customer experience. These transformation efforts are giving marketing a key role to play through igniting demand, building relationships, optimising data or predicting channel shifts, among other things.
3. Make Purpose Explicit, Build a Brand with a Conscience
An explicit purpose generates better results, and if what is built is a company and a brand with a conscience, much better. Each and every company has a purpose, but only those that respond to citizens’ demands for positive social and environmental impact develop that state of consciousness.
People want to buy from companies that are trying to do the right thing right – although in many cases this attitude is still wishful thinking. Companies are also expected to be approachable, warm, honest, and responsible. And while clients may forgive many mistakes, they demand transparency.
It is not a matter of storytelling, but of thought and real action. It is the company that does the right things that counts, not the one that says it does those right things.
3. Reinvent Marketing
Responding in the short and long term requires managing at two different levels, one adaptive and the other imaginative. It is nothing less than reinventing marketing for challenges that are different for each company.
The short term is responded by adapting and innovating to deal with new realities in a radically disrupted environment. The long term is responded by aligning to purpose and recreating the customer experience. This is based on re-imagining different scenarios and betting on the most possible one.
This great challenge is possible to achieve with determination, pragmatism, knowledge of key audiences and investment – especially in digitisation.
The Synthesis for Gaining Balance
Whether we are talking about marketing or branding, the key is to have a truly human and humane approach.
Investments in digitisation are meaningless if we do not prioritise people in any of their roles along the company’s value chain.
The digital momentum allows us to think of the brand as a strategic platform, but it is the focus on people that transforms it into a field of interactions that leverages long-lasting, sustainable and conscious company growth.
The current situation provides the basis for a change that requires customer orientation to be accelerated and processes to be reimagined.
This is a profoundly human endeavour.
To close this post, I would like to invite you to ask yourself these questions -we can help you with the answers:
- Is your marketing area recognised as a value creator?
- Are your company and its brands, human-driven?
- Does the customer journey respond to your company’s brand promise? Is it aligned with its key strategic objectives and purpose? Does the company have a brand with a conscience?
- Are your services designed with an agile and co-creative business-driven approach? Have you redesigned your company services in the light of the changes brought about by digitisation?
- Do you need to develop avant-garde human solutions based on mixed realities – VR and AR, and/or artificial intelligence – AI?