I was happy to see Judy Pollack’s (@judy_pollack) Ad Age article about the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) agency and its long legacy of great work. The JWT name is being retired altogether as holding company WPP is merging Wunderman Thompson with VMLY&R, which were four distinct and renowned agencies just five years ago. Some of JWT’s most famous works include ‘I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner’ and ‘I’m a Toys R Us Kid;’ two jingles that still run around in my head today.
We write a lot about emerging marketing trends, channels and strategies at VI. It’s obviously important to stay ahead of consumer habits. However, we never lose sight of the importance of a brand. Regardless of how and where they are purchased, consumers ultimately buy brands. Look at the shoes on your feet and the food in your pantry – you bought those items because there is value to you in the brand.
Every year, it seems that there is unprecedented change happening in the marketing world. And while 2020 might not bring the evolutionary changes cable television, search engines, or social media have had on our society, the habits of consumers are evolving as dramatically as they have in the last 30 years I’ve been in the business. As a result, so is how we’re reaching them with our messages. This marketing predictions blog is intended to highlight shifts that will have the most significant impact on the marketing landscape in 2020.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is long considered to be all about relationships. You’re not selling an impulse or one-off product or service, you’re usually getting into a long-term deal. And people take their time making decisions about such things. ‘You’ve got to get to know them and work the relationship over time. After all, people don’t really buy services, they buy people.’ You’ve heard it. Probably even said it. Me too.
The most important question surrounding Oklahoma’s lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson is not who is at fault. That obviously matters, but we can’t allow finger-pointing to distract us from the most pressing problem. Too many lives are at stake. As marketers, how can we help reduce opioid abuse in Oklahoma and at the national level?
I have great admiration for organizations with well-defined brands. The most successful organizations make decisions based on their desired brand position. The brand drives the entire organization. And frankly, that makes decisions a lot easier. They ask, “If we do this, is it good for our brand?” Their brand support is not just for the marketing campaigns. The leadership lives the brand. It spreads throughout the entire staff, touching their vendors and even their stakeholders. Disney comes to mind for me.
Coca-Cola is reintroducing New Coke. The Pepsi knock-off from 1985 is being used in several episodes of the Netflix series Stranger Things. New Coke is considered by many to be the biggest marketing blunder in American history. Not me. In fact, I think it was genius marketing.
You've seen it before. A brand tries an off-the-wall campaign and then they roll out another brand-new campaign the next season. Sure, campaigns change, you can test out new messages and mix things up. But it's important to know the difference between a campaign and your entire brand.
Once when I was conducting brand research for a large regional bank, I was interviewing commercial customers and prospects and heard one piece of unexpected feedback over and over. ‘Quickly. I want the answer quickly, even if it’s ‘no.’ It’s interesting that getting turned down for a loan can be considered a positive customer experience.
One of the most memorable marketing strategies I have witnessed is Doan’s Pills. Many years ago they attempted to separate the brand from others in the category by claiming suggesting that their product worked especially well for back pain. Apparently, that Magnesium Salicylate Tetrahydrate knew just where to travel in your body. But, consumers bought the idea and bought the product too. Lots of it.
There’s a simple rule about consistency in advertising design: Each execution should have a similar look so that your campaign becomes recognizable, benefitting from the frequency of each impression with your target audience. Consistency results in familiarity, which leads to trust. We marketers know it and live it. That is, until it comes to the voice of the brand. Then, consistency hardly exists for most of them.
Brand voice is just as crucial to marketing communications as design, yet most people fail to define how their brands are represented in the written or spoken word.
Pause for a moment and listen to what’s going on in your office or home. You recognize the voices without even seeing who’s talking. The same should be true for your brand. Your prospects and customers should be able to get far more than words from how you ‘speak.’
Your brand voice represents your style and attitude.
The personality and tone of your ad copy, social media posts and website copy should become synonymous with your brand.
There is ever-increasing demand these days that marketing produces a provable ROI (return on investment). And rightfully so. Marketing is indeed an investment that should pay off. And since we can better measure the effects of our marketing activities each day, it’s right to expect proof of success from our marketing spend. We provided a simple formula in our blog about how to track marketing results.