DIGITAL MARKETING CHALLENGE: BRAND COORDINATION AND CONSISTENCY

At one time, a marketer needed only consider a few communications channels: TV, Print, Collateral, and the speaking points in a sales pitch.

Not so today:  Traditional channels still exist, but have been eclipsed by the website, marketing automation emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and 100s of other Social Media sites.  Beyond the sheer numbers, these newer channels have one other key difference: target audiences are now influenced by those outside the organization: by third-party blogs, likes, shares, and comments.  No longer is the brand and the messaging under your full control.

This leads to two distinct challenges:

1) The importance of coordinating the brand voice amongst each of these channels.  A resource-strapped marketer has the unenviable choice of spamming the same message to every channel, without regard to the nuances of the channel.  Or they can customize the interaction for each channel, but only for a few.  A difficult choice: mile wide but an inch deep, or mile deep but an inch wide.

One solution to this problem – a lazy one – is to throw more resources at the problem.   A better solution is to recognize that the response from each of these channels can be measured. Which ones generate more traffic, leads, and sales?  And which ones suffer from indifference?  With each initiative, campaign, and announcement, it is possible to winkle the more effective channels from the ineffective ones, and then allocate resources appropriately.

2) The importance of consistency of brand voice amongst (and within) each of these channels.  A strong brand requires a congruent message, yet this is so easily forgotten.  Review your digital profile, and consider the following questions:
  • If people just looked at your posts, what would they say your brand represents?  (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people looked just at the pictures (or videos) you posted on your page, what would they say your brand represents? (Is this what you were intending?)If people just read the comments that others posted on your page, what would they say your brand represents? (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people compared your brand’s voice on different digital channels, is the personality the same?
  • And on the personal side:  if people read your LinkedIn profile summary, then looked at your endorsements, do they say the same thing about your capabilities?
Week's action plan:

The upside of the profusion of channels is opportunity.  This week, focus on what you can control - your own website.  Iis there a deep level of internal congruency on the site?  Look for any outliers in graphic design, branding, content, and editorial voice, and move to alignment.  Then use the website as a model for a coordinated brand voice on every other channel, online and off.



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