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Relevant marketing - How we help our clients to get there

Updated: Mar 10, 2020

The ConFuzed Show focusses on why marketing B2B (business to business) services is so confusing, how to deal with constant change, future growth and staying relevant.

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BRAND = What we say+ What we do+ Who we are.

Welcome to ConFuzed. I am Mona from 108Marketiser and we have Julian from Leaf Logic today with us.

Mona: Hi Julian. So we've talked about the concepts of modern marketing plus what is a brand. We've also discussed about how professional firms struggle and how they can change their mindset from print to social media.

And in this episode today, we look at how we help our clients to get to that stage of relevant marketing .

Mona: Now, there are so many different definitions of marketing out there in the world. And I think you'll agree that there is this kind of assumption that people understand what marketers or communication consultants do in terms of the work that they do. What are your thoughts on this?

Mona: In terms of how we help our clients to get to that stage of understanding?

Julian: Yes. I think one of the one of the most difficult things is people assume it's all about a product at the end. You know, just turning up and knocking out a video or doing some some print. That's not the case!

The time I spent with my clients predominantly first off is What is the story? What is the narrative? So I always ask first what are you trying to communicate and to whom because if we don't understand what it is that we're trying to get across and I find there's normally after a bit of conversation you find out it may be different from what they originally thought of as an approach because yes, they are no experts at communicating but where they thought they starting as their starting point is slightly different to what they're actually trying to achieve.

So for example, one of the key things when I worked in the past with the National Trust back in the UK they were doing a leaflet on one of the architects involved in a property who happens to be a guy called Robert Adam and because they were so close and understood so well the historical background they produced this publicity which basically said and Robert Adam did this Robert Adam did that Robert Adam, Robert Adam, Robert Adam and Robert Adam, and I said, that's fantastic. Who is Robert Adam?

and until you'd actually thought of and explained you know, the what was the background to this man? Who was he and you only needed a paragraph or two or to talk about who he was and what his impact was to actually make a much bigger impact with the story as a whole because you suddenly understood here's the narrative. This man who went on to have such massive influence globally with his architecture, started here this is the point where it began. And suddenly it became the significance of the site was far more important when you realise the the global impact of this person.

What the client had done was made an assumption that everyone would know

and that is where sometimes what one has to do is look at the story and help the client interpret the story.

So when I'm sitting down with the client, I'll say well do you think your target audience understands this? Um, what does this actually mean? What does that actually mean? And the other important factor is to get, most people are passionate about what they're doing and I view that, you know, the best thing is if I can find what they're passionate about and draw that out. It makes the story far far more believable because it is the truth. it is what they believe and they fundamentally do think this is the right thing to do. So it's very important.

Mona: Yes. It's really about educating the client, isn't it? About like their own business goals and kind of existing in this modern world of this social media 24/7 today.

I think that's so important for them also to understand their core messages. And where I've seen with my clients it's not only understanding the core messages, but then helping them how to shape it and how to say it out there, that is also really important and setting up that strong foundation. Most of these brands have either existed for quite some time in the world, but then they are at that stage where I think our involvement kind of helps them to cultivate that brand, bring those messages to a platform of being relevant.

I really like that discussion with our clients is where we sit down and kind of understand the target audience. Because that is one aspect that nobody's paid too much attention to, you know who you're providing the services for but then what does that mean to those people who are using your services? Do they understand?

Julian: Exactly.

Mona: So we educate our clients about marketing and where their brand is and in a way we help our clients educate their target audience about the work that they do. So, you can see this ripple effect kind of stuff going on and and it really helps for the entire journey.

And not only this, just outward-facing marketing or communication that happens but also major part of my work is actually helping the entire team understand this new leadership marketing foundation.

Because who are we getting there with? When you get in there with social media, it's these individuals who actually make these teams and shape the bread. So to individual who has that passion, who understands what the skills they have and that's where I've seen that their digital profiles, especially on LinkedIn or web are never reflecting the depth of knowledge that they bring to their day-to-day work or their clients.

And people, it's the people who matter.

So, I find it really interesting to see that. I get maximum results when I'm actually helping an individual who's part of the team to change their mindset. Suddenly they see their work in this value-based ecosystem, where they're like, this is how we are shaping the outcomes. They see how they fit and how they fit in the narrative and what they're doing within that whole brand and how it works.

Julian: I think it's a fundamental, really, understanding of what we do is, you look at you know, a lot of people look at the outputs and I often see where somebody's gone in and they got a video or they've got documentation or they've got something and there's no heart to it. There's no actual story to it. There's no depth to it, because it is literally, you know, you can go out, you can ask somebody to make you a video and they will, and they will be very good and it's not about the technical expertise or their ability with a camera or their ability to design a document.

That's not the problem.

But what they haven't focused on is the content and ‘what is it for’ and ‘why’ and

that's where the message can be lost. It's the brand message it's so important.

When you look at some of the big brands take BMW, they established their entire brand which is now synonymous with their name about technology, reliability and performance Now that's just what they put out there over successive years and they've made that a fundamental part of their brand so successfully. They have promoted the same messages repeatedly and they try and put that experience into what you feel. So when you walk into one of their showrooms, whether it's for a service or whether it's anything else they understand that this is a holistic feeling. It's not just. you know, here's a

brochure that says we're wonderful. You actually have to do it. You have to ‘walk the talk’ as well as ‘talk the talk ‘which is why again focusing on the message for the clients is so important. Because you get to that point of - this is actually asking the questions.

So this is actually what you fundamentally believe in. Yes, it is. Right.

Mona: Completely agree with that approach. It's not just that one marketing campaign, in and out, because there you just don't get any time to do anything in that one campaign or that one project.

What I found really helpful with clients is when their teams are able to internalise this marketing approach, where our involvement is kind of helping them ask open-ended questions, where they were looking at things in a deeper way in that process and for me, the really interesting part is when the process becomes ‘real’ and it starts to come naturally to how they work.

You see the momentum build up in between these teams and our clients, when they start to understand the whole thing better.

And then you kind of see how collaboration happens with where you at. They'll actually start shaping their brand and marketing, in a more tangible way where it all comes to life.

Julian: And I think the other thing is actually understanding and considering once you've understood their message and who they're aiming it out and who the target audience is you can understand better how to direct the message to them and what medium to use.

I've actually talked myself out of doing videos for people. Not out of any wish not to

have the work but because it wasn't right. It wasn't the right medium to use, it wasn't the right thing to do for where they were in their path. And you know, maybe somebody else got the work afterwards.

I don't know but the point was they actually had it when I left. They had a better understanding of what they were trying to do and generally in the long run

they came back because they realise, yes, actually what he said was was right. This is where we are in the path and even when they've gone and done a video they realised that actually we spent the money and it didn't do what we actually wanted it to do. So, it actually is getting that narrative, getting that understanding of the story

I believe is fundamental as the first step in whatever you're going to do and then you can use that narrative to help in other areas.

I know the way we work together Mona, is I will do a video and then from that you will get information to produce documentation from it.

Julian: So, how do you take that, you know, here's some information Mona. What do you do next? How do you look at it?

Mona: So for me, it all starts with my focus is making sure that I am part of the client's team or their environment with minimal disruption to their day-to-day activities. So, the approach is exactly the same. It's being part of that narrative.

Once that video or that initial story and brand foundation has been built and as soon as video comes with video comes content. The maximum or the most difficult part today for businesses and professional firms face, is finding content. It's there but but shaping it and finding it there.

With the video, as soon as that content can then be reused and repurposed in different formats, be the visual story, be at the core of message, be it the digital profiles or their website and that’s what is the outcome of that video. That narrative and that visual story is slowly where people can see that narrative unfolding with everyone who comes in contact with the brand, be it on social media or otherwise.

They can actually start to see the story because my main focus is making things easy to understand and that's where this alignment comes and the brand grows. If that alignment is not there between the message and the narrative and the brand, and the story, it's really hard to communicate. The story is shaped because of the videos or be it the infographics or PDFs or whatever that's been created.

That inward or outward facing communication is shaped to be part of that narrative

and that's when real marketing starts to happen.

Julian: You see the fascinating thing with this is look at history Mona, you go back in time and you look at the cave paintings in southern France.

What are they? In fact graphics telling a story to a bunch of people around a fire in a cave. That is basically what we are as animals and when you look at it, it's the sharing or whatever, making a narrative, making a story that would engage people that would communicate the best way to do something. That is fundamentally that was the earliest dawn of marketing.

Mona: Yeah. So in a nutshell really we get involved with our clients in terms of shaping their business goals, so that's when we translate their vision and mission to be valuable and relevant.

And then, when we get involved as Leaf Logic and 108 Marketiser, we help them shape that external brand reputation and build those strategic goals. that are more relevant for their marketing channel.

Each brand is unique, each team is unique. So our approach is also unique based on the requirements of our clients. We look at working with them so that they can make the best out of their investment.

And in the third, operational level we actually not only help you strategise and shape your business goals, we convert them into these tasks of developing your content.

So part of that content is that what you say, matches what you do and not only matches what you do but also, so your clients understand. It's based on the requirements of your clients, who need to understand this is the service, this is the part of the story that we want to be involved in. This is how we understand what works for our clients

And also a word of warning, all of this takes time, discipline and commitment from a business point of view. So it's not just something that happens instantly, but you're part of this community where your target audience is also involved in kind of growing and shaping your brand. You can see it, in a nutshell, it all happens in this nice ecosystem, which is kind of growing or grows slowly on its own, organically rather than just set of messages that are sent or put out and not understood.

That's how we help our clients to get on with all things marketing, brand and communication.

That's all we've got time for today. Tune in to the next episode of ConFuzed where we will talk you through all things marketing, work and future.

Thank you listeners.

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