A Shiny New Article About the Disposable Nature of Marketing
Something I like to share with clients is that marketing is ultimately disposable. In 2-3 years, you’re going to want and likely need a new website, regardless of how beautiful and well designed it is now. In 2-3 years, you’re going to want new brochures and printed materials. And eventually you’re going to start questioning if your logo needs updating.
It’s just the nature of things. Regardless of what agency created it, or how many awards it won, or how much business it landed, there is a certain lure to the word new. The need for new is the reason we get new clients, and why clients leave. It’s normal.
So, if marketing is essentially disposable, how do we as marketers provide something that has lasting value?
We help clients define and position their brand, tell its story and clarify its values, audience and goals.
But that’s not to say branding is permanent. Far from it. Brands still fall victim to the lure of new. Markets, companies, products and customers all change. And brands gradually evolve their position and messaging to address what’s going on in their worlds. But the frequency at which brands change is typically far slower than that of marketing materials. This is because they are – or at least should be – rooted in the beliefs, values and culture that customers and staff can ultimately connect to. The marketing materials created around this core can change frequently to keep up with of new technology and trends in design, but the brands values aren’t reinvented.
You would be surprised how many businesses and marketing managers don’t have their brand, audience or goals clearly defined when they go looking for new materials. Most businesses think they’re the only ones in the world that don’t have this together, but we come across it often. Why? Because defining and focusing your brand can be an incredibly difficult, political and painful process.
Sometimes businesses spend years on the same branding problem, using marketing materials as band-aids, and never really moving the brand forward. We’ve been there before too. And that’s why we take our own advice. We’ve used resources outside our own agency, attend seminars and hire consultants for their advice and new perspectives. It’s normal, healthy and it works. So, when businesses hire us for branding, we not only bring our outside perspective, guidance and expertise in the process – we also bring empathy.
We understand the challenges involved in establishing the branding strategy that will define a business for years. But we know that marketing based on messaging is easier to make and measure. When you already know what you’re trying to express and whom you’re speaking to, everything begins to get easier to produce, and becomes more focused and effective. That knowledge and confidence in your own brand are what tend to last, and are far from disposable.
Mike Spakowski is Principal / Creative Director of Atomicdust and is involved with the day-to-day design strategy, art direction and studio management.