There are so many things that marketers and business owners can do today to generate interest in the products and services they offer.
But therein lies the problem – there’s a lot of confusion, not only in what to do, but what kind of resources do you need to do the job properly.
And of course, you need to factor in such things as showing respect for your audience, and the sustainability of your marketing and communications activities over the long term.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to step back and look at your marketing communications in two parts: Brand/reputation (communications) and demand/conversion (marketing) activities.
(I explain more in the LinkedIn Live video replay below).
Now, I know, the growth hacker junkies out there love going for the jugular, trying to convert people into customers at every turn. Of course, we know this doesn’t work as effectively as it may have once done, and that people today – cynical bunch that they are – often need to buy into your brand.
I’ve been saying for a long-time now that PR (the real PR that includes content, social, influencer relations, not just the media publicity side of things) – done well, with passion, purpose and strategic intent – will do the ‘communications heavy lifting’ for your brand.
In other words, it will make your advertising and promotional campaigns work harder! Your promotional efforts (and ability to convert prospects into paying clients and customers) largely hinge on the visibility and strength of your brand.
Is it known, liked, trusted by people? Is it front of mind with your customers, and talked about in a positive way in the marketplace?
A simple way to look at this is brand versus demand.
A strong, trusted brand will help drive demand and increase conversion.
I explain more in the LinkedIn Live video replay below 👇
All righty. We are live, thank you very much for joining me this, well, it’s quite a beautiful day here in Melbourne town. It’s 21 degrees. And hope you’re having wherever you are, you’re having a good day and having a productive week.
This is my first LinkedIn live. I’ve done Twitter live. I’ve done Facebook live. And we’re going out to both of those. But LinkedIn live – testing it out today for the very first time. So that will be very interesting.
Now, a couple of things that I need to cover today, because I’ve had time to stop and think. And, you know, when we were running businesses and we’re doing what we’re doing, I’m in consulting, among other things, you know, often we’re just man, we just doing the do and trying to stop and think and think our way things through.
But in recent times, I’ve had the the opportunity – thank you, thank you, COVID – to sort of stop and and spend a lot more time reading and with my chicken scratching doing on my little diagrams and Venn diagrams to try and work a lot of things out.
Now the main point that I see out here, and it’s been building and it’s building and it’s not getting any different. And listen, jump on jump onto the comments. I’d love to really hear what you think on this. If you’re running a brand, you’re marketer, your incomes or you own a business.
One thing that I see time and time and time again is lots of confusion, loads and loads of confusion when it comes to the marketing side of a business, communicating your brand, all of that sort of things.
Loads of confusion around marketing and brands and the whole side of things. Now, when we look at it, we’re looking at: do we do SEO? Do we do social media? Do we do content? Where is the creative side and the advertising and the paid side and all of those activities? We used to have a PR agency over here and the ad agency did this and we had a direct mail agency turned into a direct marketing agency.
And now all of those agencies are all clipping over each other’s territories. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does cause confusion. You know, I recall very vividly one conversation with a the head of PR for a very large brand that you would know and probably love. And she was just saying how she was getting all these content ideas from, I think, it was about six or seven agencies involved – ad agency, PR agency, social agency, digital agency, the agency.
There was one other as well. I think it was the content agency that was chipping around the edges.
And I just said to her, you know, you’ve got to take control. You’ve got to create a strategy and at least put it out to these guys. And so they know what the track is that you’re on. Otherwise you’ll totally lose control of everything. And you can’t just keep doing stuff because that’s the problem today. We can really just do stuff.
Now, a couple of things here when we’re looking. I was also listening to a fantastic podcast. If you’re into comms, PR, that side of things. Paul Sutton runs Digital Download. And the last two episodes that he’s had on, he’s had three gun experts, people who were running new types of agencies in the UK. And the conversation was all around where is PR going? Where does this fit creative? What is communications today? Doesn’t matter.
All of that, everything. That was just such a really robust conversation with these three experts. And what I loved about it is that whether you call it PR, whether you call it comms, it doesn’t really actually matter. And these guys don’t care about it. They they’re really going ahead. But one was a creative agency that, you know, is known in PR. The other one was, you know, says it’s in PR, but it’s a performance marketing agency.
It actually doesn’t really matter. Now, again, this causes confusion. If you’re on the brand side, if you are the marketer or the in-house or the in-house PR person or the in-house, the owner of the business, this causes huge issues because who do you go to?
Do you need a CEO?
Do you need a full digital agency?
Do you need a social media agency … a content agency?
PR now this is where it gets interesting sort of name today.
But what I really wanted to get across today and be interested in people’s opinions is that, OK, what do you need? What is your brand need to do? Because you can’t do everything. And so I’ve titled today Brand versus Demand. I think that’s the first step is to say, do you want to be brand or do you want to be demand now?
And often you’re going to do the both. Now, as you suggest, brand means getting people aware of, you know, go into that side of things in a minute. And the demand is really the conversion and the sale and to generate leads and that go on to sales.
Now, I’m a massive believer in what you do beforehand. Forerunners. You’ve got to be known. You’ve got to be liked. You’ve got to be trusted. You got to be front of mind today with people, if you’re not in their mind every now and then, you’re in a world of pain.
So just that that whole recognition side of things and being talked about in a positive way. And that’s that’s kind of that’s where I see where PR fits really nicely today. It helps you get known like trusted front of mind and talked about in a positive way.
Now the way I see it, and comes and call it whatever you want for things, the four hours recognition you need to become known and remembered for all the right reasons.
Resonance is your message cutting through is your story cutting through and resonating with the right target audiences relationships deep in the level of connection with the people who matter the most of the success of your business, your cause or your issue and reputation actively enhance and protect your brand and how it’s seen in the marketplace. Recognition, resonance, relationships, reputation, that is ongoing 365 days of the year. You should be doing that all the time and that will help you become more.
Known like trusted friend of mine talked about in a positive way. Now, if you get that these are all forerunners to the sale, the demand side, too many brands that I see are clicking straight over to.
Let’s go into the demand generation again and again and again and again and again without building it up first. So if you think of a pyramid, I see what I do. And that’s owned earned in social media. That’s probably in a PR purview in this way. Recognition, resonance, relationships, reputation. They’re the base of the pyramid 365 days of the year.
So when you start renting your audiences and paying for advertising and paid media and doing partnerships and sponsorships and doing direct with people, direct phone, whatever it is you’re doing at the very top, if you’re known like a trusted friend of mine, top of mind being talked about, all of that sort of stuff, that makes it easier.
So let me call that PR recognition, resonance, relationships and reputation just for the sake of it. It probably has all sorts of other elements, content, social earned media. SEO plays a role. So let’s just for want of a better term court PR that is going to pave the way for your marketing efforts, for your demand generation type activities. The two work hand in hand together. Now, when we say brand, I don’t just mean brand awareness.
Just slapping your logo, that means nothing to people. Recognize your brand. They recognize your CEO.
Do they recognize the people within your organization? Are you known for the right reasons? And are you top of mind with the right people resonance? Is your message cutting through relationships deep and that level of connection again and again and again and reputation continue to build and enhance your reputation. Now, I’m just going to quickly trust is the ultimate currency. Thanks, Donna. Absolutely. Trust? No, I can trust the social currency of today. You’ve got to earn it and you can lose it like that.
You’ve got to it’s I always love McDonald’s and this is going back decades. They’ve always done this thing called the the trust bank and that’s building the they bank of goodwill. Sorry, it’s the goodwill bank of goodwill where they’re doing good things, good things, good things, good things. Building the bank of goodwill. So when the when the shit hits the fan and it will at some point that they lose a bit of the deposit and then they build them back up.
Now you imagine if your bank of goodwill is at zero and shit hits the fan bank, you’re in a world of pain. So Bank of Goodwill Trust, that’s pretty much what we’re talking about here. That’s a giant microphone. Thank you, Jim Stewart. Yes, it’s a it’s a blue yeti. And it does. It does. It’s actually not as big as what it looks like there. It does look like enormous. But, you know, what can I say now?
A couple of things from that. So that’s all I wanted to really rip into today. How do you build more recognition? How do you build more resonance with your story in your message? How do you deepen the level of connection with people and continue to build those relationships? It’s not just the customers that you’re who are the people that influence them. It could be your employees. It could be your partners. It could be people in government or local government or local council.
If that’s important to the success of your business and reputation. Again, we want to be actively building this, enhancing it over time, earning the right for that reputation to continue to build a bank of goodwill. We want to be doing that all the time. That’s when you start marketing. That’s when you’re marketing these kind to work a lot more. Because if people know you, they like you, they trust you, you’re a friend of mine.
You’re being talked about positive. Why? There’s a relationship there.
There’s respect there. That’s when people will at least might even take notice of your ads. They might not even block you. They might actually even subscribe to your email newsletter. Again, you’ve got to treat them with respect. This has got to be sustainable. But think of it in the two ways. Brand versus demand, recognition, resonance, relationships, reputation, ongoing, ongoing. Now, to do that, I think you’re going to use owned media content, social media.
You’ve got to have your leaders out the front. You’ve got to get your experts out there in the public because we know that they’re trusted and credible sources of information. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, SEO plays a role. And then you start looking at the other things. I mean, a lot of people don’t agree with me on this. I believe that the communicators and the people who are building these for us, they should be doing email to your list to continue to build this relationship.
That’s what they should be doing. And then the brand demand people working hand in hand. And look at some of that those emails that are then designed to generate a sale, so as you can see, there’s the two areas, they’re not exclusive.
They work together. One helps, the other work harder. But if you go straight to the demand generation, not saying it won’t work, it’s just going to be a lot harder. So that’s all I want to talk today. Let me have a look at a few people talking amongst yourselves. That’s all good. Ariel from Argentina. Welcome. Welcome. We’re going global for the first linked in life.
Must give this name anything else. Oh, good. If anyone’s got any more comments. But that’s that’s the side of things. So in upshot, lots of confusion. We need to strip ourselves from the confusion. We need to develop a philosophy of what works for us and our brand. We can’t do everything. There’s no point just jumping on every shiny new toy. We need to look at the tools that are going to work for us. But let’s not just jump to the tactics.
Let’s start with the clean slate. Make sure we’ve got a strategy. How are we going to build that recognition, how we’re going to resonate with our story? That message is the right one. Are we adding value through the content we create? Are we driving conversations through social media? Is our leadership online? Are they out there talking to people? Are they connected? They building relationships with influencers, all of that stuff? Business owners are going to be doing it.
Marketers, PR people need to understand it. Where does a CEO fit? Where does social fit all of those things? So leave it with you. So the other name checking that out was Paul Sutton, Digital Download. Have a listen to the last couple of episodes, particularly if you’re in comms or PR and you want to understand where the world’s going. Believe me, there’s talk that if you’re if you’re just a PR shop that does owned media and just as the media relations side, you’re in a world of pain.
Once we get through covid, that was the general gist. And you you know, and looking at these smart agencies that are doing SEO and they’re doing creative and they’re doing performance based marketing as well, maybe that’s where the future is. So I’ll leave it at that. Thanks a lot, guys, for the very first LinkedIn life might catch you again this time next week. I might make it a habit. So you.