I ventured out to the cinema last Saturday night for the first time in months. After settling down to watch the pre-movie advertisements, I was rather taken aback to see a large screen commercial for an off-the-shelf DIY website provider. The commercial implied that getting a product or service off the ground was simply a matter of creating an online presence and pressing the ‘Launch’ button. It gave the impression of instant success. I shifted around in my seat awkwardly, as I thought about how this advert might be interpreted by entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and big growth ambitions.
Is there still a place in this new day and age for a professional Marketing consultancy?
The DIY method
There is a plethora of build-it-yourself website tool kits, off-the-shelf logo stores and digital courses for start-ups now available. If you know where to go and have the time to invest, it is now easier than ever to get a business idea off the ground on a very small budget. However, putting together an idea and making a website live, is the easy stage of the journey. The exciting start towards making the dream come true, which was perfectly captured by the animations and corresponding similes in the cinema advert I watched. The tricky part is attracting customers and converting initial interest and enthusiasm into sales, and then in turn into sustainable profit. Alarmingly, according to statistics from a 2018-2019 Gov.co.uk report, fewer than half of the businesses started in the UK will survive beyond five years.
Finding the Why?
We are often approached by talented business owners who have all the ingredients for a successful business, yet they have started out with the communication tools, before defining their brand story. This is the process of getting the heart of the why they are there, what makes them different and why their target audience should care in the first place. This is the important foundation of any brand and needs to be clearly defined before investing a penny in creating a name, a logo or building a website.
With thousands of businesses vying for our attention, how do you create something different for your audience and stand out from the crowd?
Telling positive stories
As Marketing guru Seth Godin points out: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.” Blatant sales spiel simply will not cut it anymore. Few people are interested in reading the endless list of ‘Features & Benefits’ your product or service has to offer. Successful brands are gaining market share in these challenging times by clearly communicating the purpose behind why they exist, the motives behind their existence, showing the passion of why they came together and their relevant experience in their industry. In today’s crowded marketplace, creating engaging, authentic content is vital.
Turning fear into faith
It is not just what you say, it is also the way in which you say it. All too often, we are drawn into a new awareness through fear or scare tactics. To evoke a positive emotional response, it is often preferable to turn this now old-fashioned method on its head.
We recently started working with Creative Director Daniel Cox, who did exactly this when he wrote and directed an award winning commercial for car safety named ‘Embrace Life’. Rather than the usual car safety warnings showing the negative impact of failing to put on your seatbeat when driving, he chose to show the positive impact on your family and loved ones when you make the right choice. It brought a more warming tone to the brand message for road safety.
"The inspiration for Embrace Life came from wanting to offer a positive message towards road safety really. A lot of the campaigns focus on the more graphic and horrific outcomes of accidents, whereas I really wanted to bring people into the conversation. The house represents a safety area, an area where you're normally surrounded by your loved ones, and the car can be an extension of that, but it's not only yourself that's impacted if something unfortunately goes wrong, but also family and friends too." - Daniel Cox, Creative Director
Channelling your message through digital media
With the recent impact of the pandemic, more clients have channelled their marketing budget into digital marketing and turned towards creating video content to get their brand message across. Telling stories to aid our understanding of new ways of approaching a challenge is nothing new. The world’s philosophers, prophets and prominent characters in history have been doing it for centuries. Stories easily sink into our consciousness and create an emotional response. A positive, compelling story will stay with us and we are more likely to pass it on to others. Online audiences and social media platforms are growing at a faster rate than ever before. These channels now provide a great platform to reach more prospects and customers with a creative way to persuade them to take notice.
Our vision is naturally impaired by our own personal experiences and background. This is particularly true when a business idea has been our passion and dedication for a number of months or years. It is often helpful to take a step back and look through a fresh set of eyes to see things differently. An onlooker who will put their feet firmly in the shoes of your audience, with a new perspective. Telling your story and reaching an untapped audience is just one of the ways a Marketing Consultancy team can help. If you need a fresh pair of eyes on your dream, get in touch with our team.