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The 10 most abused words in Marketing


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On a daily basis I hear Marketing buzz words bantered about and it becomes obvious people say them and don’t really even know what they mean. I think people use the sacred marketing words like relevant, equity or insights, because they figure no one will challenge them. Of course, everyone puts “strategic thinker” on their Linked In profile. The problem I see is that a generation of Brand Leaders have not been properly trained and it’s starting to show. For the past 20 years, companies have said “on the job” training is good enough. But now the lack of training is starting to show up. The mis-use of these words can be linked to the lack of understanding of the fundamentals of marketing.

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The 10 most abused words in Marketing

  1. 1. THE BRAND LEADER The 10 most abused words in Marketing On a daily basis I hear Marketing buzz words bantered about and it becomes obvious people say them and don’t really even know what they mean. I think people use the sacred marketing words like relevant, equity or insights, because they figure no one will challenge them. Of course, everyone puts “strategic thinker” on their Linked In profile. The problem I see is that a generation of Brand Leaders have not been properly trained and it’s starting to show. For the past 20 years, companies have said “on the job” training is good enough. But now the lack of training is starting to show up. The mis-use of these words can be linked to the lack of understanding of the fundamentals of marketing.   Beloved Brands 1 We make brand leaders smarter
  2. 2. Here are the 10 words mis-used and even abused by Marketers. 1. Relevant When I was running a marketing department, I jokingly banned this word “relevant” because it was so abused. I found that when a marketer would say “we need to make sure it’s relevant”, the room would go silent. Then there’s a pause and someone would add their own brilliance “yeah, we have to be relevant”. The room went silent again. So then I would usually ask a simple question “so what do you mean relevant?” and sadly that question seemed to stump most of my marketers. Relevant has become the marketing equivalent of the word “nice”, because people say it so much now, they have no clue what they mean by it. My mom and my new iPhone speakers are both “nice”. Yes, of course, marketing should be relevant. But what exactly do YOU mean when YOU say the word relevant? When you answer the question, you likely just wrote down something better. So use that answer, instead of just blindly saying, “We need to be relevant”. 2. Awareness Just like the word relevant, you’re just forcing me to ask, “so when we get awareness, what do we get then”. Once you spend money, you should be able to get awareness– it’s just a question of how much money you spend. Jeb Bush just spent $130 Million–everyone knew he was running. No one voted for him and his awareness did very little for him. In brand terms, we don’t make any money from awareness–we only begin to make money as we are able to move our consumer through the consideration- search-purchase stage.  So, let’s save the word “Awareness” for the lazy brains. Beloved Brands 2 We make brand leaders smarter The Brand Funnel Awareness Familiar Consider Purchase Repeat Loyal Unknow Love T
  3. 3. 3. Brand equity The term was first coined in the 1980s, as part of the RJR Nabisco take-over when they couldn’t explain why they were willing to pay a higher price than the pure book value of the assets. The word has strayed since in two different directions–those like Brand Finance and Interbrand who still use it to correctly attribute it to the VALUE of the brand and those who mis-use the word when they attribute to the HEALTH of the brand. Where it gets abused is when it has become  a catch-all statement for the “unexplainable”. They’ll say “the final scene of the TV ad is really emotional and should really drive the equity of this brand”. We look at Brand Health and Brand Wealth separately and then use the model to predict future success of the brand. As Brand Leaders, it’s actually important to keep them separate so that the actions you take hit the right spot on keeping your brand healthy and wealthy. But Brand Equity is about the wealth side, linked to Value. There are 8 ways to drive Brand Wealth: 1. Premium pricing 2. Trading up on price 3. Lower cost of goods 4. Lower sales and marketing costs 5. Stealing competitive users 6. Getting loyal users to use more 7. Entering new markets 8. Finding new uses for the brand. Those 8 ways are not ambiguous at all. Do you know which of the 8 you are driving? 4. Target market Beloved Brands 3 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Using LOVE and POWER to drive PROFITS with increased prices, lower costs, share gains and entering new markets Price Costs Share Market Size Premium Price • Perceived quality allows you to command price pricing Trading up/down • Take loyalists up to a better premium- priced version of brand Lower cost of goods • Economies of scale and use your power over suppliers. Efficient marketing • Higher volume helps spend ratios, use the media power. Stealing Share • Use brand momentum to gain tipping point. Higher usage • Get loyal users to use more, building routines/rituals. Enter new markets • Take brand idea to new products, getting loyalists to follow. Find new uses • Increase the ways that your brand can fit into the consumers life. Higher Margins % Higher Volumes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Brand Finance
  4. 4. I’m in shock at how Marketers list out their target market on the creative brief. I once read a brief with a target that said “aged 18-65, new customers, current customers and even employees”. That pretty much covers everyone but prisoners and tourists. Realizing not everyone can like you is the first step to focusing all your attention on those few who can love your brand. Who wants your brand the most? There are various ways to divide up the market to identify the most motivated possible audience. Here are three main ways to segment the market: • Consumer profiling: Demographics are the easiest way to segment. While some resist demographics, you will eventually have to put someone in the ad and likely buy media using age. Then add in socio-economic, geographic, and how they shop. Make the choice to focus on either current or new customers, never both. Trying to drive penetration and usage at the same time will drain your resources. These are two dramatically different targets needing different messaging, media and potentially different product offerings. • Consumer Behavior: Divide the market based on consumer need states, purchase occasions, life stages or life moments. Divide the market based on purchase behavior, perceptions or beliefs. • Consumer Psychographics: Psychographics look at shared common behaviors such as the consumer’s shared lifestyle, personality, values or attitudes. Segmentation should force focus. Do not spend tons of money on a segmentation study and then try to figure out how to go after each segment with a completely different brand message. I have seen Marketer do this and it is borderline crazy. That is not the right way to use these studies. A brand can only ever have one reputation. 5. Alienate Beloved Brands 4 We make brand leaders smarter Selling Target Marketing Target Program Target Consumer Segmentation Consumer Profiling Demographics Socio-Economic Geographic/Channels Consumer Behavior Lifestyle Personality Values Consumer Psychographics AttitudesCurrent or New customers Benefit need states Purchase occasion Purchase behavior Perceptions and beliefs
  5. 5. This word drives me bonkers and it seems to be growing or at least I keep hearing it. The best brands have focus, the worst don’t. The best marketing programs also have focus, and the worst don’t. If you want to be a great marketer, you must have focus–defined target, positioning, strategies and  execution. Stop being worried and cautious that you alienate older consumers or your current consumers, that you water down your marketing programs to a degree that we have no clue who you’re talking to or what you’re even saying. As long as you are staying consistent and true to the brand, no one should be alienated by what you have to say and who you say it to. 6. Benefits There’s an old selling expression: “features tell and benefits sell”. But I’m seeing that Marketers have become so obsessed with shouting their message as loud as they can, most brand communication is wall-to-wall claims about how great you are. Brand Leaders should be organizing their Customer Value Proposition into rational and emotional benefits. What I recommend you do is list out the brand features and put yourself in the shoes of your consumer and ask “what do I get?” (for rational benefits) and “how does that make me feel?” (for the emotional benefits). Your brand’s communication should be a combination of the two. I have mapped out 9 functional consumer need states to help you understand the potential spaces your brand can play in: I have also mapped out 8 emotional consumer need states to help you understand the various emotional spaces your brand can play in: Beloved Brands 5 We make brand leaders smarter Functional and Emotional Need States ctional d States otional ed States Makes you smarterWorks Better Helps your family Helps you be healthier Sensory Appeal Simplifies your life Saves you money Experience Curious for knowledge Sense of optimism Stay in control Feel comfortable Feel myself Feel liked Feel free Get noticed Stay Connected
  6. 6. These need states mean something different for each category, but should be a good starting point for your brand to brainstorm specific words that fit your own brand situation. 7. Brief It’s called a brief, because it’s…BRIEF. I saw a creative brief last year that was 8 pages long. And even that length, I couldn’t find one benefit or one consumer insight. Every brief should be one page maximum. Simple rules for writing a smart Creative Brief: 1. Make sure you have a tight target: Spreading your resources against a target so broad, everyone will think your message is for someone else. Target the people who are the most motivated by what you do best, and you will make it feel personal and specific. The best thing a brand can do is make the consumer think, “This is for me”. 2. Talk benefits not features: Always talk about what the consumers get or how they will feel, to motivate consumers to buy. Do not just yell features at the consumer. 3. Drive one objective at a time: Focus on getting consumers to do only one thing at a time whether you want them to see, think, feel or do. Force yourself to make a choice and link with the brand strategy. 4. Drive one main message at a time: If you put so many messages, consumers will just see and hear a cluttered mess. They will not know what you stand for, and you will never build a reputation for anything. Use the brand’s Big Idea to simplify and organize the brand messaging. 5. Connect with consumers where they are most likely to engage with the brand story:  While efficient media is important, focusing solely on efficiency and ROI might lead to staying beneath the consumer’s Beloved Brands 6 We make brand leaders smarter States tional d States Helps your family Sensory Appeal Saves you money Experience Curious for knowledge Sense of optimism Stay in control Feel comfortable Feel myself Feel liked Feel free Get noticed Stay Connected Agoodbriefshouldbebrief,notlong!
  7. 7. radar. Consumers hear 7,000 efficiently placed messages a day, and quickly reject boring messages all day long. You need to stand out from the crowd to engage consumers. Before touching pen to paper on the brief, here are the 7 questions you have to answer first, which outlines the Brand Communications Plan: 1. Who is in the consumer target? 2. What are we are selling? 3. Why should they believe us? 4. What is the organizing Big Idea? 5. What do we want the advertising to do?  6. What do we want people to think, feel or do?  7. Where will you deliver the message? Take all the work the strategic homework you developed through the Brand Communications Plan, and begin to populate the 12 questions of the Creative Brief: 8. Brand Too many companies have now separate Brand from Product marketing, especially on the Master Brand type companies. The “Brand” department handles PR, brand advertising, websites and Beloved Brands 7 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Creative Brief 1. Why are we Advertising? 2. What’s the consumer problem we are addressing? 3. Who are you talking to? 4. Consumer Insights 5. What does our consumer think now? 6. What do you want your consumer to see/think/feel/do? 7. What should we tell them? 8. Why should they believe us? 9. Brand Positioning Statement 10.Tone and Manner 11.Media Options 12.Mandatories 1 6 2 3 4 5 7 1 1 1 5 5 2 1 4 4 4 31 2 7 3 5 6 6 4 6 Transforming Brand Communications Strategy into a Creative Brief Who is in the consumer target?  (Who is the most motivated to buy what you do?) What are we are selling?  (What is your main benefit (rational/emotional)?) Why should they believe us?  (Support points to back up what you say) What is your organizing Big Idea? (What is the Soul or DNA for the brand?) What do we need the advertising to do?  (Strategic Choices) What do want people to think, feel or do?  (Desired Response) Where will you deliver the message? (Media Plan) Brand Communications Strategy
  8. 8. events. The “product” department handles new products, pricing, distribution, and product-oriented or promotion-oriented advertising. Brand and Product should NEVER be separated. It’s crazy. Our definition of a brand: “A Brand is a unique idea, perceived in the minds and hearts of the consumer, consistently delivered by the experience, creating a bond, power and profit, beyond what the product itself could achieve.” To have a successful brand, you need to connect with consumers based on a BIG IDEA for your brand and then line up the 5 connectors (promise, story, innovation, purchase moment and experience) 9. New Media New Media has been around 15-20 years old now. I’m not sure I hear the term “new media” on Mad Men when they talk TV ads, but that’s how crazy it sounds at this point. A better way to look at today’s Media is to manage all 5 types: Paid, Earned, Search, Social and Home media. Paid is what we think of the traditional media (TV, Print, OOH, Radio and Digital options). With EARNED media, you need to create and manage the news cycle with mainstream news, expert reviews and blogs. SEARCH Engine Optimization balances earned, key words and paid search. SOCIAL is about engaging users where they are expressing themselves through sharing and influencing. HOME media is where you host your website where you can use as a source of information, influence or even closing the sale. Beloved Brands 8 We make brand leaders smarter We make brands stronger. We make brand leaders smarter. Consumer Social Media Home PageEarned Media SearchPaid Media In-store MediaExperiential Make brand newsworthy to help decisions. Enlist lovers as advocates to influence others. Tell brand story in own-able, breakthrough, moving way. Help consumers make smarter decisions. Knowledge, influence to close the sale or sell brand. Bring brand to life to replicate ideal brand experience Manage consumer through entire purchase cycle. Big Idea The Big Idea organizes how the brand shows up through all media choice The Brand
  9. 9. 10. Strategic To me, the difference between a strategic thinker and a non-strategic thinker is whether you see questions first or answers first. Strategic Thinkers see “what if” questions before they see solutions. They map out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. They reflect and plan before they act. They are thinkers and planning who can see connections. Non Strategic Thinkers see answers before questions. They get to answers quickly, and will get frustrated in the delays of thinking. They think doing something is better than doing nothing at all. They opt for action over thinking. They are impulsive and doers who see tasks. They are frustrated by strategic thinkers. But to be a great marketer, you must be a bit of a chameleon. While pure strategy people make great consultants, I wouldn’t want them running my brand. They’d keep analyzing things to death, without ever taking action. And while tactical people get stuff done, it might not be the stuff we need done. I want someone running my brand who is both strategic and non- strategic, almost equally so. You must be able to talk with both types, at one minute debating investment choices and then be at a voice recording deciding on option A or B. You need to make tough choices but you also have to inspire all those non-strategic thinkers to be great on your brand instead of being great on someone else’s brand. It is OK to use these words. Just make sure you use them properly. Beloved Brands 9 We make brand leaders smarter
  10. 10. New book, coming soon!!! “The Beloved Brands Playbook” I will show you everything you need to know to be a smart, disciplined and passionate Brand Leader, as you pursue brand love in today’s cluttered brand world. Beloved Brands 10 We make brand leaders smarter The Beloved Brands Playbook How to be a smart, disciplined and passionate Brand Leader, as you pursue brand love in today’s cluttered brand world. Graham Robertson The voice of today’s Brand Leader Define the Brand Think Strategically Big Idea The total Brand Management approach. Analyze. Think. Define. Plan. Execute. Process Graphic Vision Analysis Key Issues Strategies Execution • Advertising • In-Store • Innovation • Consumers • Category • Channels • Competitors • Brand Values, Goals • Experience Brand Plan Create Brand Plans Inspire creative execution Analyze performance Sm art Creative Ideas
  11. 11. Beloved Brands: Who are we? At Beloved Brands, we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders smarter. We lead workshops to define your brand, helping you uncover a unique, own-able Brand Positioning Statement and an organizing Big Idea that transforms your brand’s DNA into a consumer-centric and winning brand reputation. We lead workshops to build a strategic Brand Plan that will optimize your resources and motivates everyone that touches the brand to follow the plan. We coach on Marketing execution, helping build programs that create a bond with your consumers, to ensure your investment drives growth on your brand. We will build a Brand Management Training Program, so you can unleash the full potential of your Marketing team, enabling them to contribute smart and exceptional Marketing work that drives brand growth. We cover strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, brand positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.  Beloved Brands 11 We make brand leaders smarter
  12. 12. Beloved Brands Training program At Beloved Brands, we can build a Brand Management Training Program, to unleash the full potential of your Marketing team 1. How to think strategically: We believe that Strategic Thinking is an essential foundation, to help Marketers ask big questions that challenge and focus brand decisions. We teach brand leaders to think strategically. We show them how to ask the right questions before seeing solutions, how to map out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out. We take them through the 7 elements of good strategy: vision, opportunity, focus, speed, early win, leverage and gateway. We use forced choice in each model to help the Marketers make focused decisions. We teach the value of asking good questions, using four interruptive questions to help frame your brand’s strategy, looking at your competitive position, your brand’s core strength, the connectivity with your consumer and the internal situation your brand faces. 2. Write smarter Brand Plans: A good Brand Plan provides a road map for everyone in the organization to follow: Sales, R&D, Agencies and future Marketers on the brand. We demonstrate how to write each component of the Brand Plan, looking at brand vision, purpose, values, goals, key Issues, strategies and tactics. We provide definitions and examples to inspire Marketers on how to write each component. We provide a full mock brand plan, with a framework for you to use on your own brand. We offer a workshop that allows Marketers to try out the concept on their own brand with hands on coaching with feedback to challenge them. At each step, we provide the ideal format presentation to management. We offer unique formats for a Plan on a Page and long-range Strategic Road Maps. We show how to build Marketing Execution plans as part of the overall brand plan, looking at a Brand Communications Plan, Innovation Plan, In-store plan and Experiential plan. This gives the strategic direction to everyone in the organization. 3. Create winning Brand Positioning Statements: A winning brand positioning statement sets up the brand’s external communication and internally with employees who deliver that promise. We show how to write a classic Brand Positioning statement with four key elements: target market, competitive set, main benefit and reason to believe (RTBs). We introduce the Consumer Benefit ladder, that starts with the consumer target, with insights and enemies. We layer in the brand features. Then get in the consumers shoes and ask “what do I get” to find the functional benefits and ask “how does this make me feel” to find the emotional benefits. We introduce a unique tool that provide the top 50 potential functional and top 40 emotional benefits to help Marketers stretch their minds yet narrow in on those that are most motivating and own-able for the brand. We then show how to build an Organizing Big Idea that leads every aspect of your brand, including promise, story, innovation, purchase moment and experience. 4. Write smarter Creative Briefs: The Creative Brief frames the strategy and positioning so your Agency can creatively express the brand promise through communication. Marketing Execution must impact the brand’s consumers in a way that puts your brand in a stronger business position. The Creative Brief is the bridge between the brand strategy and the execution. Through our Brand Positioning workshop, you will have all the homework on the brand needed to set up the transformation into a succinct 1-page Creative Brief that will focus, inspire and challenge a creative team to make great work. The hands-on Creative Brief workshop explores best in class methods for writing the brief’s objective, target market, consumer insights, main message Beloved Brands 12 We make brand leaders smarter
  13. 13. stimulus and the desired consumer response. Brand Leaders walk away from the session with a ready-to-execute Creative Brief. 5. Be smarter at Brand Analytics: We show how to build a deep-dive business review on the brand, looking at the category, consumers, competitors, channels and brand. We start with the smart analytical principles that will challenge your thinking and help you gain more support by telling analytical stories through data. We teach you the steps to complete a deep-dive Business Review that will help assess the health and wealth of the brand, looking at the category, consumer, competitors, channels and brand. We show key formulas you need to know for financial analysis. We teach how to turn your analysis into a presentation for management, showing the ideal presentation slide format. We provide a full mock business review, with a framework and examples of every type of analysis, for you to use on your own brand. We show you how to turn your analytical thinking into making projections by extrapolating data into the future. 6. Get better Marketing Execution: Brand Leaders to judge and decide on execution options that break through to consumers and motivates them to take action. We provide Brand Leaders with tools and techniques for judging communication concepts from your agencies, as well as processes for making decisions and providing effective feedback. We talk about the crucial role of the brand leader in getting amazing marketing execution for your brand. We teach how to make marketing decisions with the ABC’S, so you can choose great ads and reject bad ads looking at tools such as Attention (A), Branding (B), Communication (C) and Stickiness (S). We teach how to provide copy direction that inspires and challenges the agency to deliver great execution. We also talk about how to be a better client to motivate and inspire your agency. 7. How to build Media Plans: We look at media as an investment and as a brand growth strategy, exploring various media options—both traditional and on-line. We provide Brand Leaders with new ways to think about media to be able to drive long term growth and profits for your brand. We bring a more consumer centric approach to media, aligning the media choices to where your consumer will be most likely to engage with your brand message. Media must change the consumer’s behavior so they think, feel or act in a way that tightens the brand’s bond with consumers and gives the brand to have more power and profit. We show where media fits into creative process. We look at all the types of Media through the lens of the Brand Leader, with advice on how to use traditional media options, such as TV, radio, newspaper, out-of-home and Modern media options such as digital, social and search. 8. Winning the Purchase Moment: Brand Leaders need to know how to move consumers on the path to purchase, helping consumers to test, decide and then experience the brand so that they try, repeat and become loyal brand fans. We provide brand leaders with analytics, planning and decision making tools to help their instincts and judgement for moving consumers to purchase. Complete in-store business review, looking at categories, consumer shopping behavior, competitors, customers and the overall brand performance. We teach the basics of customer marketing planning, identifying the target consumer, in-store messages, strategies, tactics and project management. We look at the available tools for customer marketing including pricing, promotions, retail shelf management, merchandising and operational execution. Beloved Brands 13 We make brand leaders smarter