Creative Best Practices

One Thing Brand Marketers Can’t Forget When Making New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Alison Kessler on January 4th, 2013 at 8:08 am

Whether you focus on B2B or B2C, brands today have the ability to become their own media companies. With that in mind, there are lessons to learn from Mashable’s recent article, “4 Things Media Companies Must Do… Or Die.”…which I’ll re-categorize at this point in the year as “New Year’s Resolutions for Marketers.”

It seems that ever since the advent of mobile devices, brand marketers have been scrambling to keep up. In the early days of online advertising – and even more recent ones – advertisers simply transferred the content of their more traditional ads onto mobile devices and wished really hard that consumers would latch on. But as we have learned over the years, nothing worthwhile is that simple.

The consumer who clicks on an ad when surfing the Internet taps a different ad on his iPad. But even if the consumer does see your brand’s ad, who’s to say it’s effective? Learning what it takes to make a compelling ad is just as daunting as what form it should come in.

Whether you focus on B2B or B2C, we already know the overused-at-this-point-phrase that “content is king,” but what that really means is that brands today have the ability to become their own media companies. With that in mind, there are lessons to learn from Mashable’s Robyn Peterson’s recent article, “4 Things Media Companies Must Do… Or Die.

Peterson contends that fear is holding media companies back as new and better platforms surge ahead, and outlines steps for surviving the mediapocalypse…which I’ll re-categorize at this point in the year as “New Year’s Resolutions for Marketers.” The highlights for brand marketers to take away are:

  1. Think Social First, Then Search: Audiences love to share big, visual content. These shares impact SEO. Make sharing as simple – and attractive – as possible. Good social will translate directly into good search.
  2. Embrace Mobile, Before It Runs You Over: “Mobile is not coming – it’s already here.” When designing new ad content, make the hardest decisions first by designing and engineering the smallest possible version. Look to the early adopters for the next wave in mobile platforms, and be prepared for all forms.
  3. Redefine “Advertising”: Brands should work with existing media companies to create informative, viral content. With media consumption at an all time high, the battle for consumer attention is bigger than ever. By partnering to create social content around an idea or inspiration, the strategy will be around for a long time to come.
  4. Become Product-Driven: Media companies who outsource their product development to tech companies not only atrophy their own service organizations, but pay outsiders for slower, less effective page views. Brands likewise need to embrace the mindset that “We don't need a toolbox with everyone else's tools in it, we need something unique,” so that they can face the challenges of experiential advertising.

Peterson’s article ends here. Without these four components, he says, media companies will die in the wake of modern media consumption. But I have a fifth prong to add to this marketing fork: the need for quality original content. Without the exceptionally clever, creative content that was always at the core of successful advertising, the first four recommendations are like an extraordinarily well-wrapped gift, but without the actual product that was desired. Shouldn’t we give consumers just a little more credit?

It’s possible to find success by following these rules, but unless media companies and brands alike focus on truly great messaging, will they remain successful in the rapidly evolving world of media platforms? I guess only time will tell. That, or we’ll all die out.

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