It is not uncommon to see businesses jump into implementing tactics they THINK are going to solve their problems, however, tactics before strategy rarely work.
Maybe the problem is visibility. Maybe it is not enough sales or clients. But they think the road to solving that is building a website, shooting a video or placing an ad. Then in a month, six weeks, six months – they are still in the same place as they were before. The tactic didn’t work, they are frustrated and mad. And then they start to think marketing is worthless.
So they do what they’ve always done, keep with the status quo until they start to feel pinched again. This time around they decide a rebrand is necessary. Obviously the reason the ad, the website, the video (insert any tactic you want) didn’t work is that the brand is wrong.
I don’t believe in rebranding. Unless you close-up shop and start a 100% percent new business, you are not rebranding. You might be refreshing your brand but you are not rebranding.
A brand comes from a place deeper than the logo, the colors, the imagery, and the tagline – it comes from the purpose the business was started; the solution offered to the audience it serves, and the drive of the founder to start the business.
So how do you avoid this spiral?
You create a solid foundation for your brand but what does that mean?? It means understanding who the business is first. Then who does the business serve and how it serves that audience. And finally, it is the stories told about the business (this is where those tactics can really make an impact.)
By knowing who you are as a business as well as who needs you and how – knowing which tactics to use to engage your audience through your stories becomes easier. As well as more effective and efficient (both in terms of cost and time).
Now let’s talk tactics
Knowing your brand and the stories you need to tell will drive where and how you tell these stories. This is where the tactics come back into play.
- Is video the best way to tell your story? Does your story lend itself to engaging visuals?
- What about advertising? To reach your audience, where does it make sense to place the ad – Google AdWords, TV, radio, within podcasts? What will your audience be looking for when they come to your website?
- Do they use social media? If so, which one?
To be strategic on selecting which tactics to use, you need to know – that’s right – your brand, your audience and then the story (message) you want to share. Remember tactics before strategy rarely work.
So when you feel your marketing isn’t working – don’t be quick to think it is time for a rebrand. It may be that you need to go back to the foundation and make sure you have all your pieces in place before changing the decorations.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Pursuit of Purpose, Episode 3: Understanding Why
- The Pursuit of Purpose, Episode 4: Build a brand through action
- The Pursuit of Purpose, Episode 6: Characterizing your brand
- The Pursuit of Purpose, Episode 7: Who’s your target audience?
- The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell, Paul Smith: video, website
- The Marketing Book Podcast, Episode 255, Interview with Paul Smith
- Why business storytelling is a necessary tool for 2020 beyond, Chris Brogan