My wife and I just moved into a new home in a neighborhood on the east side of town that we actually got to watch being built. Every 2–3 days we would drive out to the site to see the progress. We watched as it changed from a dirt lot, to a foundation, to a frame, and finally to a finished home. About a week after we got the keys we had our first set of friends over and were able to use our new space to show hospitality to our friends.
Your marketing isn’t that different. It’s like a house. It needs to be built on a strong foundation, have a solid frame and structure before you can start cultivating relationships. Here’s how I think of it:
Your brand is the essence of your company. It’s the culmination of every experience anyone has ever had with your company. A healthy brand grows out of a healthy understanding of who it is and where it is going. This starts with some behind-the-scenes work in defining core values and personality traits. Are your core values and personality traits articulated?
Visuals should be determined by the values and personality traits. What colors represent your brand best? What fonts communicate your personality well? Do you have a logo and do you know when to use certain variations?
Finally, what words capture the heart and soul of who you are? This is your core messaging. Do you have a tagline? If you have three seconds to explain your company to a stranger, do you know what phrase to use?
This is your brand and it makes up the foundation for the next two pillars. It doesn’t make sense to set your frame or throw a fancy cocktail party on a dirt lot, and it doesn’t make sense to try to build platforms or cultivate customer relationships until the foundation of your brand is laid.
Your platforms are the walls, roof, flooring, furnishings, and decor of the building. We break this pillar into 4 categories:
- Technology. This includes your website, social media profiles, CRM, and email marketing systems.
- Content. This category covers all content. Blog posts, white papers, videos, FAQs, infographics, instructions, product descriptions, on-boarding documents, case studies, and speaking outlines.
- Creative. This is all your creative assets — stock photos, presentation templates, and email templates.
- Data. Do you have any customer data? Is it segmented (age, demographic, location, etc)? Where is it? How is it managed?
House Party: Relationships
The foundation is laid, the walls are up and pictures are hung. It’s time to invite your friends over! The final pillar is all about relationships. How are you communicating with prospects, current clients, and former clients? Do you have a strategy in place to nurture relationships throughout the lifecycle of your product or service? What tools are you using and how are you using them? Are you creating meaningful experiences?
If you’ve got the foundation and the structure, it’s party time!
Are your marketing strategies prime real estate, or has your roof sprung a leak? We know how to throw awesome parties and want you to have deeper relationships. We’d love to help you bring a comprehensive perspective to your branding, platforms, and marketing. Drop us a line!