by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded
There are digital and web companies who say they specialize in the web. There are companies who specialize in social media. Then there are companies who specialize in SEO and custom programming. I’m not even including the existing advertising agencies, design shops, and PR firms. Then, of course, there’s Google, who IS in advertising.
Some industries are threatened by Google. Some should be. Some should not (at the moment). From my perspective Google reinforces a core belief of ours; advertising and marketing is the lifeblood of any business. They show that just word-of-mouth isn’t enough if your plans are to dominate your business category. As I see it, the media vehicle will become less and less relevant as time goes on. A marketer’s objective is to engage their audience where ever they live. Yes, we all are online many hours of the day, but we also live in a real, physical world and not just on Second Life. (personal commentary: if your real life sucks, it will probably end up sucking in the digital world too because you are who you are and the way you make decisions doesn’t change regardless of where your persona resides.) I digress. It doesn’t matter if your audience is leaning forward (TV) or leaning back (laptop) or somewhere in between (mobile), your brand needs to engage and connect with your customers. The media vehicle does not matter. Now, some products and services will naturally lean more toward the digital while others will favor the traditional media. It’s not a right or wrong answer. It’s what’s appropriate that matters. And even if it’s digital, there is no such thing as a silver bullet. Even Google is getting into TV and radio. So what’s an online giant doing going into the traditional media world? Because even they know that humans do not live on the web alone. They have real lives in the real word (or at least most do.)
We are a branding and marketing agency. So why don’t I feel like the online media such as Google and digital-only companies are threats to companies like mine? Content. That’s what we do great. This is also what the online companies need to survive, Google included. The algorithms and formulas need something to crunch and map. Most digital companies, social media businesses, and SEO groups operate by selling platforms at their core and they take a very narrow view of marketing and advertising as a whole. WARNING: SELF-SERVING PART: Branding and marketing is our core. That’s what we do great. It has nothing to do with platforms or media channels. We don’t care. We only care where our clients customers live and then connect with them where ever they are. BE Branded creates marketing and branded content that emotionally connects in a real way, irregardless of media channel or platform. We create unique and original content that works. END OF SELF-SERVING PART.
We are not the only ones. There are many agencies who have the same viewpoint and do a wonderful job. The point to take away is that don’t get caught up in the argument of online, offline, new media, traditional media, etc. All media channels and platforms need great content in order to stay in business, so don’t fall in love with a specific media channel. In fact, if we had this discussion about 5 years ago, we’d be talking about AOL and not Google. In the very near future, you can be assured there’s a two-man operation in Shanghai that will leap frog over Google (or some variation of the Shanghai guerrilla group). Marketing and advertising works. Google has helped proved that. Branding works. Nike and McDonalds are proof. Branding and marketing agencies are creators of engaging content that is relevant to your customers, connects with them emotionally, and helps them decide that you are the kind of company they want to do business with.