Brand First. Think Twice.

Every business faces budget issues. Whether you’re a corporation with a set annual budget or you’re a small business pinching pennies at every corner, you have to be careful with how much you’re spending for your company or organization. You’ve also got to be able to prove you made the right decision to spend at all, to show a positive return on investment. You might have a boss, board of directors or employees who are counting on you to be smart, agile and savvy with your cash. This is something we all have to face, in some form or another.

So when it comes to investing in your marketing, how do you know what tools to use, who to trust to guide you and which tactics to implement?

There's a lot of noise and quick fix solutions out there that are telling us to do “this one awesome thing to give your marketing a boost.” But the thing is, it's not about what we call the “tactic soup” of random, trendy marketing tools or methods or buzzwords. Your budget is precious, and you shouldn’t be blowing it on a one-size-fits-all methodology that you read about in an article somewhere.

Your budget is precious, and you shouldn’t be blowing it on a one-size-fits-all methodology that you read about in an article somewhere.

You can spend two million dollars promoting your bank or pharmaceutical company or manufacturing business on a national level in every medium possible, but unless you have spent the time and effort required to create a persona that earns the trust of your consumers, you're wasting money and time.

So what's the answer?

Invest in yourself before you start your outreach, media buying, campaign development, anything.

Ensure that your online and offline assets are polished, visually pleasing, functional, and that they best represent your company or organization’s vision and mission. Not everything has to be a beautiful, modern, sleek design. If your brand is all about utility, your website should be a user experience dream. If you are a healthcare provider of any kind, your videos and printed materials should make people feel safe and informed about their health, which could mean focusing on high-quality content and minimal design. It all depends on what your priorities are as a company and how you want your consumers to view you. The most important thing is to get  your brand right before you start asking people to trust you and do business with you.

Plan, plan, plan.

If your existing assets are not up to snuff, then it’s critical that you dedicate time and resources to fixing them. Work with your team to create a plan that includes actionable steps toward a refresh, rebrand or newly branded (or owned) assets: your logo, website, brochures, business cards, etc. Decide when and how you will execute these efforts and who is responsible for seeing them them through within your organization. A major part of this is creating a set of materials that you can be proud of and that leaves the right impression with your audience.

The goal of your advertising campaign may be to drive traffic, build awareness, change public perception, educate the consumer about your product or service, etc. You may craft relevant, exciting, successful ads that lead them to learn about you and what you can do for them. However, once they get to you, if you aren’t seen as a legitimate, professional brand, then your marketing tactics are leading people to a dead end. Do you really want to spend all your money on a beautiful road that leads to a landfill?

Are you ready to rebrand or refresh your current brand? Drop us a line in the comments, tweet at us at @toucanads or shoot us an email at 

 Toucan is a New Orleans advertising agency.

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