Building a Successful Marketing & Brand Campaign Requires a Creative Vision


(Graphic | Courtesy of Brand Ally)

I think it’s safe to assume every company wants to increase market share, revenue, and growth. Management, R&D, and manufacturing all play key roles but to reach customers with content, the tool to achieve this runs through the broader definition of marketing. Companies can interpret marketing and how to market differently. The general practice is that small businesses source out all the marketing and creative because they don’t have the volume of work or budget for full-time staff. Medium-size companies with a regional market base may have a few key staff members, while enlisting specialized outside resources. The large corporations have specialized departments that supplement and coordinate with an outside agency. A fair assessment of our Central Oregon business community would be a categorization of mostly small to medium-size businesses.

Navigating the Challenges

Consumer’s now place a substantial challenge on companies as the need to pursue, engage, and capture sales accelerates. As a keen observer of advertising, marketing, and branding, I see a concerning trend as many companies in today’s hyper-speed environment confuse the roles between marketing and creative expertise. These are two distinctly different yet required disciplines. Management should view marketing and creative talent as co-equal partners, both working together to achieve the company’s sales and revenue objectives.

The “3-legged stool” metaphor applies well here. Marketing strategy, creative vision, and utilizing data/technology are all mandatory for a successful program. The process of developing creative solutions, injecting key data/technology, and distributing it all through a marketing strategy is the trifecta companies must strive for.

This is where reducing budgets and staff are impacting the elimination of expertise through the critical “process” chain. This creates a real obstacle in achieving results. Within our local Central Oregon market this trend has been amplified. We are fortunate to have such an entrepreneur-rich environment in Bend, however, I find it fascinating how many local businesses feel the need to fill internal marketing positions while there is little if any creative expertise or data understanding. I won’t speculate exactly what is causing this trend but a possibility may be as simple as blindly following others. To illustrate my observation of our local businesses use of internal marketing staff, I will reference a client relationship that spanned 16 years. This client is a large utility with over 1,600 employees in four states. The entire marketing department consisted of 3 people for over a decade. Only recently did an additional two people join the department. Specialized design and branding expertise was sourced out. To put this in perspective, I have spoken with numerous local business owners that operate only in the Bend market and have one or more full time marketing employees. And with very limited experience or accomplishments. The point here is simple, companies should take a more strategic approach to accessing marketing and design expertise by utilizing the best combination of available talent, whether a full-time employee or an outside vendor.

No Substitute for Experience

Over my three decades of creating regional, national, and global brand initiatives, I have rarely seen a marketing person that was a creative genius. Nor have I seen a creative director that was a marketing visionary. Professional marketers understand business and design while conversely professional designers understand business and marketing. The key word here is professional. There is no substitute for experience, period. Within the Bend market, there is a pool of highly qualified talent and firms in all of the disciplines addressed here.

Guidelines to Follow

To summarize:

  • Don’t follow how other businesses staff – Assess your realistic needs for full-time staff or outside resources
  • Great work can only come from a client that wants great work. Hire the best people you can afford and let them perform at their best
  • Outside creative resources are inclined to push boundaries more intensely than internal staff faced with the “Drink the Kool-Aid” syndrome of internal peer pressure, management influence, and job security
  • Seek out people with a “vision”. Think of creative vision as a highly strategic business plan with visuals
  • Marketing without design or design without marketing will cost the company less but at the expense of customer engagement and measurable results

Positive Growth

With all the negative press about the growth of Bend, I’ll leave our local businesses with this positive viewpoint – the estimated 20 people a day moving to Bend are potential customers ready to spend money for your product or service. All you need is the right fusion of creative vision, data analytics, and marketing strategy to capture their buying power!

Scott Lambert has held the titles: Design Director, Chief Creative Officer, Director of Branding and Chief Strategist while working on three decades of successful corporate marketing initiatives. As the owner of Brand Ally in Bend, Scott is also active in educating business owners about how to push boundaries and exceed at their marketing and branding goals. • 541-728-8244


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