Square1 http://square1marketing.co.uk Welcome to Square1 Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:44:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://square1marketing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-SITE-ICON-150x150.jpg Square1 http://square1marketing.co.uk 32 32 Whose Brand is it Anyway? http://square1marketing.co.uk/whose-brand-anyway/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/whose-brand-anyway/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 15:18:38 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=2130 The post Whose Brand is it Anyway? appeared first on Square1.

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In its original Norse definition, to “brand” was to make a distinction of ownership by burning items with a unique mark.

The term was later taken up by farmers, who did the very same thing with cattle to ensure they didn’t get mixed up with neighbouring herds.

So the brand was a mark of ownership, and to some, this definition seems to have stuck; many people see the term “brand” as interchangeable with the word “logo”.

Today, a logo is one way that we can distinguish between different companies’ products.

… a brand is so much more than a logo.

Did you know…

 … as well as mark of ownership, the Norse origins of “Brand” had creative connotations, as the practice was applied by craftsmen to their products, ie:

“Hey, Eadric… check out my new Sanborn axe!”

But a brand is so much more than a logo. From colour palettes to the way you answer the phone, from your Senior Leadership team to your newest recruit, and every touchpoint with your target audiences – all of it forms part of the brand.

And because of brand’s “ethereal nature”, who actually owns the brand is up for debate…

Company Owners/Senior Stakeholders

Often the first people you’d think of as “owning” the brand would be those who own or run the business. And while it’s often true that the upper echelons of the corporate structure have more of a say in the direction that they’d like to see the brand go, they can’t get it there alone.

Without buy-in from the staff and customers, the brand will be going nowhere – tearing up an existing vision statement and writing a new one won’t magically transform it.

Brands are much bigger than one boardroom full of suits.

Brands are much bigger than one boardroom full of suits; it’s easy to become blinkered to this fact, but it’s hugely important to recognise and act upon it accordingly.

The staff

The front-line of your company are not only living the brand day-in, day-out, but often play a key role in the customer’s interpretation. Consider the impact of either a shiningly positive or infuriatingly negative interaction you may have had with a customer service agent in the past. The sentiment that you’re left – good or bad – is tied to the brand, not the individual.

And it’s not just customer service staff to consider. Anyone who interacts with an external party – whether that’s a direct client, a partner organisation or the cleaners – is in effect the mouthpiece of your brand. And now more than ever, with the rise of social media and the ease of publishing online, these mouthpieces are easily amplified.

Making sure your employees are aligned with the brand and demonstrating its values is imperative for a cohesive brand journey. As a result, ownership of the brand itself sits, in part at least, with the staff.

The customers

You could argue that the exchange of money for goods or services implies some level of ownership of the brand to the end customer. Of course, in reality they’re not buying the living, breathing, untouchable brand, but the branded “thing”, even if by doing so they get that happy feeling of connecting with the brand’s values.

For example, someone may purchase a particular brand of drink having previously bought into the values associated with it. The customer has bought into the brand (emotionally) before buying the end product (literally). Once they’ve finished the drink and thrown the empty bottle into the recycling bin, does the brand ownership continue?

Whether purchasing a product or subscribing to a service, your end customers, that all important audience that you’ve done so much to try and connect with, are the ones with the final say on whether they choose you or your competitor. Their ownership of the brand can be argued along with whether consumer demand shapes the product, or whether companies influence the consumer to drive desire for the product.

… ignoring how your target audience feels about the brand is a big mistake.

In either case, ignoring how your target audience feels about the brand is a big mistake. The growth of social media has empowered consumers to have a voice, even if companies choose not to take part; not having a presence on a social platform doesn’t stop anyone else from talking about you. There are plenty of horror stories out there of brands being damaged, in some cases irreversibly, by negative social publicity online.

This power insists that there is at least some level of brand ownership amongst your customers and prospects. And if your brand can’t evolve with their changing demands  – to keep you and your brand relevant to your audience – then you run the risk of getting left in the dust.

So, the answer…

As Brand and Marketing specialists, Square1 takes clients back to the beginning (to Square1, geddit) to help uncover and distil their brand’s essence. But we don’t just make it up, pulling values from thin air. Often, they’re already there, waiting to be uncovered, engagingly identified, creatively translated into marketing assets and strategically communicated to your target audience. Research and analysis forms the core foundation of our work to define the brand, and this can’t be done in isolation of any of these three main groups of brand “owners”; all of them are stakeholders, interacting with and having an impact on the brand.

Only by taking into account the opinions of all these different groups can you gain a true 360 degree view of the brand, its current position and potential to evolve or grow. And only then can you create cohesive, relatable brand stories that can become the cornerstone of comprehensive, aligned marketing strategies and ultimately meet the desired business objectives. It’s our three key steps of consult, create and communicate.

All of us at Square1 are passionate about Brand, so please get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about yours.

Consult

We need to talk.

Read More

Create

Much more than colouring in.

Read More

Communicate

We love it when a plan comes together.

Read More

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He Said/She Said http://square1marketing.co.uk/client-references-importance/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/client-references-importance/#respond Thu, 06 Apr 2017 09:46:50 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=2038 The importance of client references The elusive client reference is often coveted as the Holy Grail in B2B Marketing. And with good reason, too; it’s one thing to tell your prospective clients just how good you are, but it’s quite another for them to hear it in client references from already satisfied customers whom they respect and […]

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The importance of client references

The elusive client reference is often coveted as the Holy Grail in B2B Marketing. And with good reason, too; it’s one thing to tell your prospective clients just how good you are, but it’s quite another for them to hear it in client references from already satisfied customers whom they respect and whose stories resonate. Put simply, other people telling your brand’s story is a marketing asset like no other.

With the right brand names promoting you, potential clients are reassured and encouraged. But it’s not just about getting the biggest brands in the world to shout about you (although there’s nothing wrong with that!). The client references you should focus on getting are:

  • those that you know have had the best possible experience and demonstrable return on investment (ROI) as a result of working with you (and your brand);
  • those that are operating in the markets that you want to dominate.

By focussing first on these two areas, you’ll be spending your efforts on getting hold of references that are not only realistic, but which will work best for your brand and business development objectives.

Computer says “no”

It’s not always easy to get ‘official’ references – even from customers who would sing your praises until they were blue in the face, given half the chance.  All too often corporate red tape can get in the way, and pesky back office teams can put the kibosh on that killer testimonial. We have a couple of tips for combatting this:

  • Ask early! And we mean early. Make your reference process part of your formal proposal to your client if you can. You could even consider incentivising the reference by offering clients a better deal in exchange for an honest review. Make it clear that it’s the time to carry out a reference that is incentivised, and not a glowing review – it’s about getting more honest references, not buying positive results!
  • Don’t leave it. If you’re not comfy with talking about references before the client has even signed on the dotted line, then at least ask them AS SOON AS it would be reasonable after receiving your product or service (obviously this varies depending on the product/service in question). If you catch them at an early juncture, you’re more likely to get an engaged (and positive) response. Leave it too long and you may have been forgotten – your request will certainly fall lower on their to-do list.

You’ll get a lot more out of a two-way conversation as you can dig deeper into real areas of interest

  • Make it easy; don’t bog down your busy clientele with reams of questions in a word document. Provide online links with “out of five” scales, positive/negative/neutral questions and straightforward comments boxes. Better yet, actually take the time to talk to your clients in a real-life conversation, whether face to face or on the phone. Let them know that you’re recording your chat and will transcribe and write it up into your preferred format (testimonial, online/printed case study etc.) before requesting their comments and suggestions. You’ll get a lot more out of a two-way conversation as you can dig deeper into real areas of interest and guide soundbites that you know will provide maximum impact. Plus, people won’t see it as a chore to have a chat!
  • Get sign off (and keep hold of it!). This is critical. Whether it’s a simple one-sentence testimonial or a multiple-page case study, if you don’t get their sign off, your hard work could all be for nothing. If you’re naming the client then it’s their reputation on the line as much as yours. Would you be happy to find out that someone has quoted you without letting you know? Always save a copy of whatever sign off method you use (whether that’s a formally signed document or a written agreement in an email) in case the “guys from legal” get on the phone for a moan.
  • If in doubt, keep it informal. If you do find that you’re constantly coming up against the dreaded red tape, consider a more informal feedback process. It might not be the same as a singing-your-praises case study, but a simple anonymous feedback form (or even just a single click positive/negative/neutral rating) is certainly a step up from nothing at all. It puts the corporate bigwigs minds at ease that names aren’t being named, and you could even consider utilising a third party ratings and reviews partner to help promote the legitimacy and transparency of the reviews received.
  • A picture paints a thousand words. Written client testimonials are great and, as we’ve discussed above, must ideally always be accredited to a real life person from that grateful organisation: their name, title and company. It’s even stronger, however, to accompany these great words with a photo of the client and / or their company’s logo (cue red-tape, again). Of course, testimonials are hard enough to get, let alone a close-up picture, but if you can pull this off it really adds credibility to the testimonial. Believe it or not, prospects can be cynical and may even accuse you of making the testimonials up yourself! The pinnacle of client references, especially for use in a presentation or on your website, is a video testimonial. Getting a client to wax lyrical about you and your brand on camera is gold dust and incredibly powerful. Technically, you don’t need a three-man camera crew to achieve this; most smart phones and a quiet environment will make a perfectly decent recording. And be sure to edit down the piece to remove any “errs” and “umms”, covering the cuts with the classic ‘hands close-up’.

In summary…

As with all marketing, it’s worth putting yourself in the shoes of your prospects. Who would you trust more – a brand that talks a good game but has no client references, or one teeming with testimonials and case studies from already satisfied clients? Make client references a part of your marketing strategy, and do it sooner rather than later.

Remember, too, that people are more likely to share negative experiences, particularly on social media platforms (we’ll get to how to deal with that in another post!); so whatever you can do to counter-balance this and improve your brand’s outwardly-facing reputation with positive sentiment, the better.

Of course, if you need a hand with where to start, we always recommend starting at… Square1.

 

Here’s some of ours!

 

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Brand Stories http://square1marketing.co.uk/brand-stories/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/brand-stories/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:30:50 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=2056 Don’t you just love a good story that entertains and inspires? Stories can be powerful. Your marketing communications need to be powerful, too. They should comprise of (and tell) a great Brand Story! Our latest Square1 School crib notes explore the importance of your Brand Story and where to start. All for the low low price […]

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Don’t you just love a good story that entertains and inspires?

Stories can be powerful. Your marketing communications need to be powerful, too. They should comprise of (and tell) a great Brand Story!

Our latest Square1 School crib notes explore the importance of your Brand Story and where to start. All for the low low price of absolutely free!

Have a read and take control of your Brand Story today

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Presentations – 7 Top Tips http://square1marketing.co.uk/presentations-7-top-tips/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/presentations-7-top-tips/#respond Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:33:46 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=2008 Presentations… the word itself probably conjures up certain thoughts as soon as you’ve read it. Many people may immediately and mistakenly translate “Presentation” to “PowerPoint” and from that, the image of dull, lacklustre, uninspired and seemingly endless slides of bullet points or (worse still) un-bulleted content may drift past your mind’s eye. It may or […]

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Presentations… the word itself probably conjures up certain thoughts as soon as you’ve read it.

Many people may immediately and mistakenly translate “Presentation” to “PowerPoint” and from that, the image of dull, lacklustre, uninspired and seemingly endless slides of bullet points or (worse still) un-bulleted content may drift past your mind’s eye. It may or may not include cringe-worthy bevelled smart-art graphics, the standard Microsoft Office theme colour palette and 80’s style dissolve transitions.

But presentations don’t have to be painful! Presentations don’t even have to be PowerPoint (shock!), and presentations should never, EVER be dull.

Download the latest of our Square1 School PDF’s for 7 tops tips on how to make your presentations pack a punch!

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8 Tips to Get the Best out of Email Marketing http://square1marketing.co.uk/8-tips-get-best-email-marketing/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/8-tips-get-best-email-marketing/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:17:22 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=1926 Email, one of the most valuable marketing tools in your business arsenal… Originally seen as a cheaper staple of any marketing mix, for many businesses email marketing has grown to become one of the most valuable and effective marketing tools. This channel is still somewhat misunderstood, with perceptions behind its value and how it is […]

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Email, one of the most valuable marketing tools in your business arsenal…

Originally seen as a cheaper staple of any marketing mix, for many businesses email marketing has grown to become one of the most valuable and effective marketing tools. This channel is still somewhat misunderstood, with perceptions behind its value and how it is treated within a marketing mix still underrated.

Unlike most other marketing communication channels, an effective email campaign can help your business reach an audience of thousands on a regular basis. It can drive brand awareness, reinforce competitive positioning, convert new customers and create more value from existing clients. Possibly the best part of this: it can also be automated, covering a number of tasks that would otherwise have taken many human hours.

Done right, email marketing can help generate large amounts of revenue for your business. Done wrong, all the time and resources that you dedicate to this channel can actually have a negative impact on your brand and your business, relegating you to the deep dark pit of never-viewed spam.

Download our latest Square1 School guide to read 8 top tips to get the best out of your email marketing effort >

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A Beginner’s Guide to Brand http://square1marketing.co.uk/beginners-guide-brand/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/beginners-guide-brand/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:56:36 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=1880 There’s a lot of confusion about what a brand actually is. Is your ‘brand’ the same as your ‘logo’? In short, no, but a really good logo should reflect and embody your brand in order to actually mean something. So, what is your brand? Well, it’s everything your company is and stands for – it’s what you […]

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There’s a lot of confusion about what a brand actually is. Is your ‘brand’ the same as your ‘logo’? In short, no, but a really good logo should reflect and embody your brand in order to actually mean something.

So, what is your brand? Well, it’s everything your company is and stands for – it’s what you do, how you describe yourself and more importantly, how you’re perceived by others. You can influence your brand, push it in the direction you’d like it to go, but your brand perception is as much in the hands of your customers as it is in yours.

SO IF THAT’S TRUE, WHAT IS THE POINT OF BRANDING?

Branding is firstly about getting beyond your snappy strapline or your aging website and attempting to really sum up where the company is now and where you’d like it to be. It’s the personality of your company, it’s the old ‘if your company was a car, would it be a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari?’ And (very important this one) it’s crucial not to lie (or ‘creatively manage the truth’ if you’re an estate agent) about your brand – because if you try to position yourself as a huge multinational when you’re really a young start-up (or visa versa) your brand will fail. It’s as much about really getting to the heart of your company, your goals and your USPs (unique selling points) as it is establishing your voice, your personality and the things that you’re not.

Often, and this is especially true for a company that’s grown and changed over the years, the brand you started with no longer reflects the company you’ve become. This is the perfect time to ‘rebrand’. To distill everything you now are and embody everything you think you can be going forward into your updated brand. It’s not just a lick of metaphorical paint to an existing website or PowerPoint template – that’s corporate identity. Brand is a living thing!

BUT HOW DO YOU CREATE (OR UPDATE) YOUR BRAND?

Your brand is carried through to every communication channel, from your logo and choice of typeface to your website, your marketing and even the way your employees answer the phone. If we could only reference two key points that define your brand it would be:

Personality:

What’s the personality of your brand? Are you fun, trendy, irreverent or perhaps, established, reliable, trustworthy – or a whole different set of personalities altogether? Remember you can’t be everything, if people see your fun and trendy marketing but their actual perception or experience of using your service or working with you is completely different, your brand starts to work against you.

Consistency:

This is a really important one, and something even the best companies often fail at. Your brand is made up of everything you communicate, so if you’re sending out mixed messages, styles or personalities, at best you’ll just get lost in the crowded marketplace, at worst you end up damaging the brand you’re trying to build.

That’s it for now, but there’s a lot more to tell within the world of ‘brand’; in fact we haven’t even made a dent in this blog! Look out for future blogs, when we’ll be looking at the importance of ‘brand storytelling’. So stay tuned.

And above all, remember – brand is a living thing. You need to feed and nurture it; look after it and encourage others (your staff and clients) to care for it too. If you need help bringing your brand to life, then it’s always a good idea to start at Square1.

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Social Media in Business http://square1marketing.co.uk/social-media-in-business/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/social-media-in-business/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2016 18:03:33 +0000 http://square1marketing.flywheelsites.com/?p=895 Is there room for social media in business? General industry practices and even semantics would suggest not. And as more and more corporates introduce social media control polices during working hours and on company devices, Social Media’s viability as a professional B2B communication method looks questionable. However, as a marketer I guess I’m pre-determined to […]

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Is there room for social media in business?

General industry practices and even semantics would suggest not. And as more and more corporates introduce social media control polices during working hours and on company devices, Social Media’s viability as a professional B2B communication method looks questionable. However, as a marketer I guess I’m pre-determined to answer my own questions with “yes, there is”.

Any brand wants to develop stronger ties with its customers or clients and the ability to reach them on a personal level and directly engage them in online ‘conversation’ can only be a good thing, right? Maybe.

It’s easy for marketers to get carried away with social media. The hype that’s surrounded it for the past few years has firmly placed marketing agencies and departments under its spell. Almost without exception, social media is presented as the new frontier of brand communication and, aside from the domain of celebrity gossip, there have been some impressive B2B examples. However, for every campaign which cuts through, there are at least a dozen which fail to justify the time and expense invested in them.

The truth is that most brands do social media because most other brands are doing social media and B2B corporations are no different. Companies often jump on this band wagon with no real strategy; either wanting to be seen as cool or through paranoid fear of appearing out of touch. But where is the benefit to the client and, ultimately, the bottom line? Sure, Twitter alerts of industry relevant information and insightful commentary are genuinely useful, but do getting thousands of Facebook followers deem a campaign successful?

A common argument we hear for not ‘doing’ Social Media is the inability to control it, but that is really missing the point of the medium. People (clients, prospects, staff) are using Social Media to talk about your company services, their experiences and your competitors whether you like it or not. The choice for businesses is to get involved in that conversation or not – even if it’s simply tuning in to see what people are actually saying. It’s not to control it. The easy part for any business is using Social Media to listen, the hard bit is joining in – and that’s where many recent brand social media mistakes have been made.

As Ricky Gervaise has commented: “I’m slowly realising that Twitter is like a sport – so much easier and less dangerous if you just watch”.

Yes, right now, the key decision makers many companies want to reach probably aren’t involved – research show that the majority of CEOs don’t use Social Media and don’t really get it, but that’s changing. The future is much more open and people are becoming obsessed with ‘over-sharing’ – it’s happening much faster in the States, but there’s nothing to suggest that UK isn’t far behind. Those that think change is slow, easy to predict and stick to well established models of marketing and communication end up being the HMVs / Blockbusters of the world.

Social media is here to stay and B2B companies must figure out how to make it work.  And the definition of that mustn’t just be the number of ‘friends’ they have, it’s how much more profit they can make or stakeholders they can satisfy because of it.

Thanks for reading this Blog entry. See, you’ve made a great start already!

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Square1 claim team of the year http://square1marketing.co.uk/square1-claim-team-of-the-year/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/square1-claim-team-of-the-year/#respond Sun, 15 Nov 2015 17:28:00 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=1448 We’re delighted to announce that Square1 claimed team of the year at this years Giles Group conference. The coveted prize of the Giles Group cup, along with a bottle of bubbly and an all expenses paid night-out are just the icing on the cake of what has been another fantastic year for the Squares. Here’s […]

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We’re delighted to announce that Square1 claimed team of the year at this years Giles Group conference.

The coveted prize of the Giles Group cup, along with a bottle of bubbly and an all expenses paid night-out are just the icing on the cake of what has been another fantastic year for the Squares.

Here’s to another stellar year!

team

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Is your site mobile friendly? http://square1marketing.co.uk/is-your-site-mobile-friendly/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/is-your-site-mobile-friendly/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2015 13:08:14 +0000 http://square1marketing.co.uk/?p=1430 With the continual rise of smartphones and smart devices, the question of “is my website mobile friendly” should be one that you’ve (hopefully) already asked yourself. The growing trend of users ditching the desktop in favour of their handier, faster and more mobile counterparts (from tablets to smart-watches and beyond) means more people than ever are […]

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With the continual rise of smartphones and smart devices, the question of “is my website mobile friendly” should be one that you’ve (hopefully) already asked yourself.

The growing trend of users ditching the desktop in favour of their handier, faster and more mobile counterparts (from tablets to smart-watches and beyond) means more people than ever are viewing your website from the comfort of the palm of their hand, rather than from behind a monitor. And in line with this trend, Google have recently announced changes to their algorithms that will mean serious consequences if your site isn’t up to par for a mobile viewing experience. Sites that are not correctly setup to support mobile browsing will be penalised in Google’s rankings, whilst those that have been correctly optimised will be rewarded.

Even if you have a separate mobile website, don’t take it for granted that you’re covered. UK retail giant Marks and Spencers, for example, have a separate mobile site served to customers viewing on the smaller screen. But due to a breakdown in flagging the link between their main site’s URL and their separate mobile site URL, they face being penalised if left unaddressed. For large multinationals with in-house web teams, this is unlikely to cause major problems; they are likely to have the skills and resources in-house to make the changes required and as such hopefully avoid too much of a dip in traffic. But the question remains… is your site mobile friendly?

Luckily Google has made it easy to find out – you can use their new mobile friendly checker by simply popping your web address in and hitting go.

If you run your site through the checker and see a big red warning (as Marks and Spencers web teams may have done) then we’re here to help. With a wealth of experience in designing fully responsive websites, Square1 is perfectly placed to deliver you a brand new website that meets Google’s latest challenge head on. Instead of creating separate “desktop” and “mobile” sites, we develop individual responsive sites that change dependant on the device being used by the visitor. In this way, our clients avoid the issues of maintaining multiple sites as well as those brought to light by Google’s new algorithms.

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more.

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Technology and Marketing http://square1marketing.co.uk/technology-and-marketing/ http://square1marketing.co.uk/technology-and-marketing/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:35:47 +0000 http://square1marketing.flywheelsites.com/?p=1153 A fundamental part of marketing is a thirst and ability to stay up to date with the modern world… to use a terrible cliché to “keep your finger on the pulse”. If you’re not interested in how individuals, your society or for that matter the rest of the world is developing, then you run the […]

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A fundamental part of marketing is a thirst and ability to stay up to date with the modern world… to use a terrible cliché to “keep your finger on the pulse”. If you’re not interested in how individuals, your society or for that matter the rest of the world is developing, then you run the risk of losing touch with your audience, of missing the mark and falling behind.

In this day and age, keeping up to date is directly linked with technology. The rise of technology has revolutionised the world, changing how organisations do business and how we, as individuals, interact with each other and engage with the world at large. As marketers we have a duty to those that we work with (whether they’re internal stakeholders, or paying customers) to stay up to date with technology to be able to remain effective. Technology and marketing are inextricably linked.

As we’ve said elsewhere on the site, at Square1 we believe that as well as being a key part in defining your brand and your message, our role as marketers is to use the right channels, the right canvases to portray your message to your target audiences. If we don’t know what canvases are available, or understand the tools needed to paint your picture onto them, how can we hope to positively portray “Brand You” to the right audience? Even if we, as individual marketers, aren’t particularly au fait with using any one of these particular art forms we have to know they exist and acknowledge the audiences that they serve to be able to make informed, strategic decisions.

Thankfully part of the reason technology is now so prevalent is that it has become infinitely more accessible to the general public, and not just in a “consuming” capacity. Anyone with a computer (or tablet/smartphone for that matter) and the inclination, can create their own website in just a few minutes, without any prior knowledge of web design. Sure, it might not look very good, be particularly exciting to visit, or for that matter get any traffic, but the fact remains that it’s an easily achievable objective for anyone with an internet browser to build an online presence. The continual development of consumer-friendly smartphones and tablets, as well as the apps and websites used on them, has given people accessible technology capable of “creating” as well as “consuming”; to become digital artists in a plethora of ways.

The increasing accessibility of technology extends to us marketers too; our toolkit continues to expand and we have to be ready to pick up the next new tool, feel its weight in our hand and give it a test swing. It might not be a tool we feel will connect with that ever-allusive group of people we call our target market, or help achieve the results we’re after… but we have to at least take the time to acknowledge that it’s there and understand its purpose.

Elsewhere on the site, we’ve broken down our services into three categories Consult, Create, Communicate. At every one of these stages, an understanding and appreciation of modern technology is a prerequisite:

  • How can we offer you consultation if we don’t understand the fundamental environment you are in, including your position in a competitive online marketplace?
  • We cannot create anything beyond a page of handwritten notes and sketches if we don’t interact with or understand technology in the right ways (and that’s disregarding the technology of the ballpoint pen!)
  • And aside from the face-to-face or pen-to-paper approach, we can’t have confidence in effectively communicating to anyone in this modern world without giving thought to the technological landscape that they utilise as part of their day to day lives.

The bottom line is that technology cannot and should not define us or our values… but, if we’d like anyone else to know about them, technology can provide the right platform. It’s an exciting, ever-changing beast that brings with it a range of challenges that we as marketing professionals have to face.

It’s easier today than ever before for brands to portray themselves in the wrong ways, to damage or destroy reputations with a few clicks of a mouse or stokes on a keyboard – whether through a website, a blog post/comment, social media, text message, email or anything else. We’ve all heard stories of brands that have damaged themselves by their actions (or in some cases their lack of action). As such it’s more important than ever to ensure your message is clear, consistent and importantly, internally understood to avoid these jarring or damaging experiences for your audience. Some may see the solution as avoiding technology they don’t understand for as long as possible. But in the long run this blinkered approach is simply not sustainable; growing audience expectation and competitors who are unafraid to take carefully, strategically planned action in the area of technology will leave non-movers in the dust.

Of course, the alternative can be daunting, but that’s where organisations like Square1 can help…

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