I wanted to expand on something Mike wrote in his quick-thought post “Integrated is the new normal” and use what he says there as a spring-board for what I’ve been thinking about lately.
Most of the time when your marketing efforts are said to have stuck out it’s meant as a positive. Your message or campaign cut through the clutter and made an impact on the audience, hopefully leading to the desired outcome, whether that’s product purchase or a better brand perception.
Problems arise when a single component of the marketing campaign sticks out from the rest. Usually this happens because that component isn’t hitting the same chords as the rest of the campaign.
Personally a campaign works the best for me when all the components are working in concert. The movie’s trailer has the same look and feel as its website which also contains key art from the posters that were created. All of these combine to create a single brand image in my mind and the minds of the rest of the audience. (I’m using the example of a movie marketing campaign because, like the sonar systems in Hunt For Red October, when all else fails I think it’s just a seismic anomaly. Or something like that.)
Consistency in all facets of a marketing campaign creates a single brand perception in the minds of consumers. They’re not hit with five different messages because one group created the TV spots, one worked on the outdoor ads, one handled public relations and so on and so forth and none of these groups talked to each other. Each touch point is an opportunity not to create an audience experience that’s unique to that medium but to use the strengths of that medium to reinforce a single message point, one that’s been agreed upon by all the creative stakeholders involved.
That’s the important point, that everyone is agreed upon the messaging, with each team responsible for creative work that reinforces without redefining that messaging. In my experience the odds of that sort of coordination being successfully achieved increase greatly when a single person is ultimately responsible for all materials being approved. That lead manager can make sure the same colors, text, images and other details are uniform across all executions.
With everyone looking to prove their own value in the current economic climate (“But look, I created this and it’s so much cooler than what our ad agency threw together so you should keep paying me…”) the idea of teamwork might not be all that attractive. But making sure that, above all else, the client sees that everyone provided to a campaign’s success means everyone – most importantly that client – wins as the result of a cohesive and consistent campaign effort.