Over the past year I’ve seen many consumer businesses flounder, trying to find a loyal audience in a sea of social media ads. I’ve seen marketers who have had years of success, suddenly lose their footing as social media and search became more competitive and their go-to platforms were no longer delivering the ROI. Now, as artificial intelligence takes center stage in marketing discussions, it is becoming increasingly evident how crucial investing in brand, and hiring an exceptional brand leader, will be for a company to truly break through and establish staying power.
The building of a brand is extraordinarily hard work. It takes creativity, discipline, patience, and investment. It is not about TV advertising or expensive production. It is about deeply understanding your audience and developing unique, creative, and on-point messaging that stops them in their tracks. It is about getting people to emote, not just buy. It is the most important marketing investment if your intent is to build a lasting company. The algorithms, the platforms, the data, and the tech are all just tools for marketers to leverage. The secret weapon is not your teams’ skills in using these tools, the secret weapon lies in hiring an executive creative visionary who knows how to take risks and who has a profound understanding of what it means to build a lasting brand.
Companies over the last decade have shied away from hiring CMOs who are brand builders. What has been in vogue is hiring well-rounded CMOs who have a deep understanding of performance marketing. We’ve seen brand building take a backseat while companies sought out executive marketers who could deliver immediate wins and produce easily measured results. The purchase behavior with brand building takes longer to map and marketers were finding success leveraging technologies and platforms that delivered a quick action or reaction. But we are now in a place where the platforms have gotten too expensive and artificial intelligence is giving anyone the ability to create quick content. This means creative thinking and brand building is the only way to stand-out and win.
As 2024 planning takes hold, and investment decisions are being made, take a close look at your marketing team and executive leadership. Assess and quantify the value of your brand to your audience and consider how this marries into your revenue planning. With the investment in brand marketing and the hiring of a great brand leader, your company can break through the noise and rise above the competition.