Why You Need to Sweat The Small Stuff

Marketing - and branding - is all about the little things (courtesy of Allographics)

Since time immemorial, marketers are obsessed with the "Big Idea". Ruled by "out-of-this-world" campaigns that win Golden Lions or Creative Circle awards, we were transfixed by the notion that bigger and bolder is usually better.

The sequential logic goes like this:

Big brands = Big budget = Big idea = Big celebrities = Big media = Big impact

While this still rings true to a certain extent, it isn't enough. The proof of the brand pudding is in the eating...and the post-purchase interactions between your customer and your brand.

In other words, its not how well you sell, but how well you serve, which matters.

What this means is that awesome marketing isn't achieved with a monumental viral ad which generates millions of views on YouTube or terrestrial TV. Instead, it is embodied by the numerous moments of interaction between a consumer and a brand, each and every day.

This philosophy of "multiple brand exposures" means that your company needs to always be "on brand" regardless of situations and circumstances. In a way, marketing becomes an all encompassing activity which envelopes a customer from his exposure to the first ad or article to the end of the consumption experience.

Naturally, if the experience was unforgettable, you can bet that the customer will tell 1, 10, 100, or 1000 others. And the story that spreads will have a happy ending.

While the notion of multiple brand touch points isn't novel, the primary difference now is that the little "moments of truth" takes on greater salience than ever before. This covers the way the product is publicised, sold, packaged, consumed, serviced and spread from consumer to consumer.

Here, the helpline isn't just a customer service channel but a marketing touchpoint and a brand encounter.

Naturally, social media plays a big role. Every Facebook update, photo shared on Instagram, tweet, blog post or YouTube video becomes another facet of a consumer's brand experience. Brands now need to convey that they are "uniquely ubiquitous" not just on the shop floor or advertising channel but in every point of interaction and engagement. This certainly includes the 24/7 social web.

The next time you consider splashing a million bucks on a huge campaign guaranteed to raise eyebrows and reach every man, woman and child, think about the trickle down effects of your monumental marketing efforts. While awareness is key, it is downstream engagement and experience which ultimately drives brand loyalty, word-of-mouth, and sustainability.

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