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There Is Something to Be Said for Slow

By Emily H. GriebelFriday, August 16, 2013

QUESTION: What do these three things have in common?
1.    Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2012 Report
2.    Steve McKee’s Integrated Marketing article on Businessweek.com
3.    Ogilvy on Advertising

ANSWER: Each convinced (or maybe reminded) me that marketers and brands need to slow the heck down.Slow Sign Square

All of the 100 brands in Interbrand’s most recent annual study are established products or companies. None of them are new to the world. They’ve all been “at it” awhile and are consistent in their branding and marketing efforts. This is probably one of the main reasons why they’re on this list. In a 2012 Businessweek.com article entitled, Integrated Marketing: If You Knew It, You'd Do It, Steve McKee states that, “Integrated marketing takes time to soak into the marketplace.” In his best-selling book, Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy wisely says, “You don’t stand a tinker’s chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework. I have always found this extremely tedious, but there is no substitute for it.”

You can’t argue with any of these published works, yet brands continue to fall victim to moving too quickly and making rash decisions. It’s easy to do, especially with digital disruption currently being played out in the explosion of social media, mobile applications, and more. These changes in the marketing landscape put pressure on us to keep up with rapidly-changing technologies and consumers’ need for on-demand information and full transparency. However, this doesn’t mean that our strategic thinking should go by the wayside.

To ensure your brand is and remains relevant to consumers, it’s imperative that you invest the resources – people, money and time – to carefully determine the right strategy. You must take the time to develop a long-term brand plan that includes a singular objective, detailed target profile, compelling identity and integrated marketing plan. Without putting the required effort behind the development of each of these foundational elements, you’ll end up implementing a plan that doesn’t work and have to start all over again.

Next, you should give your marketing program time to work. Once you’ve determined the right strategy for your enduring plan and executed on it, let it run. It may take awhile to see the results you were expecting but if you planned appropriately and performed the right research up front, it will work. And after time, just because you’re tired of it doesn’t mean your customers and prospects are.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try new things. It’s a good idea to reserve a small portion of your budget for testing – be that new technologies, media channels, tactics or partnerships. A little experimentation peppered into your long-term program could give your marketing efforts a boost and keep you current in today’s crazy world.

As a brand, taking your time and not wavering with your marketing strategy isn’t being slow, it’s being smart.
By Emily H. GriebelFriday, August 16, 2013

Emily H. Griebel, a marketing strategist since 1997, developed her skills at some of the top marketing firms in the country (including 8+ years at MWC). She now runs EHG Consulting and offers strategic planning services to organizations that can't justify the need for a full-time marketing director. She can be found on LinkedIn or @EmilyHGriebel on Twitter.