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Part 1: Emergent’s 2016 Marcom Myth Busters

December 16th, 2015 Posted by brand marketing, Insight, Navigation, Retail brand building, retail brand relevance, Transformation 0 comments on “Part 1: Emergent’s 2016 Marcom Myth Busters”

What Clients Often Want…Artists of the Launch.

Emergent’s unique business model casts our client relationships in two principal roles:

  1. Communications, mostly earned, owned and social; and
  2. Brand and business consulting, rethinking the organization’s mission, product and brand strategy.

Every so often these two areas integrate with one client and in those cases we usually find some of the most outstanding work we do and results that can be truly, wonderfully transformational.

However, for the most part I can say with authority that the most frequent calling we experience coalesces around various kinds of new product, retail or category introductions. Where the stakes are perceived to be high, we experts play most often to help mitigate risk and build success stories in the name of topline growth.

We are indeed Artists of the Launch!

So it would stand to reason one of the most important skill sets and areas of expertise we offer clients is the depth of experience we bring – having been down this trail so many, many times before across a plethora of food, beverage, health and wellness categories and related channels of distribution.

  • We know the product is the marketing and our best work starts way upstream from launch.
  • We know the retail buyer conversations.
  • We know the barriers to securing distribution.
  • We know the consumer and the eccentricities and triggers of their behavior.
  • We know how to build differentiation into the entire proposition.
  • We know that message matters.
  • We know that two-way conversation is critical.
  • We know the tricky path to media glory.
  • We also know that greatness is an outcome of alignment between brand behavior and communication.

This list could go on and on and on; simply stated we know a great deal. Yet I find it interesting the number of times clients come to the table with prescriptive requests – basically asking for the tactic and alignment of said tool to act as carrier of listed feature/benefit messages.

This is not optimal.

Running communications as a push button remedy, a get-rich-quick pill to be taken after the conclusion of the sales meeting, defies the logic of how the marketplace has evolved.

Never before in the history of modern marketing has brand behavior, mission, beliefs and values been so critical and integral to success. And working alongside the absolute king and queen of all requirements: fundamental relevance to the consumer’s lifestyle passions, needs and interests.

This condition begs for the kind of insight research we specialize in: to fully understand the lives of those we wish to market to. Our goal is to forge consumer relationships that are less transactional. Indeed, the path to permission-to-sell begins with aligning and enabling consumer lifestyle interests with our client’s brand proposition.

It also requires that marketing step out of its tactical role and into a cross-functional, business strategy paradigm that integrates how the entire enterprise operates within its Higher Purpose – one the consumer will recognize and embrace.

This means that marketing and communications is no longer a launch exercise done in isolation but operated more strategically along the continuum of strategies aimed at optimizing performance in the marketplace.

Ahhhh me 🙂

If we could have it the way we want it all client relationships would be cast around this understanding. There’s a resource here to be tapped and more fully utilized that extends way past publicity or video or trade ad or sales deck or social content.

Emergent’s desired role is that of partner. Not vendor. Yes, we know how to wield the tools – but those tools are so much more effective when deployed under the strategic vision of fully optimized go-to-market strategies.

One of the benefits of our years of launches is the ability to look backwards as well as forwards. We’ve seen the difference between batting a base hit and a home run. In order for us to provide highest and best counsel, instead of beginning with a prescriptive, tactical request, our most productive client conversations begin with the following strategic question:

“What should we do and how should we do it?” 

Look for our next installment in this 3-part blog series: 3 Steps to Marketing Greatness

Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent Healthy Living. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to national food, beverage, home and lifestyle companies.  Emergent’s unique and proprietary transformation and growth focus helps organizations navigate, engage and leverage consumers’ desire for higher quality, healthier product or service experiences that mirror their desire for  higher quality lifestyles. For more information, contact and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.

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