How do marketing and ad agencies continue to grow revenue and adapt to an ever-changing social environment? Chase Oborn, marketing strategist at Art+War, sat down with Amy Cook, CMO at Simplus, to talk about the value of branding and how marketing and advertising have changed over the last decade and how they can continue to make an impact in a world driven by numbers.
Cook: As you know this podcast is all about growing revenue. Business owners and the decision makers in the community say, “I need metrics! I need to know that if I’m going to put this many dollars into an ad I’m going to get this much out.” And sometimes I think the branding agencies, especially the high-quality branding agencies, are devalued because we’re so metrics driven in marketing. And so, in my opinion, the branding has immense value. Probably more than some of the lead gen strategies people tend to focus solely on. So what I wanted to talk to you today is how do business owners understand the value of a high-quality ad agency and what’s the difference between something that’s high quality and something that’s low quality.
Oborn: That’s a big question, so I’ll answer it in short. The branding and marketing world and industries are changing. They’re evolving. And the “need” is evolving as well. A lot of times companies would hire an ad agency to simply execute on their marketing strategies and what they want to do. But the key is when you can identify the marketing strategy and how’s it’s related to the actual business objectives that they’ve set. And the goals that they have. You need to make sure that those align. That way you’ll be purposeful in your marketing strategies and initiatives. When you have that down, you’re able to be more strategic and be more effective. When hiring an ad agency you really want to look for expertise. It’s less about the number of hands but finding someone that will truly understand your audience and how you can connect with them.
Cook: Love what you said there: “knowing how you can connect to your audience.” You’re speaking to the choir here. I’ve studied up to doctorate level on how people persuade. But it’s sometimes hard to communicate that value and understand and get at why that connection price should be prized more than anything else in marketing.
Oborn: It’s changing. I feel like every two to five years marketing changes again. Growing up you’d watch ads and it’s all about price, quality, convenience. Today, however, your audience, your consumers and buyers, they really want to feel like you’re buying part of your brand. They want to feel connected. They want to be part of a cause. So you’re starting to see these companies nowadays starting to really share their values and share their cause and believes they have. They want to attract as many followers and fans as they can and then they simply use their product or services as the vehicle to do that. And that’s where the real magic and power is.
Cook: I love what you touched on there. Buyer behavior has changed. It’s no longer an issue of price anymore. People are willing to pay more if they know their money is going to something good and something they really care about. Something that extends beyond themselves. As that translates into marketing and branding, how are you able to communicate that cause-based marketing in a way that seems authentic and not manipulative?
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