5 myths that need busting before creating an effective marketing platform

David Thomson, director at Wasserman, highlights some common misconceptions brands must consider to maximise their chance of success.

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Red Bull, Nike, Apple; no doubt you’ve heard these names championed by other brands, usually completing the sentence “we want to be the next…”

But here’s the thing – these brands didn’t become cultural icons overnight. Their positions as category champions have been achieved through years of hard work, relentless consistency, and a commitment to a clear set of core values that permeate all of their marketing communications

As we head out of a summer dominated by sports and music festivals, the inevitable barrage of brand communications will continue to flood our social feeds, all with the aim of taking advantage of cultural events to boost awareness and engagement with consumers.

The best examples are so simple it almost seems easy…but if it was that easy wouldn’t everyone do it? Outlined below are a few common myths that brands often fall victim to when attempting to land an effective marketing platform.

Myth 1 – The perfect platform already exists…

Brands often view creating platforms as risky, a drain on resource, and short-term pain with minimal guarantees for long-term gain.

As a result, they look for the easy way out, turning to rights holders and properties for ready-made sponsorship packages. However, with all brands now seeking a clear point of difference, the need for customised offerings is becoming more apparent.

For brands looking to create an effective marketing platform…be brave, don’t settle if the right opportunity isn’t readily available. Think big and don’t be afraid to create bigger. Upfront investment of time and effort will inevitably pay dividends in the long-term.

Myth 2 – A successful marketing platform delivers immediate business results…

Speaking of long term, the second myth relates to the expectation that results will be immediate. This is an approach that’s incredibly dangerous when you consider the strongest relationships are forged on the foundations of trust and consistency – both of which take time.

A recent study from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), which analysed 500 effectiveness case studies over 20 years, showed that long-term campaigns were three times more likely to drive market share improvement and 60% more likely to deliver profit improvement. A bad idea executed consistently will always out perform a good idea executed inconsistently.

Entering and exiting the marketplace too frequently can do more harm than good, causing confusion and ultimately eroding a brand’s credibility and image. After all, if you can’t commit to something, how can you expect the consumer to?

Myth 3 – Instant credibility can be bought…

The third myth builds from the premise that credibility is something that be earned through association alone.

In reality, credibility takes years to establish. Brands need to spend time investing in developing the right platform that is intrinsically linked to their core values, and can stand the test of time.

Take Red Bull for example with their famed music platform, Red Bull Music Academy. What started originally in 1998 as a series of workshops has morphed over the last 20 years into a leading international music platform that touches over 60 countries throughout the year. It’s something that has allowed Red Bull to communicate to their consumer consistently for the past 20 years, and, as a result, the brand is now seen to be a credible voice for both music consumers and the industry.

Myth 4 – Data alone is the key to success…

The fourth myth evolves from the notion that data alone holds the key to a brand’s success. In an industry that has become obsessed with accessing data, brands often rely on this and this alone to dictate their actions and behaviours.

Don’t get me wrong… it has its role to play in the formation of a marketing platform, however, it’s the blend of art and science that ultimately delivers the desired message in the right place at the right time. If the head guides, then the heart decides. Killer creative forms the emotional connection and creates strong relationships between the consumer and brands. It’s the combination of the two together that can truly unlock the key to an effective brand platform.

Myth 5 – Purchasing decisions are based solely on the value of the product…

The final myth that needs shattering is that consumers buy based on product and capabilities alone.

These days it’s no longer enough to have the best product on the market. People don’t buy the what or the how; they buy why.

Platforms focused on communicating product capabilities will always under-deliver versus those that effectively communicate a proposition that is both differentiated and relatable for a consumer. The why delivers purpose, it delivers background, and a grander sense of belonging that ultimately inspires action, and eventually…loyalty.

The upshot?

In today’s increasingly values-driven marketplace, brand preferences can shift at the click of a button. Consumers are basing their choices on more than just product attributes; focusing instead on a brands purpose and societal contributions when making purchasing decisions…Something that is most effectively communicated through the right marketing platform.

Conventional wisdom suggests there is a step by step guide to marketing success, but in reality, great platforms come in all shapes and sizes and depend entirely on the brands unique strengths, the culture of the market they are delivered in, and the category in which they operate.

There is no one size fits all solution but by paying homage to previous failures and taking into account these few common misconceptions, brands can help ensure they maximise their chance of success.

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