Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why brand presentations don't work with the beancounters

I am becoming an absolute conference junkie. At least that's the way it feels at present, having attended about three in two months. Another year to the next one of any interest though, so I'm off the hook for now. The great thing is that they're a rich source of raw material for blogs.

At a recent conference, I saw a few brand / marketing bods presenting their thoughts on, well - branding and marketing. And from this experience, I have to ask one thing: Why do brand / marketing presentations always include 'illustrative' TV ads feeding from YouTube and other sources? The old Apple 1984 advert, a quirky European car ad and perhaps a 'zany' financial services advert from a nation noted for its weird sense of humour.

There's something awfully wrong, not to mention tedious, about all these presentations. First, they promote the notion that TV is still the primary driver of brand awareness. Yes, it's still a powerful presence, but TV does not define brand - just ask Google. Secondly, they never talk about important things that 'sell' the importance of brand to the collections of lawyers, accountants and MBAs that adorn corporate boards. Where is the information about setting up brand metrics for your organisation, about measurement, about translation of brand values into dollar value?

Unfortunately, when we go to financial services conferences, well attended by the aforesaid business technicians, these presentations merely reinforce the view that the brand and marketing dudes have no concept of improving the bottom line. You can see and hear the cranial cogs turning: "Nice ads. Bet they cost a bomb. Hope there's none of our marketing troop here picking up crazy ideas about funding similar ventures."

Yep. I really disappointed with brand presentations that reinforce the stereotype image of the marketing team. They contribute nothing to promote marketing and, more particularly, brand specialists to company boards. They do even less to promote marketing as an investment and not a cost.

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