While the marketing landscape continues to undergo seismic shifts, the 3 Rs that have formed the foundation of marketing throughout my career have remained constant: relevance, reputation and reach.
NO RELEVANCE = DEATH
I first learned the true meaning of relevance working as a theatre producer. Theatre is an incredible training ground for any marketer, as the results of your labour are in front of you every night. In fact, I would rather hire someone with a successful live event marketing background than a business degree – any day.
Theatre is a tough, no excuses game requiring incredible market focus and financial management skills. The pressure of perishable assets in the form of unsold seats ensures management remains on point. I still call upon the lessons learned from those early days of my career.
The central, undeniable truth is that no matter how clever the message, no matter how creative the communication, no matter how good the marketing, your ultimate success depends on the relevance of your offering. If your product, ideas or content are deemed irrelevant, you are dead. No amount of money, effort or optimism is going to overcome a relevance deficit.
I transitioned from theatre production into the representation of people – prominent authors, journalists, former politicians, athletes, activists and entrepreneurs. It was during these years that I came to understand the elements of reputation management.
Whether the reputation in question is an asset, a limitation or fading to black, the central lesson is that your work is never done. Building and maintaining reputation is a dynamic action/response exercise played out in real-time – every day. Never has this been more severe than in today’s hyper-social world. The care and feeding of a reputation today is far more complex than it has ever been. Protective barriers have come down and brands are exposed in ways not contemplated before. What is the required response to all of this? Simple: embrace it!
A hyper-social, networked world is a massive opportunity for reputation building and remediation. If you want to know more about the possibilities for building reputation through meaningful dialogue, dust off a copy of Naked Conversations (Scoble/Israel).
Although achieving market reach has been central to all of my working life, it has only been the last 15 years that I have focused exclusively on representing corporate and consumer brands.
When we founded Pilot we promised our clients enhanced public and market reach (PMR). Over this period, PR has joined the big leagues in the marketing mix, becoming essential strategists capable of addressing the increasingly fragmented media landscape. Yet, our industry continues to promote itself as being in the business of public “relations.” This is entirely inadequate.
This agency and our industry need to be championing our ability to deliver a result – not merely a process. In our world, that means achieving relevance, reputation and REACH.