Nailing the balance between short-term brand wins and long-term performance is one of marketers’ biggest dilemmas.
Industry experts dug into the topic at a Campaign US Breakfast Briefing at Hearst Tower in New York City on Wednesday.
"I really believe that brand is performance and performance is brand," stressed Emma Armstrong, managing director at iCrossing New York. "I don’t think that they should be separated, and it’s beholden to all of us to try to bring those two together."
She explained that the unbundling of media and creative, "while good from a financial point of view, was the first time we really separated the ‘what’ from the ‘where.’"
Armstrong continued: "Very quickly, we layered digital on top and the world just became exponentially more complicated -- suddenly we could measure everything in real-time. The client world became very fragmented."
This fragmentation has formed a major hurdle for marketers. She outlined five simple ways brands and agencies can do help fuse brand and performance back together.
1. Knowledge is power
Who are you and who are you not? Truly understanding your brand -- what are the iconic elements, what’s the intersection with culture? We must understand what the brand stands for and how that’s internalized.
2. Set yourself up for collaboration
Look at your company and advocate for aligning structure and shared goals that will drive both brand and performance.
3. Discovery trumps channel
Digital does not equal performance. According to 2017 data from Accenture, 75 percent of consumers expect consistent experiences across web, mobile, social and in-person. The funnel has collaspsed. Eighty percent of consumers believe it’s still important for brands to have physical stores.
4. Measure what matters
Just because you can, it does not mean that you should. Take time to understand the real drivers of the business -- not just the things that you can measure because they’re there.
5. Be brave
There are no answers. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Take calculated risks, work with people you like and trust, test and learn and involve your whole organization in that bravery.