Brand Builders - Key to Success

Marketing Integration - Ep 08

The amount of work, energy and effort that actually go into getting everyone on board behind a marketing campaign in an organisation is immense but, necessary if you want to run a successful campaign. It is even more critical for the leadership team to be fully behind the marketing strategy because in order for you to build a successful brand, you cannot have a brand that says one thing and the organisation does another because they’re (the leadership team) the link between the organisation’s vision and it’s staff.

Marius: 00:00 Kyle, good afternoon sir how’re you doing?

Kyle: 00:03 Great thanks and you Marius?

Marius: 00:05 I’ve seen better days but I’m still young so it’s okay. Kyle, branding in terms of your strategy and then today a bit of marketing. If i’m the only guy in my business that actually care cares about what happens and what the strategy is in terms of marketing that’s not the way to go, everybody should pull together in the same direction.

Kyle: 00:29 That's correct, for you to build a successful brand as you would for a successful company. Everyone needs to be behind it. In today’s time you cannot have a brand that says one thing and a company that does something else or an organisation that does something else.

Marius: 00:47 So if I were to work in HR for example in my firm would it be correct to say the guy from HR they don’t know a lot about marketing they shouldn’t be involved. I think thats the first hurdle, getting all the departments, all individuals together and say listen this affects all of us not unfortunately, fortunately affects all of us so, you better listen we’re going to pull together.

Kyle: 01:13 The main in terms of where I see when we talk about marketing more specifically within the overall brand development space then marketing is one fear.The main problem is when we think in isolation. Your bigger companies, well, in America anyway, are seeing that you want your department to have a certain degree of independence in the sense of that they can do their own thing and not be reliant on everything in certain instances so let's say for example with this ESKOM debacle. They are saying that the fundamental problem is because the manager of the individual power station cannot purchase their own coal they have to go through a central procurement process and this is what’s slowing everything down. Whether or not that’s true or not but, in principle could be an answer, the bottom line is if you don't want every department to be a silo, you know, where we're acting in isolation and where I see this in terms of marketing where it affects it very heavily is in terms of you going out and running a campaign or some form of communication to the market and then you don't have all the other teams behind you and then you want to deliver on that campaign and this stuff behind it. So let’s make a random example with HR.

Let's say for example we run a campaign which is going to result, if it’s successful, in a heck of a lot of overtime, let’s be honest. Overtime is good because the more overtime your people are working the more revenue they’re bringing, the more success your campaign is bringing in and your HR aren’t ready for it. So, either from an administrative point of view or just outright no we’re not going to sign off on this and pay the extra. Then what happens is that you’re a week or two into the campaign and then all of a sudden you know, people aren’t getting the response rate that they want and the turnaround times and things that they are expecting. Then the whole campaign falls flat and ends up hurting the brand more than it ends up benefiting the brand and that's simply because you didn't have HR sit in a meeting and said hey guys we're going to run this campaign and if it’s successful it will mean these and these things, you guys have to be gearing yourselves up in your various departments and those sort of things. The obvious one is sales, so you’ve got to get your sales team on board with your marketing team and everyone has got to be together, you know. Hey, we're going to go do this thing and get everyone behind it, is everyone going to put different plans in place.

You know some of my clients, for example, we have to, if we're going to run a promotional campaign with them, we have to tell them a few months in advance because their product is of a nature where they actually have to plan that they will have product ready for the campaign. So all of that, That’s why a marketing meeting in my summation, should have a representative or two from as many different departments within the organisation as possible. So some of my clients, I will have a marketing meeting and there will be the CEO, there will be the financial director, there will be the general manager, there will be the head of the sales team, there will be the head of the product development team because when we start planning and we start talking need for training and we’re all going to do all these things and nine or eight times out of ten, each one of those guys walks away from that meeting with either a to-do or something that will know that if this person asks for a thing that my team must be prepared to respond quickly.

Marius: 04:48 Indeed I mean if I can just imagine if somebody would walk in and  something’s going on in terms of a campaign now and the one guy that walks in would say oh, i didn’t get that memo or nobody cc’d me in that email. The link comes in again. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link. And by not including these people on all levels,  then the chain would not be working.

Kyle: 05:07 Yeah and that’s what’s also equally critical, that the people you appointed as your leadership buy into the brand 100%. Because I've even found that when you do the mechanics of engaging with everyone in your team or your department that if you’re not bought into the brand it doesn't make a difference. That email won’t get actioned upon or that sms or that Whatsapp. Nothing will happen. The work that I'm seeing happening with all of our clients you know, we're kind of sitting and often with what we do is we’re sitting at the top of the white ivory towers so to speak in terms of the company and we're making these big plans and we’re at the top. Plans mean nothing if the rubber doesn't hit the road. So, the amount of work and energy and effort that actually goes into getting everyone on board and if you don't have everyone on board then that’s the challenges that they are. I mean we have clients that their biggest marketing problem is logistics so the brand’s doing really well but, they can't service their clients quick enough based on what the brand is portraying to the market because the logistics team aren’t fully behind it. And you know and they are all going to go so far as, I think there is going to be a whole leadership change in the logistics department of different people, we’re talking about 5 to 6 people not having their jobs anymore. And that’s the way it has to go because you all have to be behind that brand otherwise it’s just not going to work.

Marius: 06:53 Absolutely. Kyle if you don’t mind I’d like to ask a question that keeps on coming up this week, you know by now that we talk with you from the platteland. Platteland is not the right word anymore because we’ve five six thousand people residing in Middleburg for example and even more in Witbank. f you take a small Platteland business I had a listener ask me about more than five times already, that does everything that you guys talk about in your programme is it the same for a local business, small business medium business. Because it seems as if you guys are only focusing on the large national entities that’s why they say these principles do apply everywhere.

Kyle: 07:45 They do apply everywhere, the reason that we use the example to be perfectly and brutally honest is because first of all they're relatable to people and they can see it actually happen and they’re just clearer so you’d know who those brands are. So understanding that if I were giving that presentation to a group of people that ran engineering firms my examples and case studies that I gave could’ve been very specific because I did go and do my research specifically to them. But, in the context of our conversation we’re talking to a very broad audience. You know, the fundamental, I mean I’m busy writing a short little book on branding for our website and stuff and I ask people if you look at the key thing of a what is a brand about. It’s about convincing people to purchase from you over your competitors and convincing people that they should pay a bit more because you are worth it as a company. Now it’s very simple, regardless of your side, where you’re at, your location if you want those two things. So you want to stop competing solely based on price you want to charge a bit more of a premium, you want to make a bit more money because you want the value of what you bring to the table to be so clear in the eyes in the mind of your customers that they are happy to pay that extra. And I’m going to to take this a step further, if you want to sell your company one day when retire for all that money even though Sally and Sue are  leaving you want to build a brand. Because a brand means that I will step away as the owner and there will still be something left behind there’ll still be something strong.

Something I present all the time that shows how this has changed is if you evaluated a company in 1985 and you evaluated its fixed assets at a million rand, you would sell the company for R1.47 million. That's because the fixed assets would make up 68% of the valuation and the intangible assets; goodwill, brand, make up about 32% of the evaluation. Move forward 30 years 2015, you evaluate a company at also a million rand I’m taking inflation out of its so that the maths is clear, a million rand same valuation on the fixed assets. You would sell the company for R6.25 million. Because now within the emerging markets six assets only represent 16% of average company valuation. Intangible assets, your brand, what is your reputation in your market are now counting for 84% percent of your company's valuation. That's why you have a company like Apple where their share price will go down even if they are making significant amounts of revenue when their previous CEO died because their was a perception that they would lose their edge because of that reputational perceptional change they’ll lose their edge. So, all I can say to people is that, that is the way the world is moving, your reputation is a part of your brand and if you value it, you want to develop it the principles that I give are applicable regardless of the size of organisation. The difference is whether I'm sitting and having a meeting with one person, whether I'm engaging with three people. I would say my medium sized clients would normally have a team of 3 or 4 and my larger clients have a team of 12 so, that’s all the difference. I deal one-on-one with clients and it’s about reminding you and keeping you on track as much as it is about giving you the insights.

Marius: 11:41 I’d like to finish off with that gone are the days when Kyle would sit down with the top bras 1 or 2 of them and we’d just expected that those things that you guys discussed will eventually flow down and translate into the lower levels. As you just said that there’s meetings with a group of 12; 13 or 14 or even more from the same company so that everybody is and remains on the same page otherwise it’s a futile exercise.

Kyle: 12:11 100% and the thing I want to say to people is that developing a brand, at a smaller size on ground level can I be honest, the return on investment is far more direct in the sense that the money put in will come back in a far shorter period of time. Because your agility within a smaller enterprise is much quicker typically depending on obviously resources and if there in the will to change. But from our larger clients we came up with, it takes them anything from 12 to 18 months to respond.

Marius: 12:43 It’s unbelievable in the day and age that we find ourselves in. Kyle but, focus quick, I’d like to finish off with the question and the idea and the lesson today is that get everybody into the fold. Everybody must understand, know what it’s all about and pull in the right direction or the same direction rather, otherwise it’s not going to help a lot.

Kyle: 12:52 That’s correct. So I would encourage everyone who is curious. I think everyone agrees with me on this so if you want to call me and tell me about a business and see how I can actually help you, give me a call. We help businesses that turnover anywhere from R1 million to a R1 billion doing anything from selling needs for fitness through to selling engineering mining equipment for big mines to selling staffing solutions to people to selling software. We’ve worked across a myriad of entities so, the chances that I’ll be able to craft a solution for you are extremely slim.

Marius: 13:47 That I believe. Wise words from a wise man. Kyle, thank you so much and we look forward to the new addition of the next edition same time same place next week. Thank you so much.

Kyle: 14:02 Thank you Marius.