Anticipating the Brand Experience Brings the Digital Sales Force℠ Full CircleBy Burkey Belser
April 10, 2015
Get clear. Get noticed. Get chosen. These are the critical first steps in creating a powerful brand experience. But these steps reflect a transactional attitude to which we would like to add a step: get results. The sale is not the end; it’s the beginning of the relationship. Sellers need to begin with the end in mind—not closing the sale but creating a relationship. Selling is said to focus on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer. If sellers begin with a relationship in mind, they will focus on both!
Brand is reputation and reputation is behavior. The visual and verbal consistency that comes from the brand is designed to be rolled out across all the firm’s marketing programs and activities—everything—website, pitchbooks, proposals, e-newsletters and alerts, webinars, seminars, parties, exhibits, signage, blogs, social media. Aligning behavior with those messages is challenging is an organization with multiple owners. It demands constant repetition, strong leadership and a considerable investment of time and effort. Yet that investment is rarely made so we see brands roll up and fly away as new marketing directors arrive who do not understand the brand position (brand expression can be changed without changing the brand position) or with management changes at the top. When Arthur Andersen turned out the lights, ready to launch was a $100 million brand campaign, 40 percent of which was earmarked for the internal audience! Brands fail among professional service firms, companies and associations because the brand gets forgotten. It’s that simple.
However, know this. With a compelling brand, you can kick your Digital Sales ForceSM into gear to build loyalty within the firm, attract talent to the firm, launch a new service area or office, penetrate or build strength in an industry. It seems like we’re being asked to do all of these things. But, in truth, all we are being asked to do—reducing everything to its essence—is to deliver leads. That’s what we’ve always strived to do—surface prospective clients. Today, some of the traditional tools have been replaced with digital tools but “digital” is only part of the solution. We’ve automated distribution and made progress toward understanding our success with analytics. We’ve made strides automating the nurturing of leads. We can help a lot before one of our professionals ever lifts a finger. Yes, ultimately, everyone will need to lean into the if your brand activities are focused, you can drive leads and enjoy success.