Additional Information


Content

Total recall or total cock-up?

We've all remarked on it haven't we? How little time people in client companies get to spend in their position before moving onwards and upwards to a new challenge, Simon Barbato, strategy and development director at Communique 360, says.

Share this article

In most cases, brand managers are around for a couple of years and rely heavily upon their marketing partners to provide the corporate memory and continuity for the brand.

OK, it's difficult to talk about something like corporate memory without sounding like a self-professed marketing guru with a loud voice and an even louder confidence. But, let me preface what I am about to say by pointing out that corporate memory is important, and it's the Achilles heel of lots of big companies that should know better.

In fact, there is such a huge corporate memory loss amongst so many of the UK's top companies that they are losing money and working much less effectively than they should when it comes to marketing their products. As a consultant I am always encountering the situation where clients cannot remember what their company did five years ago or even last summer, simply because there is no sufficient record. 'Oh that was dealt with by my predecessor or by such and such a direct marketing agency they are no longer with us.' Or, and this one is more likely, if something failed for a particular reason they are unable to tell you exactly why.

With such pressure on marketers to deliver ROI and effectiveness it's essential more than ever to understand the factors in both success and failure. When simple questions such as “What exactly went wrong?” are met with answers like, “I don’t know! But I do know we tried it and that it was a complete washout!”. Then it's time to understand something needs to be done.

To know what went right or wrong with a campaign can save, and make, money. What caused the disaster? Were you promoting something heavily through direct marketing, above the line, website and then due to a supply chain failure people couldn't find the product in the shops? Was the promotion run at the wrong time of the year, or was the original idea just a complete stinker?

OK, now here's some radical thinking. Why not introduce a brand health record like personal medical records your GP keeps at the surgery? This would tell all new marketers working on the brand what has been tried and why it did or didn't work. It would also remind all brand managers who remain in the job more than a couple of years what they were up to 36 months ago.

As a consultant it's good to know the brand you are working with as well as your doctor knows the health record of his patient. I'm not advocating that all marketers should be anoraks when it comes to knowing their brand, but you should know what makes it tick, if it has any serious health defects, and what medication it's on.

Many years ago, in a former life, I was in a meeting at a client company and witnessed a direct marketing idea being pitched to my client, just two years in the job, that had been marketed by his predecessor. The idea although an attractive one was a spectacular failure for the brand, and yes, my client was about to buy the same solution again from a different agency. Think how differently the ideas would have been received if a brand health record had been on hand to consult?

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Additional Information

Latest jobs Jobs web feed

Back to top ^