Marketing is a modern form of business communication, but its roots are as old as humans.
People are tribal. It probably started with survival, but tribes evolved to become communities of people that share similar values and beliefs.
To show they are part of the same tribe, they used characteristic colors and ornaments and engaged in specific behaviors or rituals. By doing this, they communicated to others their beliefs and what made them different.
They used verbal and visual language along behavior to stand out.
Sounds a lot like marketing, right?
Granted, the landscape has changed a bit and people aren’t as tough as they used to be. In the old days, tribes would communicate their fierceness to scare other tribes, today we work towards attracting ‘the others’ into our community.
It’s a different approach to life, but it’s still in the roam of communication strategy.
Companies, or any other form of organization, are no different. They start with beliefs (vision, value proposition), develop their own rituals (culture) and communicate with the rest of the world through a variety of channels. That’s marketing 101.
Unfortunately, most organizations and even some “marketing experts” only focus on the communication aspect while neglecting identity.
It is beliefs and values that shape identity. And it is identity that shapes the communication strategy, not vice versa.
Having those core values in place, allows us to identify the people we want to serve with our products and services. Only by knowing those people, the “target audience” can we establish a communication strategy.
A good approach to marketing communication is to list all possible touchpoints.
That’s where the organization meets the target audience.
For a company, that can be the local shop, a website, offices, handouts like t-shirts or flyers, events, courses, and last but not least social media platforms. Even mail and phone communication are touchpoints.
Put every possible interaction on that list. Now take every single touchpoint and optimize it. That’s where you split hairs to make sure everything is consistent. That’s where you make sure you serve your community as good as possible.
But never forget: every decision must reflect the organization’s values and identity.
And as a leader, you have the unique chance to shape the future of your community.
Be brave, but mindful.