Consistency – or how to avoid your business going to hell on the back of a truck!

The founding principle of Full Effect Marketing is that efficient organisations are always more successful that inefficient ones.  That’s never changed and I can’t imagine it ever will.  Most of you, I know will think its an obvious thing to say and few people argue with me when I say it.  However, what I mean when  talk about efficiency is often different to what other visualise it as.

When I do presentations on Full Effect Marketing a key topic is always consistency.  It’s simple.  If you are aiming for efficiency the last thing you want is waste and inconsistency creates waste.  I talk a lot about the way organisations view their marketing communications.  They invest large sums in sexy media that reach large audiences in impactful ways and devote inordinate man-hours and effort to honing these communications to make them bring miniscule increments of return on investment – efficiency.  And its tough.  Everyone is getting more efficient, your media dollar buys less every year and production costs go up.  The truth is that we are all so good at communications these days that we are all fighting over that last ten percent of the scope of the media.  But are we so smart?  Because, while we are all beating each other to death over decreasing return with big budget advertising campaigns, most of us are ignoring the fact that the hard-won benefit is leaking out of  a side door.  It’s a little like filling a bucket with a hole in the bottom from a tap.  You perhaps don’t care that much that there’s a small amount of water spilling out.  After all, you are filling from a big tap, dealing with big volume, a trickle isn’t going to make that much difference.  However, it is making a difference and if you ignore the leak for long enough, it will get worse until you’ve probably leaked away the equivalent of a bucketful of water – or, a year’s advertising budget.  Even in its early stages, a leak is making some difference and it could be the difference between what you have in your budget to invest and the extra that your competitor down the road is investing that’s making life tough for you.  Either way, its inefficient.

I talk a lot about consistency in communications and most organisations have a lot of communications.  Usually far more than they at first realise and certainly more than any one person in that organisation can manage.  I don’t just mean consistency between different communications, but consistency between what you say and what you do.  Get any of this out of kilter and you are being inefficient.  That’s the reason for my Brand Discovery programme and it’s why one of the rules of  Full Effect Marketing is “refocus on internal marketing”, because if you have got all this communication going on and no one person can manage it all, the only way you can achieve a level of efficiency that’s appropriate in today’s competitive marketplace is to ensure that everyone in your organisation is saying the same thing and behaving consistently.  And the only way that you can be confident that this is happening is to get all your stakeholders on the same page and committed to playing their part in the big picture.  That’s about sharing information and its the job of internal marketing.  Pretty well every business I have come across could improve their return on communications and marketing investment by switching focus towards internal marketing.  Ten percent of investment, switched from external communications (making a promise) to internal communications (delivering the promise) will almost always deliver a level of return that an organisation could only dream of achieving from external investment.

So, against this backdrop I discovered this short clip from a presentation by a very smart guy called Graeme Codrington who I can’t seem to find anything to argue with on any subject that he covers.  What Graeme does here is illustrate better than I ever could, how an apparently minor leak by a leading brand, that could have been fixed, had they focussed a bit more on internal marketing, significantly reduced their marketing efficiency and points to dire consequences for the sustainability of the business.

Thanks you Graeme!

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One response to “Consistency – or how to avoid your business going to hell on the back of a truck!

  1. Thanks for the mention. Your point is an important one. A new generation of consumers is a lot more savvy about brand messages – both external and internal – and you hurt your brand enormously when you’re not consistent.

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