Branding and the New Marketing Dashboard.

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Marketing is not a once-a-year phenomenon. But it used to was (a little Cajun phraseology). Marketing once revved up around September when corporate budgets had to be forecast. Production began in November and December with budgets finalized in January. Media money was allocated around the first of the year and ad campaigns launched in Q1, maybe the beginning of Q2. Then they were put to bed until planning started again the following September.  Marketers tended to follow this hallowed media and marketing calendar religiously and everything was very campaign driven.

Then the Web arrived — the malleable, measureable, tactical Web. Not only a way to send messages to the market, but a way to sell directly to customers and eliminate the middle man mark-up. The Web became a game changer. Lately, marketers have learned something new about the Web — it provides them an ear to the marketplace which previously was the domain of research companies. Game changer number 2.

Cutting edge marketers are now using the measurable messaging, direct sales, and research capability to dashboard (verb) their marketing efforts, dialing up sales and competitive advantage on a more timely basis. It’s very exciting when done well.

There is one downside however: brand strategy takes a hit.  With so much on the dashboard (noun) many marketers are getting caught up in all the dials and lights and forgetting brand strategy – forgetting their brand idea. Modulating the dashboard behind a powerful brand (and brand planks) will be the heavy lifting for marketers the next couple of years.