Dear Marketers, This is a Football

The legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi knew how to bring things back to basics. His iconic “Gentlemen, this is a football” speech served to ground the 1961 squad and bring them back to the moment – a moment full of possibilities that would build on what they all knew about the game.

It seems that marketers are also in a bit of a “football” moment, facing some challenges that are making us forget the basics of the game.

Hafizah Hazahal of SPH Magazines thinks we all need to pause a minute and reconsider the fundamentals of the sales funnel. She believes that brands will lose their way if they neglect to build brand equity as their firm base, especially in our digital age, she explains in Fipp.

“If you were to do a search on ‘sales funnel’, you will see that the fundamentals of the funnel have not changed even after decades,” Hazahal writes. “An example is the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) framework widely used in advertising. For any advertising campaign to be successful, the first thing marketers should do is to grab the attention of potential consumers, to increase the likelihood of conversions further down the road. This is commonly done through branding and awareness campaigns.”

Without this strong base, he asserts, brands face some very real risks.

“With the virality of social media, consumers can easily shake the reputation of a brand by sharing negative stories associated with the brand,” she explains. “Having a ‘cache’ of positive brand associations which can come from branding activities will certainly help to minimize the impact of such events.”

The stark truth is that, according to a Havas study, “consumers would not care if 74% of brands disappeared.” Let that sink in a minute – three out of four brands are basically irrelevant to the consumers we work so hard to attract.

To combat this “who cares” attitude, companies must develop a brand that resonates, is trusted, and is “meaningfully different” from the crowd. And one way to do that is with magazine media.

“A study by Magnetic and Millward Brown has found that magazine media score highly across five key metrics needed to drive brand growth – meets needs, brand affinity (brand love), uniqueness, dynamism (sets trends) and saliency (top-of-mind awareness),” Hazahal explains. “Specifically, magazine propels brands beyond the saliency or awareness stage into being ‘meaningfully different.’ which drives repeat purchase and grow market share.”

Growing market share and driving repeat purchase is the equivalent of the football for businesses. Without that, the game simply can’t be played. For brands striving for relevance in a multi channel landscape, it’s time to revisit the basics.