Business will rebound when firms learn and use today’s new resources for marketing

Filed in Interview 12 comments
Strategic thinker & Brand Specialist: Russell Volckmann

Strategic thinker & Brand Specialist: Russell Volckmann

Everyone wants to work for — or own — a successful company. And we are all looking forward to a positive turn for our global economy.

The news, whether from the beleaguered mass media or the intrepid bloggers and Tweeters, continues to depress us with seemingly insurmountable challenges from foreclosures to furloughs to bankruptcies.

It should be obvious that old systems are broken, and business people must figure out how to tap new resources for strategies and tactics that will benefit everyone.

Too many companies — and industries — are wasting money, time and other valuable resources by relying on metrics, customer profiling and science, according to Russell Volckmann, a marketing professional in the Bay Area of California. Russell was one of the five participants in a panel discussion that introduced me and my 48 advertising students at San Francisco State University to the overwhelming upheaval in the world of marketing.

Russell is a strategic thinker, storyteller, and positioner, who has helped entrepreneurs, small companies, Fortune 500 firms, and global organizations tell their stories and build their brands. He is currently the Executive Producer and Creative Principal at Volckmann (& friends), now focusing entirely on branding, visual identity, brand experience.

When Russell hears the cries that “Advertising is Dead,” his first reaction is that advertisers and their agencies are lazy:

They’re not creating branded experiences and other mechanisms that connect brands to people in meaningful ways. Instead, they continue to rely on the same tired old barking ad techniques that they’ve been using for the past 50 years.

“They also continue to rely increasingly on metrics that are decreasingly relevant,” explained Russell who blogs about Brand 3.0.

Since companies use the same metrics, we get the same kind of failed ad campaigns:

We need only look at the auto companies for an example of allowing MBA numbers to drive their business into the ground.

Russel’s new agency offers an 8-point brand audit process:

  1. Brand Research
  2. Brand Strategy
  3. Brand Positioning
  4. Standards & Systems
  5. Brand Marketing
  6. Organization Brand Building
  7. Brand Extension
  8. Employee Brand Competency

In addition, Russell is Executive Creative Director at partner agency Origami Tactical Creative & Branding (Montreal-based) now, and helping spearhead the new San Francisco office.

Why is Russell doing branding and branding-related experiences instead of advertising?

In 1965, thirty-four percent of consumers could name a brand advertised on a TV show. Thirty years later, only eight percent could do so. Consumers decreasingly find ads useful, informative, relevant, or differentiating.

Did you know that only six percent of people believe an ad is generally telling the truth? With numbers like these, it is no wonder even established brands are failing.

And with evidence like Russell provides, is it any wonder that our Advertising and Marketing textbooks are “incredibly impractical” as Seth Godin wrote in his recent blog post Textbook Rant. My SFSU students, as well as industry professionals, need to study “Today 101” while  organizations that want marketing success — not marketing waste — will need to work with those marketers who are continuous learners.

Next post: Les Ross suggests putting websites on autopilot

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   19 June 2009
Tags : , , , , , , , , ,
Comments
Jun 20, 2009
7:26 pm
#1 Quan "Tiger" Vu :

“They’re not creating branded experiences and other mechanisms that connect brands to people in meaningful ways.”
I believe GM is such a great example for this statement. For more than 20 years, they haven’t known how to satisfy the demand of the young generation. For example, GM cars use too much costly gas for low income students.Thus, most of us choose Japanese car instead of GM cars.
For the prestige aspect, I believe GM has had a tough time catching up German cars.
GM has had a tremendous change in design, energy efficiency, and pricing as well in the last couple years; however, it seems as if it is too late for GM’s profitability.

Jun 22, 2009
7:39 pm
#2 Kwamena :

I think all the years of prevaricative ads have finally caught up with the Advertisers. Also, the increase in the types of media just gave advertisers more outlets to unleash their “products” on living things.

So what we have is an AD while you’re checking the weather forecast in the morning, an AD on the site while you read your email, an AD on the radio while walking downstairs/out of your building, an AD at the bus stop, an AD while you’re browsing the news paper, an AD on the top of the bodega while you’re on the bus on the way to the train, an ad on the train, an Ad at the train station, another strategically placed AD you can’t miss while walking out of the train station, and there are just ADS EVERYWHERE. It’s simply TOO MUCH

Jun 23, 2009
12:56 am
#3 Fikreslassie Tesfa :

Our world is changing dramatically and if we don’t change with it we’ll be left behind. We should learn from history. If we do the same thing over and over again, we’ll get the same results.

Businesses all over the world are struggling to survive. Why? Because, Businesses are using outdated machines, doing the same business strategies, and finally the lack of commitment to helping one another. Instead of being greedy and selfish for self gain, try to care for others.

Therefore, businesses must adapt to changes and help each other. If we do these things we will not struggle but strive for success.

Jun 23, 2009
7:41 am
#4 sharisax :

So Fikre, and READERS, All, why is it that so many people keep their eyes closed and continue being surprised when the old ways are no longer working?

Jun 25, 2009
1:57 am
#5 Nick Wreden :

How can anyone who claims to know anything about SMM and consumer empowerment still be relying on the 1970s heirarchical theory about “positioning?” Plus, in an age of accountability, “positioning” theory lacks metrics. Who can say, for example, that “our positioning is 7% better than last year’s” or “is 15% better than our competition’s?” If you don’t know your numbers in marketing, you’ll never be able to show ROI. Time to get introduced to the 21st century, and not market using disco-era tactics. The key today is segmentation, engagement, community and measurement — not 40-year old theories.

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