Investing in your company’s most valuable asset

When it comes to marketing, some businesses owners are reluctant to invest. Whilst some might be sceptical, it’s more important than ever before. Standing out is harder than it’s ever been.

Paul White Wise Owl Creative

By Paul White, managing director, Wise Owl Creative

It’s a dog-eat-dog world and whilst many people have traditionally thought of marketing being just about selling more, it’s much more than that. Business-to-consumer operators have been forced to commit to marketing budgets earlier because of the online shopping world, but now it’s something more and more business-to-business operators are having to get to grips with too.

It might be attracting the right candidates to your business. They’ve got the world at their fingertips and employees are in a position to be choosy. If you’re not getting the right candidates, could it be down to your company image?

Your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. You might manufacture a product for someone else’s label, but they’re still a customer. Just as important, there might be other labels looking for a manufacturer. They’ll be digging around and if you look like you’re stuck in the 80’s they might well scroll straight on past.

Your brand is the most accessible it’s ever been. There isn’t a single time I’ll pick up the phone without looking at that company first and if they’re not up to scratch I’ll just move on to the next.

Brand and marketing used to be two quite different beasts, but things have moved on and in many cases they’re one of the same now, particularly for anything you put online or, as is often the case, by a lack of presence online. That’s because almost everything you produce online is accessible to anyone and because of that it’s all part of the brand your company presents.

Just having a presence is now vitally important for any business. Those operating in a business-to-business environment have sometimes thought that a presence isn’t too important, particularly in manufacturing. A field based sales team has often been the only marketing, but times are moving on.

Recently we’ve been called in by manufacturers who’re struggling to recruit both skilled and unskilled workers, simply because nobody had heard of them. They were paying well but other local firms looked slicker. Brand presence is now something that’s important to them, because without a brand they were struggling to recruit.

In the past 12 months we’ve seen an increase in the number of business-to-business customers, the kind who wouldn’t have considered their brand, engage us to give them an identity. There was a time when brand was logos, business cards and letterheads, and marketing was product brochures. We’re in the integrated era, where your brand is everything that you do and the marketing element is about how you sell every part of your business, to customers, to employees and potential employees and to stakeholders. Investing in your brand is more important than ever in this competitive digital era.