When you think of ads and advertising, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s usually television or print advertising. For some, it may be web banner ads and pre-roll ads seen on YouTube. Others may think of Google and Adwords. But philosophically, it goes much deeper than that.
“Advertising” means so much more than merely obvious ads.
Any message or communication you produce for internal or external consumption is actually a form of advertising.
Whether it’s an internal memo, a social media post, or paid advertising, building a consistent, honest brand message must be done with a holistic perspective.
“Why?” you ask. It’s simple.
The internet and social media have given audiences access to information like never before.
And to compound the issue, that communication is instantaneous.
In an age where your customers have such ready access to global platforms and real-time communication about your brand, it’s imperative that you are consistently “on message.”
And this consistency must extend from your front-line staff members, right into your board rooms and C-suite. If there are gaps anywhere within your communication chain, like water, it will find a way to seep through every crack.
Look at your company and make sure everyone is using the same brand vocabulary, the same imagery, and the same communication strategy throughout the organization.
In short, when your brand identity and messaging is inconsistent with the customer experience, it’s going to find its way into the public square. You can’t stop it.
You cannot contain it.
There are just too many ways for the truth about your brand experience to find the light of day.
The best way to protect your brand message is to take a holistic approach.
Look at your brand and make sure everyone uses the same vocabulary, the same imagery, and the same communication strategy throughout the organization.
Whether internal or external, all communications must reflect the values and messages embodied in your brand promise.
This consistency helps instill the values and personality within your brand’s culture you want to convey to your customers. It creates a real and authentic brand message.
Authenticity ensures your brand interactions, whether it’s the product itself or a representative of your brand, will be true to your brand values and have a positive impact.
In today’s climate, people are looking for genuine, trustworthy brand experiences.
By taking an “everything is an ad” approach, you efficiently create those authentic experiences and, better still, create strong advocates for your brand.
So keep in mind that “advertising” isn’t confined to paid display or social media ads.
It’s the product of every communication or representation inside and outside your organization. Keep them on brand, on message, and true to your brand’s character and values.
It will go a long way toward ensuring your customers embrace and share their positive experiences. Because when it comes to building and maintaining a healthy market share, everything truly is an ad.