Issue #46
January 18, 2023

My take on the intersection of marketing + life

Hi 👋
Talking to a potential client before the holidays, I asked why he was interested in our services.

His answer was surprising: "The 'wholesomeness' of your brand," he said.

He explained his assessment was based on my LinkedIn posts — the topics, language I use and what I’m wearing in my selfies.

“Wholesomeness” isn’t exactly a brand tenant here at Zissman Media, but it is a sentiment I’m conscious of conveying. And it was eye-opening to see someone who doesn’t know me pick up on it.

Whether you’re Nike or a local retail storefront, know that your brand is deeply embedded into every single touchpoint with customers, vendors and lurkers.

It is consumed without your knowledge or ability to control it. With social media, your reputation always precedes you.

And branding is the way to build your desired reputation. Just ask Natasha Lopoukhine, Principal & owner of Savvy Marketing and this month’s TMI 3 in 10 guest.

For my full 10-minute interview with Natasha, take a listen here.

Just seeking Natasha's 3 tips on branding in 2023? Read on.

1. Your brand is everything. Brand is the way anyone experiences your company at any touchpoint, from your logo to the impression customers get when they call your company for the first time.

And that makes exercises like building a brand strategy an energizing process — not just for the business owner or the founder, but for everyone because it's a way to fall in love again with the company. It reminds the entire team: This is why we do what we do and why we love it.

From your employer image to who you hire, your brand strategy should include:
  • Buyer personas. Who is your ideal buyer? Who is not? (The latter is just as important!). Which media channels do they consume content on?  
  • Customer testimonials. From the newest to sign on (What attracted you?) to a loyal fan (Why do you stick around?) and even some that got away (What went right? What went wrong? Why did they leave?).
  • Branding guidelines. Your colors, logo and lexicon of what words/phrases your business uses in communications and more.
  • Story pillars. What are the stories you want to tell? What’s your message? These will dictate the content themes for the year.

2. See marketing and sales as partners in revenue generation. This has long been a challenge for B2B brands, but it’s critical. When marketing and sales work hand-in-hand, the information you bring together will create marketing messages that resonate with your customers.

Three ways to do that:

  • A regular meeting between marketing and sales
  • Marketing folks jump on online and in-person sales calls
  • Coordinate on a joint customer survey

3. Make brand strategy a regular practice. Don’t wait 15 years to assess your brand to move to the next level of growth.

Marketing is like a garden. We’re constantly pulling out weeds that don’t work and when we find the things that do, we nurture them. Content and distribution trends need to be evaluated regularly, for example. Are customers really reading our newsletter? If not, let’s tweak our strategy and expend our energy elsewhere.

While I recommend an annual brand review (unless you get feedback from sales to do it earlier), I do believe that the fundamentals of your brand like your brand character will likely stay the same, but as your company evolves revisit buyer personas and their pain points. Are those still the same?

Thank you, Natasha for your expert branding advice!

Are you a marketing ⭐️? If so, I’d love to feature you in a future TMI 3 in 10 episode. Reply to this email and tell me about your specialty marketing focus and what you’d like to talk about.

All the best,

Stuff worth reading

Content Marketing Institute: How to support the B2B buyer content revolution with the right digital content

PR Web: 6 ways to use podcast as a content marketing tool

Forbes: 5 digital marketing roles to keep in house

Search Engine Land: 5 massive SEO and content shifts you need to master right now
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