Stay Focused, Stick to the Fundamentals and Don’t Get Distracted by Shiny Trends

On January 31st, the BCAMA will be holding the next Breakfast Speaker Series (BSS) event – the ever-popular Annual Ad Agency Panel. This year, speakers from Wasserman + Partners, Station X, DDB and Cossette will share their insights on marketing approaches in an ever-changing landscape.

Lance Neale

Lance Neale

In the third instalment of Conversations with Four Thought Leaders, BCAMA Marketline Volunteer Alycia Majorkiewicz-Ata had a great chat with Lance Neale, President of Station X, about today’s marketing trends. A fairly new kid on the block, Station X was created in today’s digitally savvy world, but still weighs a lot of its success on some old-school fundamentals.

by Alicia Majorkiewicz-Ata

“The importance of knowing your audience is something that will never change for marketers,” says Neale. “What has obviously changed is how consumers consume content and, in turn, how you need to communicate with these consumers.”

In this day of 140-character tweets, storytelling through Instagram, and the use of more than one type of device to get different types of information, people are consuming content at a higher rate than ever before, albeit differently. As an example, Lance notes that, while a large number of people are still reading the Vancouver Sun, many are reading it on a different medium than before – turning the pages of an electronic newspaper displayed on a tablet, versus handling a black and white set of physical sheets. However, for Station X, tried, tested and true marketing success, regardless of the communication channel, comes from the old-fashioned fundamentals of having a quality brand, reflecting your company values, and knowing your audience.

Station X’s marketing formula is especially proven true when faced with marketing to the younger generation, who immediately come to the table with skeptism. “This is an important audience that can have a direct impact on your brand – for better or worse – more than any previous generation,” said Neale. “This is where having an effective brand voice is so crucial. What helps build relationships with the audience is your brand voice.”

It’s not difficult to recall the typical corporate brand guidelines that enforce what fonts and colours to use or not use with your brand. Today, it’s important to create a new set of guidelines – defining your brand voice – that contain brand tone, brand values and the brand’s personality characteristics.

As we see the emphasis of social media and related two-way dialogue on audience and brand, businesses need to stick to their defined core values, now more than ever. With today’s technology, there is nowhere to hide. “You need to understand what you want your brand voice to be and communciate with quality and authenticity. If you are not genuine and honest in your conversation, it will come through,” comments Neale.

“I see a lot of stressed-out marketers these days. Most of them are stressed because they feel like they’re missing something, or they’re not executing well, or that their boss is fixated on the latest shiny marketing trend and they can’t keep up, let alone get ahead of it. My advice to them is to always be consistent, stick to the fundamentals, focus on what is working, optimize it, and always be testing new ways to make a positive impact on your audience.”

Next step for making an impact? You will need to join Lance at the January 31st Breakfast Speaker Series event on to hear more.

Get more details here and buy your tickets now – the event is sure to sell out, and it will definitely reconfirm the “Come hungry. Leave full.” BSS maxim.

Alycia Majorkiewicz-Ata (@alyciaata) is a member of the BCAMA Marketline Committee, foodie extraordinaire and obsessed with Vancouver summers. She is currently Marketing Communication Coordinator at Port Metro Vancouver.

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