So The Sun newspaper has come out in favour of David Cameron’s rebranded Tory party for the next election. We should have realised as much when they started running pictures of tired, glum, weary Gordon Brown and nice, smily shiny pictures of a fresh David Cameron. The ‘kingmakers’ are going with the favourite.
This is not a political blog. This is merely a topical example of the power of spin and the power of publicity.
In marketing, perception is very often reality, and the shinest agencies pick up the lucrative contracts and then often fail to deliver them because their ability failed to live up to the hype. They weren’t all that creative, weren’t that strategic, not quick enough answering the phone, too expensive, and generally not very transparent in their dealings. They took senior executives to the pitch and then passed the account to middle and junior executives to deliver. This explains why so many brands go out to pitch so often.
If you’re a client with a marketing brief, don’t be dazzled by the bright lights, big brand experience, shiny offices, shinier officers, even the relevant sector experience. Look for an agency partner with demonstrable experience in lots of sectors – it shows understanding, flexibility and application. Be concerned if you’ll be their largest client or one of their smallest. Ask for real tangible return on investment statistics and ask to talk to their clients.
If you’re an agency, dare to dream but stick to your core strengths and build on them, whether they are specialism or sector based. When you get caught out and exposed, it affects the perception that client side marketers have of the whole industry. And then the media get stuck in and spin it all out of our control.