In a recent piece she wrote for The Media magazine, Brauer spoke of ‘brand parenting’.
“As a mama to my sons, and kinda mama to the people I’ve been lucky enough to mentor over the years, I’ve always stuck by the maxim “do what you love and love what you do”. And boy do I love what I do and what I’ve done. Taking care of brands, growing them, watching people fall in love with them, deeply knowing who they are and what’s best for them, seeing them stumble and knowing who they could do best with in the world is a rewarding job. A lot like parenting, don’t you think?”
We caught up with her to ask her more about brands, branding, and where it’s all going. And in a first for us, we include a video clip in which Brauer discusses integrations, and more.
The old school way of marketing 4 Ps (product, price, place, promotion) vs the new school 4 Cs (consumer, cost, convenience, communication). Has one overtaken the other in a brave new marketing world? Or do they complement each other?
The 4Ps and the 4 Cs are complementary, the Ps being more producer centric and the Cs being consumer centric – genius really! It would be a complete oversimplification of the business universe to think one could overtake the other, a dream world of simplicity. However, FTCPOV (From The Customer’s Point Of View) has to be the first point of departure. Always.
It is said that in embedding an integrated marketing communications culture into an agency can be hindered by people not willing to cede control of their ‘space’. How do you deal with turf wars?
There can be no turf, there is first the Brand. In fact, from now on I think I’ll give it a capital letter. So first the Customer, then the Brand, then the people that serve it. It’s not about you and your turf, your specialism, your ‘space’ dude, sorry.
What should a truly integrated marketing department look like? And how will it affect creativity?
It looks like heaven. It looks happy and connected and it has the Brand at the centre (or the top if you prefer a linear look). It doesn’t have a Comms Dept and a Brand Dept who fight over turf and power. And that beautiful, selfless, generous brand-directed place has got to be a gift for creativity. A purpose-driven, business-driven, brand-driven bed for creative growth.
A criticism of integrated marketing communications is that it can restrict creativity. Your views?
See above. Think about the word ‘integrated’ – it doesn’t mean someone wins and someone else loses. It suggests that more results from the efforts. ‘Integrated marketing communications’ doesn’t mean ‘shotgun marketing communications’. It doesn’t mean chuck the concept at every medium at the expense of the idea. It means think about the idea in a whole way – for the best of the Brand and the business.
What steps do you take when you’re interrogating a brand’s ecosystem in order to understand all its nuances?
First, don’t listen to the people who’ve been there forever first. Listen to them second or third or 77th. Listen to the customers first. And the people who touch them second.
Second (you with me?), nothing happens in a vacuum. Look at content in context. Know thy neighbour, thy competitors, they market, thy industry, thy everything. A client told me recently that I was becoming less useful because I was getting to know their industry too well and I was more useful when I asked a zillion questions. Tough balance to keep.
What is your idea of a brilliant integrated marketing communications campaign, and why?
kulula.com FIFA Soccer 2010 with KingJames. Can I say that? It was intuitively and naturally an integrated marketing campaign and I learned a ton from it.