"...Because communication done well can be called art and because art is a beautiful form of communication that goes beyond any prejudice and constraint. Because It’s Art Darling, It’s Art!"

It’s Art darling, it’s Art !

by Anca Ungureanu

ART / COMMUNICATION

If Marketing & PR don’t get fused they get confused

“The history of marketing communications – about 60 years or so – has been about pushing messages to convince prospects to take some action we need. Now marketing communication, largely because of the overwhelming power and influence of the Web and other electronic communication, is about engaging in conversation with prospects and leading/ persuading them to take action about our product or service”.

I found this quote of Roy Young (Chief Revenue Officer, Marketing Profs.com, and Co-Author of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing’s Power, Influence, and Business Impact) quite insightful and made me think: if it is about engaging prospects in conversation, we talk more about creating content for Marketing Communication here or is actually about PR delivering content for Marketing? In other words helping Marketing to make his content more appealing to consumers? In more clear terms is about content marketing, How the two disciplines can support and help each other, rather than fight all the time for supremacy within the organizational structures?

fused

The communication industry has changed dramatically in the last decade, thanks to the digital revolution. New thinking patterns that activate interaction, managed to develop new, more elaborate emotional connections with people everywhere, in an almost personal manner. The effect of this formula has a fundamental consequence, redefining the relationship with the consumer like never before.

As one might imagine, bank’s and financial sector communication didn’t miss the opportunity. Once reputed for its dry, strict and rigorous corporate communication, the financial industry and its most famous brands are in the midst of transformation in its very DNA, from the way products and services are designed, to the way they are communicated to the audience.

Another major turning point that determined banks to change forever their tone of voice, attitude and communication behavior, was certainly the 2008 financial depression that highly affected the US and Europe, with dramatic effects on the global economy even today.
The entire financial system found itself in a territory of doubt, mistrust, uncertainty and negative associations. It was not a few big names that collapsed, it was the whole category. People simply disregarded the system and even the most well established names in the field faced an unprecedented reaction of mistrust.

All those fabulous transformations taking place in the whole communication ecosystem as well as in the money and financial institutions universe, lead to a completely new thinking, feeling and expressing models: We do enjoy innovations, new ways of transmitting information and new methods of founding projects, new mechanics to collect and redirect finances, new manners to create value beyond and above money. The new era of brand management in banking communication has started few years ago when the crisis consequences urged the brand stewards to find the light and the direction, while the new technologies offered them in unexpected ways, through soft and innovations, the necessary instruments to not only have the solutions at reach, but to transform them into norm.

Since the whole ecosystem changed, the natural, most evident thing to do was to adapt and learn how to manage the new reality, from inside out. The new organizational structure of a marketing and communication department became, itself, a hybrid, allowing for the first time the bank brand to be developed and nurtured coherently, by a single brand steward, with complex competencies and a wide understanding of the entire communication panorama. Someone said that the last golden age of advertising ended 20 years ago. Since than we are all striving to survive and perform. Where we are heading to and how we are going to master all these new platforms that appeared year after year, is very difficult to say. Why?

Well, we will never be able to master all of them, because constant change is our new reality. But we do have the ability to create something valuable that can be exploited on a wide range of platforms, mainly by using the right people at the right time with the right messages in the right context. The only way to nail this down is with creative ideas that can find their ways into peoples hearts, eyes and minds.

Transactions are not enough; people are looking for emotions and for a sense of meaning and belonging. We can’t engage with consumers if we don’t put ourselves in the consumer shoes. But in order to do that, we have to first step out of our own shoes, meaning our own habits, comfort and mentality that we used to have in the past. Everyone wants a deeper connection with the consumer. And there is no perfect recipe for that. Fundamental insights are so important and important is that all these insights are build up on a purposeful positioning.

Nowadays marketing-minded PR professionals can leverage new media channels and forums to take their stories to market. Its time for a new generation, is time maybe for a new discipline derived from the fusion of the two already existing, but without reinventing the wheel, just taking what we already have and use it in a more efficient and effective way.

The new sociological and anthropological changes define now new trends that are creating changes at the consumer’s levels of attention and intention. Having all this in mind I always wonder how we can switch their attention towards their intention?

The main objective of my last year MBA thesis, was to prove that Marketing Communication and Public Relations are no longer two stand-alone frameworks/ disciplines and a new discipline must emerge from their common goal that can be called simply Marketing & Communication.
My thesis aim was to demonstrate that companies in general and financial institutions in particular, should take this approach of having only one Public Relations & Marketing Communication paradigm instead of having two different channels of communication for their brand and products.

If the PR and Marketing Departments within a company will fuse, then the financial/ human/time/creative resources and the communication results will be optimized. The flow will get shorter and the decision making process faster. The gap between the marketing communication and brand communication will be reduced and the common language will be spoken.

Competing now in new economies is more like a journey. How we are able to repeat the success of past generations? Repeating the success comes from continuous innovation and change. People get bored easily nowadays, so they can be kept present and engaged with the right content delivered, in the right context, through a great story told by creative and energetic people.

Let’s keep the fusion going!



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