For years there's been a gulf in working style between digital marketers and traditional brand managers. Digital marketers (and arguably all marketers) now work faster, with more flexibility, and with accelerating complexities to deal with -- their currency is response, action, and ultimately sales. Brand managers tend to work to a longer timeline, create carefully researched strategies, and set rules and guidelines -- their currency is insight and brand asset value. Both roles are crucial. Now, with the power of social media and the emergence of agile marketing, there's a golden opportunity for both teams to get closer and achieve much more.
A collaborative relationship between brand managers and digital marketers begins with addressing key questions:
- Where should brand management and digital marketing meet?
- Can marketing activity creation, approval, and implementation get more efficient and effective?
- How can digital marketers see brand management systems as a help and not a hindrance?
- How can brand managers strike the right balance between brand guidance and control and the marketer's freedom to iterate, innovate, and implement more effectively?
- How can brand managers "get" digital?
If we can close the gap and answer these questions, both teams will be more successful, and the organization will be more effective overall.
The answer to all these questions is to evolve brand management with the support of digital marketers. Keep the discipline of the current brand management systems, but add two new crucial elements. First, integrate social media moderation. Second, instill an agile marketing approach and mindset. Taking a closer look at each element in more depth, we can see how they relate and how this serves up a powerful new opportunity.