The evolution of marketing stems from the brand

I had a great lunch with Ernie Mosteller, creative genius of Blattner Brunner, yesterday and everytime I talk to him, I’m motivated and inspired to talk about what’s going on with the world of technology, the Internet and marketing.

In any event, the conversation we were having began with a simple question and gradually evolved into what I’m trying to explain here in this blog post. Ernie asked what allowed online video functionality to become the biggest thing out there today? Our discussions involved talking about the viral aspect, the entertainment factor, the issue of content, and how marketers could use this mechanism as a strong tool without compromising the integrity of social media and remain transparent. This led me to explore how a company can take their message and combine it with traditional marketing (print, television and radio) and online marketing (website, email, search, and social).

If you take a company’s brand message and adhere to its “rules” across all media, is it easy to do? Taking a company like Nike or perhaps even Washington, DC could be easy or it could not – I say it depends on what the message is trying to be sent and whether it can be done in a consistent manner. If you take the Washington tourism campaign as an example (their slogan is “Create your own power trip“), then it might be interesting to see and should these things be thought about when creating the brand FIRST and then executing it across different media?

When you’re creating a new brand, should you not think about what media you’d like to explore and whether or not that idea will still send the same message? If branding can be affected by the way a particular product name is translated into other languages and made to sound different, then why can’t marketers take equal care to reflect that on the media? If I know that the Create your own power trip slogan and Washington, DC brand will be great in traditional media like print, television, and radio, then should I expect it to also flow easily into the online arena?

I want to transfer the brand to demonstrate the message onto a website. Will it work? High probability that it will simply because a lot of your marketing will center around the website anyways and that’s expandable/scalable and doesn’t have a high barrier to manipulate. But what about e-mail marketing? Will your message get across that way? If I throw in SEM tactics, will the message still carry across? Of course…because it all leads back to the website and you can easily control the message. Besides, with SEM and e-mail marketing being antiquated as it is, marketers are probably used to adapting their message to these traditional online features.

But what if you start to enhance your online campaigns by delving into the social web – an area where your audience is so inundated with different ideas that you’ll need to act quicker to keep their attention? Can you still relate your message and brand into a Facebook group? What about a YouTube video? Could you recreate the success of the Will it blend? video that garnered much success from a blender slicing and dicing random objects?

Throwing a little bit more complexity into the equation is taking ALL your messaging and evolving it one step further to the mobile arena. Now, you don’t have a webpage people will view or an e-mail you can send out. You’re constrained with simply crafting your message to someone that you can only assume has at least text-messaging capabilities on their cell phones and can read a message of no more than 140 characters. Best case scenario is that your audience has a smartphone, Blackberry, PDA, etc. so that they can surf the web after receiving your text message to get more information.

So what do you think? Should you evaluate the scalability of your brand message prior to executing different media or am I wrong and you can modify the message on a per media basis?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.