Have been spending a lot of my time meeting and working with different organisations that work in different sectors.

Now, the stoic marketers (me included) would say marketing is marketing.

In some senses that is true. So, say, when it comes to overall approach and principles.

But as I’ve said many times, marketing in any organisation is defined by the CEO, or the lead VC or the headmaster etc etc.

You need to know what marketing means to them as a start point. Some see it as advertising and others may see it as the philosophy by which to run the business. Many, see it as somewhere in between.

This grounding shapes everything. Often, it’s when you fix a tactical illness that the underlying issue becomes more apparent. You start looking at the website and you realise that the brand isn’t clear.

I’m finding that to succeed you need to speak the brand language of the sector you’re in. Understand the client’s pressure points and how they see their world.

This is radically different from a CEO of a start-up, the director of a charity and the headmaster of a significant school.

Sometimes it feels like tailoring. You might be making suits but you’re using different fabrics, cuts, stitching and styles.

Cliched but its all about understanding the client. I think you have to imagine that your client was your line manager.
And clients ask yourself, would you recruit the agency/consultancy guy.

If not, then think twice. This only applies to front line folk and maybe the second line. It shouldn’t stop a maverick director shooting the ad.

And treat different categories like different countries. When you visit a new city you take the trouble to read up on how the city works and what their people are like. You may even pick up a phrase book and learn the basic lingo.

That’s how you should see working in a new category. Just like going on. Holiday. 🙂

Posted by Vijay: still taking the brand medicine

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