When Google in 2013 stopped providing data about keyword popularity, this must have served as a shot across the bow of SEO. It signaled that Google wanted to put a damper on SEO because they had determined it was skewing the results in a way unhelpful to its users.
In collaboration with USA Today, agency RPA conducted a study that looks at the relationship between brands and their creative agencies. Its findings are based on data collected from 150 senior level agency and brand marketing leaders, and were recently presented at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity,
The report for the study identified one key problem about the relationship between the agency and the client—while both sides agree that trust is a very important factor in producing great advertising, research shows that there is a disconnect between these partners due to the unwillingness to speak freely and the lack of understanding about the brand’s business.
P&G’s decision to formally end the era of “marketing” at the company and make the shift to brand management may accelerate what amounts to much more than a title change for marketers generally. It could point to a fundamental re-examination of the role of the people responsible for brands.
While “marketing” and “brand management” are often treated as synonyms, there is an important distinction between the two terms. Marketing focuses on the activities associated with the promotion and distribution of products and services. Brand management has, for many, been historically focused on identity management but is now much more concerned with the active management of the market value and competitive strength of a brand as an (intangible) company asset.
Marketing is about spending money. It’s how brands accumulate value. Brand management should focus on how products continue to wrap story and distinction around what they offer to increase competitiveness and build loyalty. The two are linked – but different. Marketing is the means. Brand management should be the goal.