Ten years ago today, the Really Helpful Marketing Company was born. So happy birthday to us!
After working with some of the biggest, and smallest, brands in the UK, it’s perhaps a good time to reflect on what has changed in the world around us.
Although it only seems like yesterday, the country was seemingly crumbling as a result of the 2008 financial crash. Rather than moan, we decided to set up a company designed to help people get more from their marketing budget – it’s what they really needed. A value that we still live and breathe every day.
In this regard, nothing much has changed. Budgets are still tight, while the macro environment has arguably only spiralled into more uncertainty and turmoil.
So have people’s attitudes and behaviours changed towards marketing too? In many ways, the answer is yes. The rise of activities such as social media marketing and video content have had a dramatic impact. There have never been so many channels to choose from. Remember, along with Google, WhatsApp, You Tube and Facebook, the telly and radio are still there, along with those printed ads you still see every week in the Sunday Times.
But in another way, we don’t believe that the fundamental principles of good marketing have altered one iota. And this is where the true opportunity lies. There is clear evidence that many companies still focus solely on ‘getting stuff out there’, rather than designing and delivering to a well thought-through plan and strategy. Time spent on understanding the market, prospective customers and the competition, are far outweighed by a ‘copy and paste’ type approach to comms. And this isn’t going to really help a business grow.
One reason for this could be that the increased availability of marketing tools that can be used by practically anyone. Think of Hootsuite or Hubspot and you get our point. However, just because you have the latest iPhone with its 5 billion mega pixel camera, it doesn’t necssarily make you the next David Bailey. You need the expertise and skill (along with a fair bit of luck) to get to the top. Anyone can put a display ad on a website, but surely the content itself and the strategy that informs it, rather than the tech or process, is absolutely key to its success.
In our opinion, the chance of improved business performance is more likely to happen when you bring all of this together. Some companies do get it right, but they are by no means in the majority. Our belief is that if people want to witness real success in the future, they need to take a step back and think more strategically about how their marketing effort can achieve their goals.
So, here’s to another ten years of doing all we can to really help our customers. And, it would be great to see another revolution in a decade’s time. But as much as we all like new apps and widgets, let’s perhaps focus a bit more time and effort on getting the plan right first. We know it really helps.