VOCO Tell-All: Big Brand Marketing Secrets

Clients often want to know how the bigger players in the field allocate their marketing dollars and what they should be doing with their own marketing budget to yield the same results.

Check out our original article in COBizMag.

Big Brand Marketing Secrets

At VOCO we frequently have conversations with our smaller and newer client partners regarding the question of how to get the most bang for their marketing buck. They often want to know how the bigger players in the field allocate their marketing dollars and what they should be doing with their own marketing budget to yield the same results. As one might guess, part of the marketing power of a big-name brand is having a huge budget and a large, capable team to execute. However, having worked with some of the big guys, we’ve learned that there are a few key strategies and tactics that are very much applicable and scalable to a more modest budget. Step one, rather than “spending” like a big brand, results can be achieved on a much smaller budget by “thinking” like a big brand. Here’s how:

  1. Tear down the silos. Big brands work cross-functionally and de-silo as much as possible. This concept is applied by having all areas of your business communicate frequently and consistently. Set up meetings between your     marketing, sales, operations, R&D, and product development teams to work together to create programs that will pull product off the shelf. Creating incentives around packaging innovation and having the sales and marketing teams work together to create programs that both speak to consumers and drive sales. Marketing is often at the forefront of understanding and staying up on trends. Sales knows what is working well and selling into retailers. R&D could innovate with not only the product but on packaging as well. The point is to include all of the teams from the beginning. So often, companies are too siloed and don’t take advantage of the shared brain trust that they have across all departments. Resources already exist within your collective teams, make sure everyone is talking and collaborating to take full advantage of shared brainpower.
  1. Plan ahead. Large companies create marketing plans for the following year of eight months to two years in advance. Many small to medium size companies are so reactive that the thought of planning marketing initiatives for the following year is overwhelming to them. What they don’t realize is that by planning ahead they set themselves up for success throughout the year. There are discounts for media buys when purchased well in advance. Advance planning allows companies the ability to take full advantage of partnerships with their first choice of brand influencers and optimal partners, creates efficiencies for sales programs and retailers and allows the team the time to analyze programs and adjust for what is working and what is not.
  1. Partnerships are key. The big brands are very adept at creating partnerships on a variety of levels to expand their influence and audience. Not only does a partnership expand reach, but it also allows a business to share the budget for a promotion with another brand. Any business can take advantage of partnerships by seeking out like-minded companies to help promote a product, running co-branded giveaways, or creating a multi-faceted promotional campaign. Shared marketing is interesting and intriguing for the consumer, can be newsworthy, and greatly expands the potential audience for the marketing campaign.
  1. Know your consumer. Knowing your consumer and what motivates them (and their purchases!) is a basic and key component to success. Marketing dollars allocated towards speaking to the wrong consumer or those spent without regard for consumer motivation, are dollars wasted. Research your consumers, learn all about their wants, needs, struggles, and worries, then learn to speak their language. Solve their problems. Celebrate their wins. Be in tune with their motivations.

The one area that we recommend our clients spend like a big brand is data. Investing in data such as Panel data, IRI, or Nielsen, can help determine where to allocate precious marketing dollars to maximize the bang for the buck. If purchasing data isn’t in the cards, gathering whatever intel you can pull together on your own and thinking like a big brand is a great start. Though they may always have the advantage of a budget large enough to produce Super Bowl commercials, many of the strategies and tactics utilized by the big brands are applicable on a smaller scale and can maximize results of a minimal marketing spend.

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Jennifer McGhee

Jennifer is one of our dynamic, well-rounded managing partners with exceptional expertise

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