Sometimes we get so caught up in the small stuff, we forget to look at the big picture.
If you’re involved in marketing (and if you’re reading this, you’re probably involved in some aspect of marketing,) I’ll bet you spend your day juggling a lot of different balls, spanning a lot of different media. From press releases and print collateral to web content, blog posts, social media and online video, there’s a great deal of ground to cover. And all too often, those items are developed in silos, with different functional teams working on different things. And those teams may or may not be marching to the same beat, so there may not be a lot of consistency across your marketing landscape.
Your target audience is going to interact with multiple touch points as they get to know you. They’ll look at your website, read your blog, watch your videos and check out your social channels. Are they seeing a consistent, cohesive picture of who you are? Or is the vision disjointed and erratic?
Big corporations have agencies and large marketing departments to help maintain a consistent brand image. But even if you aren’t a large corporation, there are some basic things you can do to establish a more cohesive user experience.
Do an audit. Take a snapshot of every marketing touchpoint your organization puts out. Tape them up on a conference room wall. Then rate the composite image on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of consistency. How are you doing? If the score isn’t 10, read on.
Create a style guide. A style guide sets global standards for the look and feel of your communications, including logo treatment, layout, color palette, typography and so forth. Here’s a good article about how to create one.
Determine your voice. This refers to your organization’s personality. What kind of adjectives describe your organization? Cheerful? Reflective? Serious? And how is that actually demonstrated? Your communications should all have a consistent voice.
Communicate, collaborate and share. Break down the functional silos and foster collaboration between your teams. Set expectations about adherence to the style guide. Share examples of work that is being done. Keep relevant people in the loop. Basecamp is a good tool for doing all of that.
There’s probably much more that could be said about this. But like all things in life, you’ve got to start somewhere … and you won’t go wrong starting here. As always, let us know if we can help.