Authenticity in Branding
At Servant Marketing Group, we work with many organizations to help them meet their growth goals. In the past, SMG has been defined as a marketing company, but in all honesty, there was a lack of integrity in a marketing-firm business model. We didn’t understand why we didn’t see more success with some of our past clients. Each year, we would slightly redefine the business model to make sure that we were operating with full-integrity and making the most impact on those we worked with.
Journey in Messaging
SMG started as a direct mail management company and over the years, continued to evolve as our client’s needs changed. In the last several years, we overhauled the business model, evolving the business towards marketing consulting and digital-based products. There was still a lack of integrity in our offerings.
Many times, we would engage a client and give them exactly what they asked for, only to find out, at the end of the contract, they were unhappy. Over time, we began to realize that many of our clients didn’t really know what they needed. Rather than giving them what they thought they needed, instead, we had to give them what they really needed.
What’s the Point?
Having experience in the mailing business model that was process-driven, we began to investigate options to bring clients a systematic way to meet their business development needs. We realized that we needed to develop a system to identify the root of an organization’s mission and clearly define their “reason for being” before we could offer promotional help.
We developed a messaging platform development process, which is a trendy way of saying that we find out what everyone is really saying about the organization and then create a plan to either address the disconnects, or focus the marketing efforts around the perceived truth. Almost 100% of the time, how our client’s leadership view their organization does not match how the customers and other team-members view the organization. This is where our job at SMG get’s interesting!
Power of Process
After we complete the messaging platform process, the “perceived-truth” is revealed about our clients. Because of the divide between management’s view of the organization and the rest of the world, our next challenge is to bridge that gap. Sometimes, that bridge consists of a simple rewrite of a website and brochure, but most times it involves a deeper level of upper management self-reflection and change.
Like a mechanic checking under the hood of a car, the messaging process is simply the diagnostic tool to find out what needs fixing. We often find that the integrity of the company’s message needs to be realigned. Does the company actually reflect the brand? Many times the entire brand revolves around marketing, sales and the bottom-line, instead of integrity. Like an architect, who can only design a building if the foundation has integrity, at SMG, we only want to work with organizations that are willing to take a hard look at their foundation and do whatever it takes to make sure that foundation is firm. Once the foundation is solid, everything can be built from there!