After a long look in the mirror, I realized with horror that from an image standpoint, we had really let ourselves go. We had been so busy with client projects and focused elsewhere, we had neglected our own brand nurturing and external marketing efforts. So with a brutal intensity we began the process of a thorough self analysis. Of everything. Top to bottom. From the inside out. Painful to say the least.
Over the last few years, we’d changed a lot on the inside. We’d been actively engaged and agressive in retraining our people, re-looking at the way we operate and changing our processes. So from the inside, we looked pretty good.
But as I got into the phase of the process that included reviewing our external marketing and communications programs, one of the first things I looked at was our web site. And looking with a fresh set of eyes, I was mortified to realize that…we were wearing Mom Jeans. OMG! That was so not us. Another major kick in the face was that we are, by far, our own worst client. As the saying goes, the cobbler’s kids have no shoes.
How had we let our external marketing get this bad? We would never let this happen to a client. Why did we neglect ourselves? The best explanation (excuse) I could come up with is that…we suffered from Mom syndrome. Everything else came first. Clients. Employees. Vendors. Bills. Sleep. You name it. Our own self worth/positioning was at the very end of a long line of needs and there never seemed to be enough time to go around.
That big A-HA, slap-in-the-face wake up call that indicated our internal brand was out of sync with our external image came late last summer. With that realization came the urgent desire to fix it. I was on a mission. A crusade. Some in the office would say…a rampage…to get our proverbial sh#t together on the marketing front. Now!
So we took down our old web site (it was so old that hackers had already done a number on it anyway and we were having to band aid it just to keep it running) and redirected it to our publication site (temporarily I thought at the time). I was gung ho to have a new site up by early fall. As part of an overall marketing plan with efficient systems to keep it all fresh.
We were all in agreement. We were passionate. Ready to go. Best intentions. But reality interceded, again. The deadline was driven by this basic question…”Do I put client work aside to do Bozell stuff instead?” Hummmm. The responsible agency principal in me said — no, clients still come first. So an early fall deadline became Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving became December 9. But finally, we did it. After several long, late nights we finally are able to launch this phase of our makeover. But we did so in a way that gives us immense flexibility to keep it fresh without hassle. Leveraging multiple databases in the backend, a creative archive system to house work and blog technology for some content sections enables our staffers to post and provide updates easily.
So even though clients will always come first, when we do have a few free minutes, we can actively market and engage rather than merely think about it. And hopefully never have to look in the mirror again and see Mom jeans.