Outsourcing social is a damage limitation exercise

It was interesting to hear the head of social and PR at Pret A Manger suggest at MW Live 2014 that outsourcing social media was a ‘basic error’ (MW 3 July). What Julia Monro does not appreciate is that some businesses simply do not have the time or expertise to do it properly.

Employing an experienced social agency can help businesses reap the rewards of the social space. We have seen countless examples of organisations getting it badly wrong on social which can cause huge damage to a company’s reputation and even impact sales. 

Steve Skerry, director, SCS Marketing and PR 

Brand strategy completes the big picture

Your article ‘Meet the new-era media agencies’ on the rise of creative media agencies made some important points about the power of innovative media agencies, but one crucial piece of the puzzle was missing.

In order for amazing creative to fulfil its full potential, an overarching brand strategy is required, and it must sit at the very heart of the campaign. 

It’s vital to keep sight of buyer interaction at all times, never letting the creative concept, or how it is being executed, get ahead of the brand itself. Media agency-led innovations are great, but your brand strategy and planning, mapped against your buyer needs and preferences, must come first.

Andy Jordan, managing director, Marketing Team Direct

Clear brand stories lead to fairy tale endings

Lucy Fisher’s article raises a good point – that on-the-ground staff should be thoroughly briefed on the products they are selling or giving training in. But creating a strong, demonstrable brand narrative is more important.

For me, brands should be creating a clear brand story that is totally understood throughout their business. This can then be brought to life through staff, niche affiliate marketing, telesales or even third-party distribution.

You only have to look at Disney staff, and how in sync they are with their brands. They really believe in what they stand for, and that is because those brands are single-minded in developing a clear and demonstrable purpose and communicating it in a manner that all of their staff can understand.

Matthew Bennett, creative partner, and co-founder, Wolfpack

Provide consumers with a useful benefit

In response to the article: ‘Is your brand a giver or a taker?’, it is true that consumers today are not interested in being sold to; they know what they like and they know where they can find it. To cut through the noise and drive loyalty, brands must provide consumers with something that will enhance their quality of life; something that, once they have experienced it, they can’t live without. Amazon Basket is a prime example of this. 

Brands must realign their strategies to enable them to respond to consumers’ changing needs. One such example is the increasing need consumers feel to take the odd break from social media. Brands must act as an enabler to help them do just that; in the process becoming a brand that is relied on and loved for its utility.

Sarah Scott, account manager, Tangent Snowball

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