Subtle, but significant

Listening-to-othersMy recent blog about PR holding company advertising and branding prompted a healthy, if heated, internal discussion about Peppercom's upcoming re-brand.

In the blog, I noted the global holding companies were all saying the EXACT same thing: ‘Engaging in conversations (since the last Ice Age).’ That's cool but, as I pointed out, one should never, ever engage in any conversation before first LISTENING and determining not only issues and trends but how, when and where your brand might be allowed to transparently engage in the conversations. The big agencies clearly don't get that.

Or, as my colleague Sam Ford, Peppercom's resident social media demi-god opined, if the big agencies do get listening, they see it as a purely one-off, one-time, social media-only tactic.

We believe in listening first, last and always. And we do so not only by monitoring what's being said by a brand's influencers and targets but, critically, by placing ourselves in their shoes and experiencing the client brand from the outside in.

In my opinion, one must always be listening and adjusting based upon what's being said before ever hoping to put (and keep) a client's messages in motion. Or engaging in conversations as the big fellas prefer to say it.

Our listening luddites got what Sam and I were saying, but our re-brand is literally about to be announced. So, we'll simply be making the subtle, but significant listening adjustment as we move forward.

I foresee our final positioning statement as being something like this: “A brand's messages can only be put (and stay) in motion by listening first, last and always.” It's the antithesis of the way the vast majority of agencies think and, in my humble opinion, the way every marketer will be thinking sooner or later.

What do you think? Are you still listening to me? If so, I'd appreciate your putting my message in motion by re-tweeting today's blog. Thanks!

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