Marketing agency courage

What every marketer needs: A marketing agency with COURAGE.

While at the ANA Masters of Marketing earlier this month, I had the privilege of listening to General Mills CMO Mark Addicks.

Mark’s passion for the General Mills brands, the brand teams and their consumer champions electrified the room. His powerful message of defining Brand Purpose on human terms can not only be applied to the numerous brand marketers in attendance that day, but also to the agencies that support these brands.

Agencies, like brands, “that aren’t growing are fuzzy and generic and don’t know who their customers are”.

Just like the in-house General Mills Champions program; which drove the shift from defining their marketing as advertising, products, and categories to one of brand purpose on human terms and brand champions, agencies can put their consumer at the center and ask the same purpose driven questions.

Instead of defining themselves in terms of capabilities and sectors, agencies can challenge themselves to go deeper and think big to define the agency purpose on human terms, identify their agency champions, and build a community of agency “Super Consumers”.

Whether you are the brand, or the agency that supports those brands, defining your purpose in human terms, WHO your organization is for, and keeping your customer the center of everything you do, will keep you relevant, meaningful, and truly useful to your unique champions. Organizations focusing on the WHO continue to break through to find new ways to grow.

So what does this mean for you, the marketer?

It means that your agency needs to be thinking about YOU in human terms and YOUR BRAND in human terms and not just about the next campaign, or the latest analytical tools to measure ROI.

Those things are important, but defining the WHO and carrying that spirit throughout the agency will make for better relationships, stronger brand advocacy among agency staff, and ultimately a better performing brand.