What Message Do You Want To Send?

Even though I’ve only been at it for 4 years, I love working in marketing. Actually, I love it when it’s done properly. Unfortunately, I’ve only ever worked for one organization that, in my humble opinion, did it properly.

The problem is, marketing is subjective. It isn’t subjective in theory, but it is in reality. For most people, it’s about ads and promotions. After all, those are the most “in your face” elements of marketing. So that’s all they expect from the marketing department.

For me, marketing is really about the 2-way communications between the organization and the rest of the world. For the organization’s part in that 2-way communication, well yes, that means ads and promotions, but it also means any message that ever leaves the company’s physical location and ends up in front of any other entity, be it a customer, potential customer or even a supplier. This includes the company’s logo, packaging, press releases, website, catalogues, presentations, user manuals, invoices…hell, even their “help wanted” ads.

At one company I worked for, my boss asked me to put together a “wish list” of all the things I thought needed to be addressed immediately in order to develop a coherent marketing image. The first item on my list was to paint the office and update the furniture. Yes, even the office space sends a message. I was there for 10 months and they never did paint the place.

$100? Man, I wish this was my wallet.

In any case, one of the most important marketing elements for any company is it’s slogan or tagline. Here’s an example of a company that got it’s advertising message out in a big way through their tagline. The Capitol One rampaging Vikings and the slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” had a huge impact on brand awareness, pop culture and propelled the company to its position of 8th largest deposit portfolio in the United States. Not bad. I’m guessing the paint in their offices isn’t peeling either.

Plus, it became an earworm as I was cleaning out my purse this morning, inspiring this post, and now I can answer the question:

  • 4 social security cards (1 mine, 1 for each of my boys)
  • 3 hospital cards
  • 1 debit card
  • 1 medicare card
  • 1 driver’s license
  • 3 general use credit cards
  • 4 store credit cards ( although 2 are for the same store and I don’t know why )
  • 1 library card
  • 1 airmiles card
  • 1 Tim Hortons gift card (which I’ve had for so long, I don’t know if I used it or not)
  • 1 Triumph bra club card
  • 1 five dollar bill, 3 quarters, 1 dime, 6 pennies
  • 2 bandaids
  • 7 business cards (2 contractors, 2 friends’, 1 esthetician, 1 mortgage broker, 1 garage)
  • 1 esthetician’s appointment card for December 2006!!! (Should I call to say I won’t be able to make it?)
  • 1 piece of paper with a phone number on it (who the hell is BenV?!)
  • 1 restaurant receipt from last November
  • 1 receipt for a pair of shoes I bought last September
  • my eyeglass prescription
  • a toering
  • lint

Now since, personally, I’m not that fond of the Capitol One Vikings, here are a couple of their David Spade ads which absolutely slayed me! Enjoy 🙂

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