AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerAudience First, Brand Second

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Audience First, Brand Second

A lot of people work on branding while isolated from the audience. But some “best marketing advice” says to work the audience first and then your brand.number one business

In a white paper downloaded from Silverpop System Inc, “The Best Marketing Advice I Ever Received, and the Best I Ever Gave,” featured an interview with Scott Monty, the global digital and multimedia communications manager for Ford Motor Co. His thought was simple, but very different than what most do to create an effective brand: Consider your audience first, then manage your brand’s place within.

The reason for this is that a brand is something others think about you, not always just what you project. That sounds a little like a chicken-or-egg argument. But even if you don’t actively brand yourself, you still have one because your customers or stakeholders think something about you and this is your brand. It is more like a reputation than a look—it’s what people think and believe about you. So if your efforts don’t connect or resonate with an audience, it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do, and that is brand (as a verb).

“People don’t trust companies the way they used to. They look to third-party experts, the media and [social media experts and bloggers],” says Monty.

Brand building is not easy. It takes consistency, delivery and patience. And it takes thinking of your audience first and then managing you brand’s place within it.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.