90% of marketing is oatmeal

What happens when we all leverage the same shiny new toy to produce content for our business?
April 22, 2024
Reading Time
3 Min

In today’s world ai and automation-based software is surging through and transforming businesses across industries at an accelerating rate. This lets businesses build, test & deploy at speed, that’s an incredible thing right? Absolutely… when leveraged right, however in the wrong hands businesses face the danger of compromising their unique voice for speed.

90% of marketing is oatmeal

Imagine for a second, each and every day you’re served the same old plain oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What would your experience be? While it may be nutritious, let’s face it – it’s boring. Now imagine your business deploys the same tools and strategies as everyone else in that market to capture attention. How do you think your customers feel? Simple – they don’t. It’s just noise. And there lies the issue. They don’t feel anything. So then, what happens when a person doesn’t feel? they don’t respond. Does that sound familiar? Your marketing efforts, sadly to say, are effectively oatmeal. So how do we remedy this? Identify and develop your brand recipe. Remember even oatmeal can be transformed when you add blueberries and honey to the mix. Now enough of the food analogies, let’s talk brand.

What are the benefits of developing your brand?

Businesses with a well-developed brand tend to outperform those with little to no branding. Not only does branding establish a unique identity (just look at the new Mcdonald’s ad that’s become the talk of the town in the ad world) but it serves in differentiating businesses from their competitors, and builds customer loyalty. This leads to a number of benefits including lowering the conversion barriers, increased sales, higher customer retention rates, an overall positive reputation in the market, and most of all recognition from your ideal customer. To put simply, your brand is what your customers develop an affinity towards – not the utility of your product.

Consider your environment

Growing competition in the market is forcing businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors. So the question becomes, how does a business differentiate itself? Of course, there’s the use case of your product, that’s a different story, not what we’re talking about here (but worth mentioning – brand sentiment analysis is gold in learning your audience’s true perception of your products/business relative to the market), but say that’s ironed out, how do we best communicate what makes us valuable to our customers and why should they care? The answer lies in communication, both the approach and the execution.

It is estimated that the average person is exposed to between 4,000 & 10,000 ads per day. Let that sink in. What’s the probability that your message will be the one to penetrate? The odds seem to be stacked against us, but fortunately, that creates opportunity. Now imagine your business was one in amongst the volume of ads, and in this scenario – you had spoken the language of your audience, you didn’t talk about how many features your product has but instead had acknowledged the pain, frustration, or simply the desire a person has to feel/experience something. That’s the power of translating the use case of your product through the lens of your target customer. Your customer feels something, and that is far more likely to penetrate (awareness) and resonate (consideration to possible conversion).

If we just stop and look at the recent eye-brow-raising Mcdonald’s ad, we don’t see a product featured once. Not one word was spoken and only subtle cues (excluding the drawn-out logo) that this is from McDonalds, for example the colour of the clothes worn by the first character – the symbolic red and yellow. Well primed Mcdonalds, well primed. The ad as a whole was centred around a real-life scenario that the majority of us have experienced – they even played on that! Everyone from the office was involved. The mark of an effective ad – it’s remembered, it plays on experiences > product features, and gets people waffling about it, like so.

So, when 9/10 businesses target customers to tell them how well their product functions, it is those, the outliers and radicals in business, that dare to take risks in their playfulness in experimentation with bold hooks and creativity that raises eyebrows (see McDonald’s reference above) or turns heads. They will be the ones with a higher probability of standing out in the market.

When you consider your marketing and planning strategies for the year ahead, remember customers are more likely to choose a business that they know, trust and feel understood by. Frame you comms differently – it will pay off.

So to round this off, let’s drop some golden nuggets to take away, what does the road to effective branding look like?

Some key takeaways:

  • Customers are more likely to have a positive experience with a business if they have a clear understanding of what the business stands for and what they can expect from them. Incorporate this in your messaging and do it simply. Forget jargon.
  • Defining your target audience is the first step in developing a brand strategy. In order to effectively target potential customers, it is important to have a clear understanding of who they are and what they need or want from a business. Don’t go after everyone.
  • Conduct your market research. To create a successful brand, it’s important to have a deep understanding of where you choose to operate. Know your audience, your competition & their offering, and the possible substitutes in the market.
  • Development of your brand strategy. Consistently deepen a clear understanding of your target audience & your market. This should include a clear and concise brand message developed from your communication strategy (tip this shouldn’t be too constricted, integrate feedback loops into your strategy so you can test, learn and adapt).
  • Consistency is key. Your brand message should be consistent across all of your marketing efforts, and it should reflect the unique value that your business offers to customers. People learn through repetition.
  • Develop your brand identity. The visual representation of your brand should allow your audience to recognise your content without the need for a logo. Brand marks and graphic elements associated with your brand work wonders.
  • Audience engagement. Do not be static. One of the dangers of previously mentioned automation tools is the removal of human-to-human interaction, balance is key – automation is great, but don’t compromise on relationship building. Not only will it build a rapport but you can gain valuable insights into their needs and preferences as you deepen the relationship.
  • Measure, analyse & adapt. The best teams are the ones that can take feedback. Call a spade a spade, if something flopped – deep dive to learn why. Arguably you learn more from failed experiments than you do with ones that hit the mark. Consistently do this and you’ll find, through the process of deduction, what works and what doesn’t.

To round up, the importance of your brand is grossly undervalued. Eventually, businesses will play catch-up. By following a clear and consistent branding strategy, businesses can gain a competitive advantage in the market and drive long-term success, especially when your competitors are sleeping on it.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss more in the world of brand – drop us an email at

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