In this week’s inaugural We Give A FAQ, we talk brand marketing and its importance in the digital age with PDG’s own fearless leader, Robyn Francis.

A whiz with words, our Managing Director Robs has taken her passion for content through countless moves across the globe. Born in Durban, South Africa, Robs started her first full-time job while studying English and History in her homeland. But, it wasn’t long before she was bitten by the travel bug and hopped across the pond to Munich to hone her copywriting skills and work as an Au Pair.

As she made her way around Europe with her *now husband* she documented her year abroad with a blog – kicking off what would become a long term love affair with digital content publishing and social media. Flash forward through several years working in Johannesburg in a range of sectors. An auctioneering business, the SEO department of an online gaming company, a national newspaper’s digital desk, an incredibly innovative online trading company, and various tech and events firms to now – these are some of the places she’s found herself pitching in. And now, another country and a new journey.

Robs has spent her career guiding content in all forms and found her happy place in integrated marketing communications, where marketing and communications meet to support brand goals. As the mum of a two-year-old boy and a one-year-old company, Robs is constantly flexing her storytelling prowess. She is a true champion for young people and a kickass boss to boot so, we sat down with her to pick her brain on all things branding. Read what she has to say and see how you could take your brand to the next level.

Q: What exactly is brand marketing?

Think of your brand as your business’s identity. All the messages and actions you put out into the world contribute to how your customers see you and interact with you. So, when we talk about brand marketing we’re essentially talking about leveraging those perceptions to increase consumer interest or drive leads and sales.

Q: Why should businesses give a damn about it?

Because it works! Think about it, when you walk into a business like Subway it doesn’t matter if you’re stepping into a store in Sydney or Adelaide, you know exactly what you’re going to get if you order a footlong meatball sub. That kind of trust is key to nurturing consumer relationships and promoting brand loyalty. Brand marketing builds familiarity and familiarity builds trust.

Q: How has the digital age affected brands and brand marketing?

The fundamentals still apply but opportunities have changed. In my experience with clients, I’ve seen some clear trends pop up that affect how brands are deployed. The biggest one is purchasing behaviour – thanks to the internet, we’re living in the age of the empowered consumer. Even when we’re talking B2B, half the time the purchasing decision is formed entirely through online research. The internet and its abundance of resources determine why, how and when we buy. Our basic needs, desires and motivations may not have changed but how we act on them certainly has.

Q: What’s a common mistake you see clients make with branding strategies?

What I’ve seen with a lot of clients is that they tend to look at data or technology in general as the final solution. It certainly opens a lot of doors for us in how to craft truly effective messages, but the glue of a brand isn’t just software or stats. You can drive up engagement and traffic by following these trends but without a clear brand narrative and integrated marketing strategy, they won’t have any lasting impact. Data may be the new oil, but used incorrectly, it is dead. It evokes no feeling and without feeling, we have no customer relationship. Ultimately, brands need to look at tech not as a source but an enabler of their identity.

Q: What’s your number one tip for businesses looking to establish a meaningful brand?

Don’t just state, demonstrate! Telling your customers how good you are is one thing but you have to show them too. If there’s anything that has continued to thrive in the digital age its word of mouth, and client testimonials are now easier than ever to accumulate. Authority has shifted from corporations to the masses, so you have to be prepared to prove your worth and embrace accountability – consumers will make you do it anyway.

Q: How does PDG tackle branding?

We want our client’s brand presence to be felt in the right way, by the people who matter. So we focus on working directly with clients to set clear goals, prioritise projects and establish realistic expectations. From content and development to search engine optimisation, our focus is on crafting meaningful messages that will foster those all-important customer relations and get you noticed and provide a solid platform from which your brand can scale.

Pretty Damn Good is a Brisbane brand marketing agency. See how we could take your business to a whole new level, click here.