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Outside Business Journal
Sponsor Content: WH inc.

Brand Marketing Is Changing. Here’s How To Keep Up.

A guide to staying current

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It’s no secret marketing has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Our agency, WH inc., has been around since 1969, and for more than 50 years we’ve been experimenting, adapting, and improving our ways of doing business constantly—because in marketing, those who stand still fall behind fast.

To continue delivering value and awareness, your brand needs to adapt too. To give you a taste of the questions you need to ask yourself to stay up to speed, we’ve prepared a refresh guide for your marketing programs. Below are four key areas of concern for companies trying to stay current.

Is Your Money Going to the Right Efforts?

“If we stopped spending money on certain things, would anyone notice?” That’s a common question in the marketing biz, and sometimes the answer is a resounding no—but other times, the exact opposite is true. We experienced this truth a few years ago with two clients: one of which was spending over a million dollars a year on printing. We ceased printing collateral for that partner, and one year later their marketing data came back unchanged. Another client slashed its paid media ad budget and when their data came back, they had lost significantly among consumers in top-of-mind awareness, referrals, and sales. The question of where your money should go is one an experienced agency can help you answer.

Are Trade Shows Still Necessary?

Trade shows once determined a brand’s yearly marketing calendar, but these days, their value is being called into question much more frequently. Diverting funds formerly spent on trade show fees and logistics, one of our clients decided to fly key stakeholders out to their headquarters for a multi-day experience—one in which the brand determined the message and rhythm of the event. Consider your objectives and whether diverting money from trade shows may better help you achieve those goals.

How Important Is Content?

The word “content” can make some people’s skin crawl, especially when they see it being produced to satisfy an algorithm, rather than to providing value to an audience. The goal of sharing stories and values is not a bad thing—but brands need to think seriously about what they want to achieve and how much clutter they may be creating by drowning out quality content with sheer volume. The environmental impact of direct mail is also a question brands need to consider.

Are You Being Authentic?

Some areas in marketing are greatly underfunded. For example, we know that PR and influencer programs often deliver the biggest bang for the buck. Sure, the “ad-equivalent” metrics are inflated, but reach and impressions—plus the third-party credibility—is virtually unbeatable, dollar for dollar. While it may seem like a good idea to do what everyone else is doing, simply hopping on trends doesn’t always play out well. You’re better off being yourself, rather than making your content mimic what others are doing. Question why and what you are doing, and challenge accepted theories and best practices. Focus your energy on being the best you, rather than chasing trends that dilute your brand.

Oh, and keep it positive. We all need way more of that.


Founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1969, WH inc. is a full-service marketing, communications, and PR agency with a focus on inspiring and galvanizing the active-lifestyle audience. Over its 50 years in business, the agency has worked with a wide range of global brands and holds a deep passion for the products it represents. To learn more, visit WH1969.com.

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