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Marketing Congruency

by Randall Craig on November 27, 2015

Filed in: Blog, Branding, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Web

Tagged as: , ,

At one time, a marketer needed only consider a few communications channels: Print, TV, Packaging, and the speaking points within a salesperson’s sales pitch.

Today, all bets are off:  Traditional channels still exist, but have been eclipsed by the website, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and 100s of other Social Media sites.  These newer channels have one other key difference: given the social nature of Social Media, target audiences are influenced by third-party blogs, likes, shares, and comments.

Today, marketers are facing two distinct challenges:

1) The importance of coordinating the brand voice amongst each of these channels.  A resource-strapped marketer has the unenviable choice of ham-handedly spamming the same message to every channel, paying no regard to the nuances of the channel.  Or they can customize the interaction for each channel, but only for a few.  This is a choice of mile wide but an inch deep, or mile deep but an inch wide.

One solution to this problem – a lazy one – is to throw more resources at the problem.   A better solution is to recognize that the response from each of these channels can be measured. Which ones generate more traffic, leads, and sales?  And which ones suffer from indifference?  With each announcement, initiative, or campaign, it is possible to finesse the more effective channels from the ineffective ones, and then allocate more (or less) resources appropriately.

2) The importance of consistency of brand voice amongst (and within) each of these channels.  A strong brand requires a congruent message, yet it is surprisingly easy to forget this, particularly with social media.  Look at your profiles, and ask the following questions:

  • If people just looked at your posts, what would they say your brand represents?  (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people looked just at the pictures (or videos) you posted on your page, what would they say your brand represents? (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people just read the comments that others posted on your page, what would they say your brand represents? (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people compared your brand’s voice on different Social Media channels, is the personality the same?
  • And on the personal side:  if people read your LinkedIn profile summary, then looked at your endorsements, do they say the same thing about your capabilities?

This week’s action plan:  The profusion of channels has created many challenges – but just as many opportunities.  This week, focus on your website: is there a deep level of internal congruency on the site?  Look for any outliers in graphic design, branding, content, and editorial voice, and move to alignment.  Then use the website as a model for a coordinated brand voice on every other channel, online and off.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)




Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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