In this second part of our 2-part conversation with Phil Haid at Public Inc, Phil and Anne continue to dive deeper into the challenges of running a purpose-driven marketing agency in today’s world. They expand upon topics including agency identity and brand exposure and share their observations about certain digital media platforms that may or may not uphold socially responsible values.
How to best position a marketing agency’s brand is always top of mind. Brand positioning is a conversation we often have with clients but it’s just as important to reflect on it internally. Anne has discussed this topic with past BSuite podcast guests and reflected on it in conversations with other purpose-driven marketing agency leaders. Some agencies are not afraid to be direct or touse explicit or highly politicized opinions to communicate their point of view to their customers. Other agencies decide to take a different approach, staying more reserved and showing their value by presenting data-driven research and facts.
Phil admits that Public Inc. is still working on its brand positioning and agrees that it is an evolving decision with a lot of variables at play. He feels Public Inc. blends making a measurable impact and presents it in a hyper-creative way. Phil believes that although Public’s brand is still a work in progress, staying authentic to the agency’s original purpose and the meaningful work that’s been done there is most important in the end.
Anne shares that RMG recently added to their brand story by more clearly defining the educational approach they take to marketing services. Staying true to her experience as an educator, she ties education into the RMG service offering. Providing our clients with a deeper understanding of the marketing tools we use and the services we provide while conveying the reason behind our strategic recommendations is an important element of effective account service as well as key to the RMG brand. Externally, RMG leverages our internal social media platforms to share content that educates consumers on issues that affect the world around us.
Digital Advertising Platforms
It’s no surprise that people have mixed feelings and some distrust of social media platforms in 2021. It’s a relevant topic in today’s society that is getting a lot of media coverage. Marketers are faced with using these platforms to advertise on behalf of clients. Anne and Phill dive deep into the ethics of these platforms and discuss how to deal with the contradiction of being purpose-driven while simultaneously utilizing certain platforms for profit.
Phil is a strong proponent of engagement over divestment. He shares his opinion on how engagement on a platform is more important to creating positive change vs. canceling it entirely. He is disappointed in Facebook and how social media platforms have decided to choose greed over driving purposeful change. There is a lot of good and bad that takes place on social media yet ruling it out entirely is not an option for Phil.
Deciding where to lean in and make decisions on polarizing issues directly relates to a brand’s positioning. Anne and Phil agree that actions are louder than words when it comes to positioning. It can be very difficult to offer advice to a client that is unsure of their own position. But it also opens a door to educate and help empower clients to take a purpose-driven approach.