By Mark Fowler, Vice President – RPG London

The recent weather has put into perspective the pleasures of a good cocktail. In our house, the weekend was sponsored by the Gin and It. A good cocktail uses precision, creativity and, often, restraint to create something more enjoyable than its constituent parts. Case in point: any cocktail that uses Tequila.

It’s a lot like an effective marketing plan. Blending a mix of PR, advertising, social and more to create something more effective than its constituent parts. But striking that balance isn’t easy. There’s no exact recipe to follow and you’re aiming at a moving target. Still, the addition of one relatively small part can make all the difference, like a splash of bitters or a touch of orange zest.

I recently found myself thinking about the importance of getting this marketing mix right. I was fortunate enough to have been invited by Business France to participate as a mentor on its IMPACT UK programme. This fantastic initiative helps French businesses make the move to the UK, and I had the chance to speak with two interesting start-ups providing solutions in the media space: Getfluence, which is a marketplace for placing sponsored content within premium online media, and Foxy Nerds, a ‘pay as you grow’ marketplace for brands engaging with micro-influencers. What struck me as particularly interesting is how the two companies have approached similar problems but landed on quite different but equally valid solutions.

Conversations across the week reaffirmed my belief that a good comms and marketing plan uses variety. Social feeds off of good earned media which in itself is rooted in engaging content and copywriting. Events – virtual or otherwise – create an effective platform for a detailed conversation with peers that can be a challenge on social alone. And, if you want to amplify your brand’s reach, it’s hard to look beyond sponsored content and influencer marketing. Using multiple tactics across various channels allows brands to tell a more sophisticated story to a variety of audiences than if they go all in one approach.

There is a propensity to get tipsy on the latest and greatest, rather than look at the right tool for the job. Barks of “what about social” have been replaced by equally manic cries of “how do we make the most of influencers” without thinking why we are using either. Put it this way: as a SaaS company why would you be looking to go viral on TikTok when that’s not where your audience is? Sure, you might get a quick spike in followers, but you’re more likely to find yourself face in the PR equivalent of waking up at 2 am in Bounds Green with a half-eaten McDonalds (not guilty M’lud…). 

It’s what makes the cocktail metaphor so pertinent. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Like I said before, restraint  makes the cocktail work so much better and stops it becoming its horrible cousin who spends too much time in student houses and All Bar One: the Dirty Pint.

And anyone who went to a UK University in the mid-2000s will happily tell you: no one has ever been better off for a dirty pint.

About the Author

Mark Fowler

Mark is a Vice President in RPG’s London office, working with the technology team. He has ten years of experience in technology PR, having worked across leading B2C and B2B brands including Huawei, ARM, Auth0 and Barclaycard.