BETTER OUT THAN IN

BETTER OUT THAN IN

Is what matters most to your brand what matters most?


Brand storytelling has always been full of “you had to be there” moments – stories with meaning to the teller, but which struggle to resonate with their intended audience.
In the traditional media environment, such failures of relevance could be offset to some degree by repetition – hammering away break-after-break at a captive audience via linear TV broadcasts; presenting your case every day in the daily newspapers; bombarding commuters on their way home with incessant radio placements.
Eventually, with deep enough pockets, a brand could figure on at least some of their messaging sinking in.
How things have changed, huh?
In the disrupted media world, with so many touchpoints and so distracted an audience, no brand can bank on repetition even happening, let alone delivering a measurable degree of effectiveness.
As we know, the power is – literally – in the hands of the audience, who have the choice to consume and share content where, when and how they want.
Or not.
In such a fickle environment, there are no ironclad guarantees of success. For every viral sensation, there are thousands of forgotten stories, often representing a large investment of time, money and hard work in their creation.
Which is why relevance is so critical when you do catch an eyeball – you might only get one shot, so you better make it count.
As marketers and creators, we owe it to the audience to make it a guiding principle that the content we deliver speaks firstly, if not solely, to what matters to them.
That probably doesn’t include a shopping list of features, a re-interpretation of divisional KPI’s, or any other internal priority that matters not one jot to the viewer, but which so often finds itself front and centre when a brand tries to connect with them.
These are the ingredients of a sure-fire “you had to be there” moment, falling flat, dead in the water at the point of delivery.
Ironically, the disruptive technologies that present so many challenges also offer unequalled opportunities for brands to get their content in front of their audience, and the tools to understand what makes them tick.
With such depth of understanding, and in collaboration with expert partners who can use it to define compelling narratives, a brand has all the tools it needs to always deliver content of genuine importance and value to the audience.
In the context of brand storytelling, we think that’s just about the only thing that matters.

Andrew Marsh is the principal of Marshlandia.

BETTER OUT THAN IN

Manifesto


When I resigned from a well-paid, secure, Executive Producer role, to journey back down the uncertain path to start-up land, questions were asked as to my state-of-mind.
And possibly not without reason – it is a huge risk to kick off a new venture with limited capital, a (Sydney-sized) mortgage to pay, and mouths to feed.
But there I was, clocking in at a little over 20 years into my career, master of the “what”, and wondering “why?”
I had developed a fantastic repertoire of skills, and a solid body of work, which I guess most people would be happy with at that juncture.
But, having focussed on doing whatever it took to make a living, accepting any brief that crossed my desk, I had started to question if I could do this kind of thing for the rest of my working days.
The answer was a resounding “no”.
And so, the Marshlandia story began with an end: an end to selling myself short.
And the start of a journey focussed on putting my skills to better use, telling the kind of stories I feel passionate about.
Stories that connect with the heart and mind. That resonate because they reveal something about why we are the way we are, and why we do the things we do. Shaped with narratives intended to enlighten and entertain; coloured with imagery and soundscapes that are evocative and beautifully crafted.
Deserving the best of me – and demanding no less – in their creation.
It is a risky course to chart and, as I write this, there’s a long way to go before I know if it was worth it.
But I reckon, if I can deliver on this promise to myself, my clients and my collaborators, in future years I could be looking back on an outstanding body of work that has truly connected with audiences, delivered many memorable experiences, and that I’ve made a pretty decent living from.
And I won’t be wondering “why” anymore…

Andrew Marsh is the principal of Marshlandia.