Vehicle Media began life 13 years ago – a chicken-scratched plan put together on a dock at Lake Martin. At inception, I knew a couple of things:
On my last day of work at a recording studio in 2007, having created hundreds of broadcast radio commercials, my boss asked me, “What is a Pandora?” At that moment, I realized digital is the future. Clients were growing tired of “marketing jargon” – a lot of talk and intangible/nebulous goals. (eg. “we grew your social media audience by 200%” doesn’t mean much when 200% of 0 is still 0.)
In the early days, we really specialized in web development – delivering efficient, clean sites, built to serve a clear and simple purpose. Let’s call it pragmatic design.
As we grew and built our client list, we evolved into something like a “full-service” digital marketing agency (powered by a network of talented, multi-faceted team players) but the underpinning philosophy behind our work stayed true.
No matter what the final deliverable – creative, web, video, design – the best return was always evident when there was a clear dollar reward for our clients. Yes, the work is important, but how that work performs out there in the real world is even more so.
While we’re out of the immediate fire of the pandemic, it’s not hard to look around and see that many more are looming. Uncertainty, sadly, is the cost of doing business today. For brands and businesses looking to make a mark (or hell, just survive) frivolous/non-justifiable/measurable spending is simply no longer an option. Hope is not part of a viable business model.
Global Digital advertising spend is projected to grow to a gigantic $646 billion by 2024. Our take here at Vehicle Media? Unless businesses are thinking very carefully about the intention of their digital advertising spend – both in terms of strategic purpose and with an eye on measurable results – this could very well be money thrown to the fire.
There’s no two ways about it – as my attorney of 11 years would say – “what gets measured gets managed” has never been more relevant.
Putting the Focus on the Results – a performance-based approach
We didn’t invent the term “performance-based marketing” (and we’re not going to give you a full outline of the ins and outs of it here – there are other places you can go for that) but we take its principles seriously enough to say it’s the guiding light for all we do.
When we first put together the Vehicle Media site, we made a very up front and bold claim that “we don’t sell you something to tick a box.” To put it in layman’s terms, the effort needs to have a purpose.
But in 2022, I think that message can be articulated in an even stronger way:
We’re not just providing a “service,” we’re offering an informed view – based on over 80 years of collective experience – on how we think your marketing spend can best provide a dollar return.
We won’t do business with you if we’re not confident that we can help you make money.
Why the Value of Your Dollar is More Important Than Ever
For those businesses who were able to weather the pandemic (and in some cases come out even stronger) the most common observable thread is that they spent their money “smartly.”
No two businesses are the same. A smart investment can mean something entirely different based on your own business-specific needs at any given time. A smart investment might be in your people, your operations, overhauling your digital capabilities, a website overhaul, or maybe it really is that splashy ad campaign.
My view – and excuse me if it feels like I’m repeating myself – is that whatever the investment, there must be a clear and calculable dollar return.
Marketing, much to my colleagues and my chagrin, too often remains a smoke and mirrors practice. Agencies continue to hide behind bluster (and pretty slides), because they simply don’t have the confidence to put a stake in the ground.
Torching your marketing dollars in this economy is not just dangerous business, it’s potentially fatal.
We’ll do everything we can to help you make sure you don’t make mistakes – and if we don’t think we’re the right fit for you, we’ll be the first to let you know.
What Does This Mean For You?
If you’ve made it this far, I’m hoping that in part it’s because you feel a sense of agreement with the sentiment expressed.
While it’s far from my usual approach to be dogmatic, if there’s one mast I’m happy to nail our colors to, it’s that businesses need to be obsessively focused on the results of their marketing spend right now.
At Vehicle Media, we’re incredibly lucky to work with a client base who are willing to give us the freedom to help bring this vision to life.
With this article I’m hoping to put a stake in the ground in terms of our world view here at VM. In future articles, we’ll look to put skin on the bones here with concrete and illustrative examples of how that philosophy is brought to life in our work.
Thanks for your time,