Chicago American Marketing Association Interviews Torque

The following is a reprint of the article published in the November issue of  the Chicago AMA newsletter, Intersect, which profiles Torque's marketing process, used to deliver the Becker Professional Education Re-branding and re-launch marketing program. The Becker re-branding received a 2010 Chicago AMA Brandsmart Award of Merit.

Torque’s Market Launch process hinges on seven key inflection points. Here’s how Torque stepped through the process with the wonderful marketing team at Becker Professional Education to re-launch its global brand:

1)    Understand the value.

Torque helps companies make the “big shift,” moving the focus of the marketing strategy from product to customer. Becker was able to key in on what’s important to its customers: enabling their professional advancement.

2)    Transform data into tribal intelligence.

Marketing programs can get gummed up with unwieldy data, which could have happened with Becker, because its research was extensive and detailed. The Torque team worked with Becker to take a holistic view and surface the big insight: the importance of the personal and individual student experience.

To truly know the customer, one must also know his or her social tribe of influencers, cohorts and prospects. The Torque Tribal Intelligence process includes developing profiles of communities where we help our clients find their customers and customer communities.

3)    Transform intelligence into engagement.

Torque translated these values, intelligence and tribal insights into images of aspiring people, and the line: “Prepared For____” with a blank, to be filled in with each individual’s unique aspiration. The campaign helps Becker engage in conversations with consumers and customers in ways that affirmed their needs and values.

4)    Communication options are complex: pick the right ones. In its process, Torque assess media as it intersects with customer tribes, their information needs and communication behavior.  Torque helps rethink past success models, such as mass and direct, and to embrace new channels, such as digital and social media. Becker’s campaign is integrative, and includes Internet marketing and social media, as well as traditional media.

5)    Cultural stickiness: leading the organization to believe. For  branding and marketing to work, the sales organization has to buy in. Asking them for input at the beginning is key. The same is said about customer service, product development, HR, and so on, with each functional area, up to senior leadership. Torque helped its  marketing colleagues at Becker to continually update and confer with its president and other departments along the way. Becker also had Torque translate the campaign into textbooks and study materials to further enhance the seamlessness of the brand image.

6)    Dogged consistency: from creative midwives to brand police.

As a marketing agency, Torque is one part generating creator, another part law enforcement authority. The company provided tools to help Becker to be diligent, both during development, and now in managing the second year of the brand program.

7)    Measure results: ask what’s working, and why. Then refine it! Becker’s Brand Tracker research reports that the new logo and website convey a progressive, modern & and results-oriented image. The marketing campaign has produced a 37% year-over-year website traffic increase. Google Analytics show significant increases cross-selling effectiveness within the site, with over 2,000 monthly referral visits from the Finance area to the Accounting area, and over 3,600 monthly referrals visits from the Accounting area to the Finance area. Informed by this and other performance data, the Becker team is ready to rethink and reload the campaign for 2011.