The Synergy of the Symphony

Following a trail of anonymous profile viewers on my LinkedIn profile this morning, I came across a marketing company, based in Leicester.

On their website there is a page which talks about a concept they call ‘Orchestra Marketing’. This page got me thinking. What does this term mean and how does it apply across marketing in general?

My first thought was of the oboe. The oboe is a constant which sets the tone for the orchestra.

Different sections of the orchestra have different functions. The woodwind section has a very different sound and design to the strings section, the sound being created by blowing air through the instrument or over a reed. The strings however, are taut wires laid across wooden cases of varying length which are bowed by the rubbing back and forth of horse hair over the wires to produce their sound.

The brass section is louder and more raucous, and the percussion produces bangs and crashes which beat out the rhythm. All of these sounds are being produced at the same time and sound discordant and unrelated until finally the oboe, a hollowed out tree branch which never requires tuning, sounds out. Its deep, booming tone cuts through the cacophony and slowly, one-by-one, each instrument in each section section attunes itself to the note being made by the oboe.

Only when all instruments are tuned and in agreement does the conductor appear, he enters and addresses the orchestra. Calling them to order he marks out the rhythm and the symphony begins.

With marketing the story is very similar. The folks in SEO are very statistical in their wiring and have an analytical approach to their work. The creatives, graphic designers and copywriters, can get a little carried away with their own artistry. But, sounding out above the cacophony, demanding harmony is a tone.

The Tone of Voice brings synergy amongst the disparate sections of marketing and calls them to order. As each section aligns itself to the brief, a consistent, pleasing tone is created. It is to this tone that marketing people must adhere, taking care not to become too precious about “their work” and it is with this in mind that the conductor (otherwise known as the stakeholder) will set the rhythm for the piece.

Marketing is a means to an end, a vessel by which access, exposure and sales may be gained. It is vital that we do not lose sight of the symphony, when trying to be heard.


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