10/04/2011 10:52 am ET | Updated Dec 04, 2011

How Much is Enough, Really?

If I had a dollar for each time a client asked that, I'd be living the high life in the South of France permanently, not just during Cannes Lyons. It's a fine line isn't it, investing and doing "enough" to connect with consumers without having to spend a dollar more than needed? The problem is there is no definitive answer for how much is enough.

A marketer's inconvenient truth is that consumers now demand that brands are authentically present in all facets of their lives; short cuts and bare minimum marketing simply don't create a memorable brand experience.

So what is "enough?" We must remember that consumers don't compartmentalize their worlds. It's a continual conversation that goes on between the layers of wherever they play, work, and live. For me, "enough" is when brands engage consumers and relentlessly maintain their relevancy and brand values through a hybrid of mass outreach such as advertising, social media and publicity, layered with high touch engagement strategies and tactics. Brands can create even deeper consumer intimacy by using engagement vehicles such as pop-ups, special events, mobile tours and influencer/brand ambassador campaigns that allow consumers to touch, feel and personally engage with a brand.

Together, this hybrid mix turns consumers who know your brand into true advocates. With brands like Apple, Nike and Google continuously upping the ante, simply driving "brand awareness" is a price of entry and one of the reasons I co-founded Grow Marketing -- to round out the consumer experience -- and the best marketers use just enough of all of the tools available to them to outsmart the competition.

A brand that continues to inspire me (full disclosure: they're one of my alma maters and a current client), is the Levi's brand for women. While Levi's is a global brand, they too are being challenged to be resourceful with their budgets, but they are looking holistically at the consumer landscape and authentically inserting themselves into their consumer's lives through a variety of mass and high touch marketing disciplines. Levi's Curve ID is all about the idea that "hotness comes in all shapes and sizes." The brand is delivering its message via mass channels like advertising, in-store, online and social media outreach, but are walking the talk by traveling to colleges across the country with its "Mirror Mirror... What's My Curve ID?" experience that brings the brand to life and introduces the products with an innovative offering that create a memorable brand experience.

Firing on all cylinders that immerse consumers into the brand, even if it means a leaner spend in each marketing discipline, is just about enough. Really.