Branding or Marketing?
Anytime you’re creating a new marketing campaign you find yourself asking a sleuth of questions. Will the objective of your campaign be to increase brand’s reach, acquire new customers, monetize your existing customer base or if you’re like most– are you unsure of what to expect? Understanding the difference and setting the correct expectations will infinitely improve mediocre advertising tactics and allow you to make the most of any campaign.
What’s the Objective?
If your marketing department functions like most, you’ve got an annual budget and department expectations that were established by upper management during the latter end of the previous year. We’re past the halfway mark and now the pressure is on, we need results. One of the most frequent questions we get is, what’s the difference between branding and marketing?
Brand Awareness – Think billboards. You’re driving on the freeway and see a catchy ad with cows telling you to eat more chicken. Some drivers familiar with the brand will get a laugh out of the billboard while others unfamiliar with the brand may connect the logo with a restaurant they see occasionally. The goal of this marketing method is to increase awareness and be visible to as many people as possible. Strictly defined sales goals are not to be expected of this method and more often than not, you won’t see strict tracking methods implemented with brand awareness campaigns.
Marketing – If the name doesn’t say it loud enough, direct action result based campaigns strive to provide a trackable increase in conversions. Whether the conversion metric is more newsletter signups or an X increase in new customers that translates into a Y increase in revenue, your campaign has set expectations and goals. Examples of these campaigns include coupons, limited time offers and opt-in campaigns.
Increasing brand awareness may nearly impossible to correlate with monetization. For branding, reaching new, existing and potential customers is the objective. An example of an awareness through conversion cycle for a brand awareness campaign can look start with a direct mail postcard or billboard ad designed to peak your interest.
Fictitious pizza chain Chewy’s Pizza has been experiencing a slump in sales for nearly a decade. A focus group has revealed the brand’s image is struggling due to its low-quality pizza’s and sub-par taste. The pizza chain has decided to revamp its entire operation and will now use high-quality ingredients and focus on an artisan pizza rather than provide a bottom dollar product. The general perception of the brand needs to improve. Chewy’s Pizza runs radio ads, tv commercials and send postcard mailers to all homes within a 4-mile radius of a franchise in each market.
The advertisements emphasize a brand revitalization and commitment to top quality ingredients and taste. The messaging directs people to pizzamatters.com, a website the Chewy’s Pizza created to build value and modify existing perception of the brand. The company is monitoring campaign impact by keeping a close tab on the amount of unique and return visitors to the website. A conversion will be counted anytime an individual watches a video about the company’s new image or signs up for the mailing list.
For many SMB’s it is crucial to understand if a marketing effort is profitable, has the potential to become profitable or perhaps it’s a complete wash. Direct action result based campaigns strive to provide a short customer monetization cycle with a trackable value tied to each conversion. The ideal way to track campaign effectiveness is to use a variety of calls-to-action and tracking methods that will simplify the how the results can be segmented.
Fictitious company Lazer manufactures computers and computer peripherals. The company has 50,000 addresses of previous customers but is having a difficult time engaging its fan base through emails and social media. Robert, Lazers sales director, has been tasked with spearheading a sale in an effort move stagnant inventory and make room for upcoming new products. The company decides to mail a scratch to win postcard to all previous customers. The direct mail marketing postcard offers vary with incentives ranging from 5%-50% discounts and a select few postcards have online-store gift cards or free item redemption codes.
The offer codes needed to redeem the incentives will allow Lazer to track how many customers redeemed offers, the campaign participants’ average spend if individuals purchased additional products and additional data to determine lifetime customer value and the potential for future monetization. Data shows Lazer that the campaign was able to provide a significant increase in revenue and was able to re-engage previous customers who had not made purchases in a long period of time.
Which Do I Use?
Although branding and marketing can function in tandem, it is important to understand the difference in order to craft a successful advertising campaign. If your goal is to spread the word far and wide, branding could be the best solution to your advertising woes. Marketing campaigns have the benefit of being incentive based and allow time constraints to increase urgency. Next week we will discuss the difference between good offer and a fantastic one.
This article is part 1 of a 4 part series covering:
Branding or Marketing?
What Makes an Offer Irresistible?
Direct Mail Tracking Methods
Crafting a Successful Direct Mail Campaign