In the past direct and brand marketers have normally stood on opposite sides of the fence.
And with so much marketing now being done online and especially through social media, it is important for direct marketers to communicate one particular logo/image across all social media channels. Direct marketers are still appealing to specific niches for their products and services, but brand marketing strategies are becoming more prevalent with traditional direct marketing companies.
More importantly, how can you use both direct and brand marketing to grow your business?
The definition of brand marketing according to The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for a brand is a trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is a trade name.”
The easiest way to describe brand marketing is a company, logo, product or some other asset is being promoted so customers will remember the asset prior to purchasing.
Results of each individual marketing medium are not really tracked. The company just compares revenue to marketing expenses to determine if the campaign was profitable.
One of the easiest examples of brand marketing is to think of athletic shoes are marketed. Normally, the shoe company will hire a professional athlete to promote the shoes.
- The player wears the shoes while playing the sport.
- There are TV commercials with the player and the shoes.
- There may be banner ads online on a sports website.
- There may be might be a large poster of the player in the front window of the shoe store.
- The player may share photos and links to purchase the shoes on social media.
This type of advertising is to get the customer to remember the shoes and then purchase a pair.
There are two main problems for authors trying to use brand advertising.
- Brand advertising is very expensive. The purpose is to implant a logo, product or asset in the mind of the customer, so they remember and purchase when they are ready to buy. It can cost a lot of money to get people to remember a logo, trademark, etc.
2. There is no means of measuring which advertisement is producing a measurable response.
Personally, I do NOT recommend just doing a branding campaign, without at least some form of direct marketing component. At the very least measure the response of each ad.
In a future article, I will go into more depth about how to fuse brand and direct marketing together, so you receive the benefits of both.
What is Direct Marketing?
Direct marketing is also known as Interactive Marketing, Direct Response Marketing and the highest level of direct marketing is known as Database Marketing.
So, what exactly is direct marketing?
According to Lisa Spiller’s textbook Direct, Digital, and Data-Driven Marketing, Fourth Edition, the definition of direct marketing is a database-driven, interactive process of directly communicating with targeted customers or prospects using any medium to obtain a measurable response or transaction via one or multiple channels.
Direct marketers are really not concerned about promoting a logo. Direct marketers care about who responded, what offer did the customer respond, how did they respond (online coupon, direct mail, email, etc.) and why did they respond?
There are 3 main components to direct marketing:
2) The advertising is very targeted to customers and prospects.
3) Each marketing medium requires some means of measuring response.
1.) The Database
The database can be anything that can store names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. The more information you have about your customers, then the easier it is to target other prospects like your current customers.
Databases can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet (this is normally referred to as a customer list, instead of a database.) But it is even better if you have a relational database that can measure response rates from each marketing medium and each client while tracking what the client purchased and the date the customer purchased.
For instance, in the database, there are clients who have purchased 2 or 3 times.
Knowing this piece of information gives you a reason to contact the client with a special offer during their anniversary month. Plus, the client has a reason to buy, and there is a concrete date to respond and purchase.
2.) The Advertising is Very Targeted to Customers and Prospects
Another difference between brand marketing and direct marketing is that direct marketing is very targeted and focused. Brand marketing is more of a general broadcast. Direct marketing is like using a rifle, while brand marketing is like using a shotgun approach.
With direct marketing, you know exactly who your customers are, because of the database. Therefore, it is easier to find more prospects like your current customers.
By knowing who your customers are, it gives you insight as to where to advertise.
Plus, you save money by not spending money on ads that are not targeted to prospects who are not similar to the customers in your database.
With direct marketing, the database allows you to know who your customers are, and that drives your marketing and advertising.
3.) Each Marketing Medium Requires Measuring Response.
A response can consist of anything from an inquiry phone call, an email opt-in, a visit to a landing page, watching a video, clicking on a Facebook ad, making a purchase, etc. A response is normally any means, where a targeted prospect or customer performs a specific, measurable action that is requested in the ad.
Why is it important to develop some way of determining which advertisement generates a response? Being able to tell, who responds to which ads, allows you to determine:
- Your return on investment for each ad.
- Which ad is profitable and which ad is not.
- It also allows you to test competing ads against each other to see which one generates the greatest response.
So, consider the example of using your database to send offers to clients with anniversaries. Upon looking at your database, you start looking at who purchased from the anniversary offer. From the 1,000 people that were sent an anniversary offer each month, on average seventy people each month purchased the offer.
Now Valentine’s Day is approaching, do you think it would be a good idea to send the clients that purchased from the anniversary offer a different Valentine’s Day offer then you send the rest of your customers?
This gives you another reason to contact clients that have purchased from you in the past, and it also gives the client another reason to purchase from you, with another concrete deadline.
In conclusion, brand marketing and direct marketing are completely different advertising strategies, but many brand marketing campaigns are starting to incorporate a direct marketing component to their advertising. And direct marketing campaigns are starting to incorporate some elements of brand marketing.
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