Should You Be Using Branding or Direct Marketing?

What type of marketing are you currently using — branding or direct marketing?  Which should you be using?

They both get results, so first decide upon the result you want. If you want to change the culture, or create an image or a favorable impression that may lead to a sale at the appropriate time, you want Brand Marketing (a.k.a. Branding). Branding is reflected in everything you do — from interaction with your customers to your packaging.

Brand Marketing can be executed as advertising, of course. Most of the ads you see for perfume, cars, clothing, funeral homes, soft drinks and insurance companies, among others, are examples of Brand Marketing.

Measuring the results from Branding is very difficult to do quickly. It requires patience and a good-sized budget. But ultimately, Brand Marketing can have a big and positive long-term impact. Brand Marketing can focus more on the message, because you don’t need time or space for a call to action.

This can help your brand get noticed first, make a more favorable impression, connect better with the prospective client and earn his or her business when they’re buying a product or service like yours.

How can Brand Marketing get consumers to buy something if it doesn’t contain a call to action — a link that reads “Click Here to Buy Now” or a coupon? Ask Apple… or Nike… or Allstate — it works.

Direct marketing is meant to do what its name implies. That is, move people to make a purchase directly, immediately — as soon as they’re done reading, hearing or seeing your ad. If you’re not pushing people to buy immediately, you’re encouraging them to get more information, so they can then make a purchase.

Each step of this process is measurable and has a cost. Direct Marketing is a Strategy. Online Direct Marketing is a tactic. Billboard advertising, TV advertising and radio advertising are also tactics.

By now, some fellow marketer, internet provider or agency has got you excited about online or digital marketing. It certainly is fast and inexpensive. You can do news story pre-roll video, geo-fencing, display ads, search and dozens of other online variations. Digital online advertising is perfect for direct-response and direct marketing. But lower your expectations, because it rarely will meet your lofty goals.

Seth Godin is a famous marketing guru and blogger, and the author of 18 best-sellers including Permission Marketing. In his latest book, This Is Marketing, Godin says “Online advertising is also the most-ignored advertising ever created. It’s not unusual to run an ad in front of a hundred thousand people and not get a single click.”

So which type of marketing should you use — Branding or Direct? If it’s a known product and your research shows it has a valued image, then you may be a candidate for Direct Marketing. If your image needs some work, or yours is not the type of product or service that people rush out or go online to buy instantly, than Brand Marketing is probably better.

There is one tactic that will improve the results of either form of marketing. That tactic is frequency. If the message is solid, tested and has made or can make some impact, then run it more often. A lot more often. If it works when it’s run 10 times, run it 100 times or even 1,000 times.

Brand and Direct Marketing both get results. To determine which type of marketing you need, determine which result you need.


About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Email questions and comments to GFF@FarrisMarketing.com and connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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