If you had a choice between this cereal and this cereal, which would you buy? Don’t think. Just pick the one you’re guessing probably doesn’t have teeny shards of glass in it.
Many people would go for cereal #1 by default — because it’s a brand you recognize and trust. That’s the power of brand advertising. Yes, brand advertising: that hard-to-quantify, “Why should I buy ads for my own Company Name??”, first-to-get-struck-from-the-marketing-budget line item.
Unappealing though it may be, brand advertising DOES impact sales. That impact is just a liiiiiittle harder to trace than cut-and-dried direct response results.
Today on Marketing is Broken, I’m chatting with Michael Gumbert, Senior Paid Media Specialist at Perrill. We’ll dissect the role that brand advertising plays in overall marketing success — and talk about why and how to create branded ads that really work.
As for the psychopaths who would risk it all on unbranded cereal #2… I can’t help you.
Marketers sometimes give so much thought and attention to selling our PRODUCT that we forget to sell OURSELVES. I mean, our brands. But building better brand recognition is important. And it doesn’t just happen on its own.
How much weight should you give to brand advertising? Good question! There’s an important balance between building awareness and generating actual sales. Tilt the scales one way or another, and bad things start happening.
FOR EXAMPLE. When you focus too much on product sales, and not enough on brand, you risk losing potential customers to skepticism and doubt. I call this the “I don’t know you, why should I care?” problem.
On the flip side, it IS possible to focus too much on awareness and not enough on direct response. Think about certain breast cancer charities, whom I won’t name. How many pinkwashed “awareness” campaigns have you seen? I’m pretty sure we’re all AWARE of breast cancer by now. I for one am waiting to see the first direct-response “Breast Cancer Cure” sales campaign.
You need to find the happy medium between focusing only on direct response, or only on brand advertising. Fortunately, I’ve got just the person here to teach you. Michael Gumbert is Senior Paid Media Specialist at Perrill, where he walks this tightrope every day.
Watch the episode to see Michael answer these questions:
Think of brand advertising like brushing your teeth: You just have to do it. You’re not really sure why, but people smarter than you say it’s important. Plus, everyone else enjoys being around you more when you keep up with it. That’s good enough for me!