It used to be that awareness was one of the key measures of a brand. The logic was that as long as your brand was included in the consumer’s consideration set, your marketing efforts would generate a predictable number of sales, therefore, generating brand awareness was paramount.
But with advances in technology and data capture over the past decades, brand awareness has been eschewed in favor of sales conversion measures. This makes sense, because ultimately the goal of marketing should be to drive sales.
However, it’s not entirely possible to increase your sales without first establishing and then maintaining some sort of brand awareness. What’s a marketer with a limited budget to do?
1. Focus on the influencer not the end user.
This seems simple, but you’d be astounded by the small amount of emphasis the B2B portion of a sale gets in marketing organizations versus broader, less targeted B2C campaigns.
Yes, you absolutely need a strategy for selling more product once you get sold in, but if your product never makes it to the shelf or in the consideration set in the first place, all of your packaging and end user marketing efforts make no difference.
The relationship between your sales force and your distribution partners is critical. That goes for existing relationships as well as new ones.
2. Look bigger by thinking smaller.
Own and dominate a single channel.
Whether it’s a single trade show where you can rollout your own industry awards and virtually “own” the event by placing all of your paid media during a critical time period, or taking a more fractured multichannel strategy by purchasing a dominant spend on a single social or media channel, using a targeted approach can be more efficient to manage and give you greater brand presence with your key audience segments.
3. Capitalize on real-time events.
Smaller organizations are more resource starved, yes, but it also generally means they can execute more quickly than their larger competitors.
Focus on industry events you attend and don’t passively participate. Use event hashtags or connect with influencers through social or digital channels.
Likewise, be mindful of trends that are impacting your industry influencers and broadcast your POV via social channels and digital media while they are relevant and more likely to be found.
4. Measure your awareness (both aided and unaided) annually.
Don’t just rely on your sales data. It will allow you to get a sense of your market positioning in relation to your competitors and can help you uncover potential industry shifts and opportunities.
5. Consistently execute messaging and brand positioning to ensure differentiation from competition.
It’s not just about being included in the consideration set, it’s about creating value in the eye of the customer. This goes across all channels – your mobile presence, your digital presence, your social channels and your sales materials.
Seems like a no-brainer, but every week we meet someone who’s got some legacy materials hanging around that aren’t just irrelevant, but eroding what they’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
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