The best way to market: ignore what everybody else is doing – especially big companies.
If you talk to brand marketers, they will generally tell to invest in the brand. If you talk to the direct response marketers, they will tell you to only invest in tactics where you can immediately track this metric.
Who is right?
Well, unless you have the money, my view is forget about branding and everything you hear about branding. The direct response guys will win hands down every time. Branding is for very patient people with deep pockets. If brand building occurs, then this is a happy by-product or your marketing actions. Sales and response is all that matters.
Many companies advertise because they think they have to, or to please the Board, the Chairman’s wife, keep investors happy, build brand identity or even to win awards. At the end of all that, they might sell something.
The criticism labelled by one of the speakers at the recent Marketing Institute of Ireland conference is that SME’s only understand a brand in the context of logo, signage, and thats it. Not in the wider context of what the purpose of brand is.
For SME’s – especially in the current climate, selling is all that matters. Worrying about the brand will not help you survive.