So it’s time to set your marketing budget for the year and you want to answer the golden question: where do I invest my money?
As with all things in business, it depends AND in more that one area.
There are two focus areas when marketing should be playing in your business. One raises brand awareness and creates brand loyalty, the other gets people to take action or buy directly from you. And yep, you need to dedicate time and budget to both areas in your marketing planning.
Much of the marketing advice inundating business owners on social media is aimed specifically at product based businesses such as online stores, which require more of a direct approach. But a services business needs to focus their marketing equally on reputation and customer loyalty – something that is often skipped in generic marketing plans.
So what are the key differences between direct marketing and brand marketing?
Direct marketing helps people BUY your product like:
– Google Ads
– Facebook Ads
– Lead Generation methodologies
These marketing channels focus on prompting immediate action, driving sales, and generating quick responses from potential customers. For instance, targeted Google Ads make your product visible to users actively searching for related keywords, while promotions and lead generation efforts encourage immediate buying decisions.
Brand marketing helps people CHOOSE you and your service using:
– Organic Facebook and Instagram posts
– A brand focused Social Media strategy
– Strong visible branding (logo etc)
– A brand focussed website
These tactics aim to cultivate a long-term relationship between customers and your business by creating a distinctive identity and fostering loyalty. Organic social media posts and engaging content contribute to building a brand narrative, while your logo, website design, and overall visual identity play crucial roles in establishing brand recognition and resonance.
When you sit down to nail your marketing plan you need to be considering how these strategies align with your business type. For product-based ventures like online stores, a strong emphasis on direct marketing is essential to drive transactions. Meanwhile, service-oriented businesses benefit from brand marketing that focuses on reputation-building and creating a lasting positive impression.
Now you have a good idea of what type of marketing you need to plan for, the next cab off the rank is securing the right marketing partner. If your primary aim is immediate sales, direct marketing tactics should be prioritized. But if you’re looking toenhance brand perception and customer loyalty, leading to ongoing repeat customers and clientele,, investing in brand marketing strategies is going to be a better investment. Your chosen marketing partner should be able to clearly define the marketing objectives that they are responsible for and how the intended outcome of their work will help you to achieve your overall strategic business goals.
Even if you choose not to outsource your marketing, by understanding the nuances between these approaches, you can tailor your marketing budget effectively, ensuring that you invest in the strategies aligned with your specific business goals – avoiding unnecessary expenses and maximising the impact of your marketing efforts. Win win.