If Nike were to open a hotel tomorrow, even though they currently don’t have any hotels, you would already have in your mind what it would look like, right? What about Apple, Google? Same thing.
That is because they have excelled in Brand Marketing. Their commercials, outreach, and public image is not "buy now", "click to call", "signup for free". Instead, they offer a common ground and if you are within it, perfect, come along.
Branding is such an inclusive word, because everything your business touches must be in sync to make sure you build the value that you then can extract from when doing direct marketing.
A lot of people, especially startups, want to skip the branding step and jump right in to "buy now, click here, call now" style advertising. They get a name, a logo, and hit the ground running with a facebook ad. It doesn't take too long before they get frustrated and have discounted their product or services so low they question if they will ever make it.
"Why is no one buying? I'm basically giving it away."
This common occurrence is due to trying to extract value before building value to extract from.
Branding is the crucial first step, and the cost of good branding should be factored into any startup to make sure you can extract value off of that brand. Several things go into or touch your brand. Things like logo, story, values, “feel” can all play a different but vital role in how quickly and accurately you build the value.
Once done correctly, discounting and price discussions are the last thing on your customer's minds, they just want you to do it, or sell them the product, because they see the value.
Brand Marketing is not the quickest return, but it is the one that pays 100x in the long term.
A great brand is more valuable than the best ad. Just ask the big boys.
Here is the key thing to remember when creating your brand:
1:Don’t Try To Get All The People, Just Try To Get Your People.
In Branding, your goal is not to get every person in the world to buy from you. First, that isn’t possible, so don’t set yourself up for a sense of failure. Your goal should be to create a brand that aligns with the specific people you want to attract. Trying to attract everyone will wash out the brand by being generic and will actually attract no one. So narrow down to a specific group of people that you can help or connect with, and then make sure that group needs what you offer.
Think of “Who needs/wants exactly what I offer?”, “What do they all have in common?”, “What is the feel/look they can relate to?”, “What is my story (why you exist) and how can I get that across in a relatable way?” and lastly “Do they need what I am offering, why?”.
Once you have that, you are well on your way to creating a brand “your people” will love.
If you will think of Brand Marketing as the before, then Direct Marketing is the after.
Once you've established a brand and built the value in it, then it is time to begin Direct Marketing. Direct Marketing is when you ask people to do business with you and extract the value you have built within your brand.
Where you direct market depends on the traffic of your target customers. As an example, targeting people with discounts for senior citizens would not do well on TikTok, but if you slide that into the 6am news cast, you are on to something. The list of where you can place your advertising gets longer every day, but here are a few popular examples we use daily: Printed, Radio, TV, Social Media, Search Engine, YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, Podcasts, TikTok, Email Campaigns etc..
How you direct market is based on your brand. If your brand is built on trust and reliability, a "call now", "click here" style campaign would not yield great results. For this example, you would want to approach your target audience with testimonials and reviews with a great price and they will figure out how to click or call without you saying it. This is "on brand" direct marketing.
The key to direct marketing is making sure any advertising is managed correctly. Every ad investment should be tied to a measurable. Things like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels, and other tracking tools are great for seeing the results and ROI of your campaigns. Reporting is really the key when it comes to seeing what works and what doesn't. The old saying is true, "Numbers Never Lie", and your reports will tell the story.
“The money is in the follow-up”
Don’t discredit leads on ads that didn’t buy the first time they interacted with you. Typically they just need some additional love like social proof (testimonials/reviews), or maybe the timing was off. Have a CRM (customer relationship management software setup to put the leads in then begin to drip emails to them and build that relationship. You should also place the people who did buy in this software so you can retain them and create brand loyalty.
How do you know when you have built enough value in your brand to start direct marketing?
This is not as easy as one particular stat. This one takes some testing. Typically you can look at things like traffic, following, engagement rates to see trends and if you are still growing or have enough to begin extracting (direct marketing). The testing is running small investment ads and seeing if the ROI (return on investment) is at least a 3:1 return. So if you spend $1 on the ad do you get at least $3 back? If yes, you are ready to scale your direct marketing, if not, you still need to build brand value.
HOW WE CAN HELP:
It's a lot to consider, and we pride ourselves on being very good at understanding your business and providing cover for the blind spots most people miss.
We'd love to start a conversation with you, get to know your business and goals, then provide you with a custom strategy to help you hit those goals through marketing.
You can get started with either of the following options: