CMO.com recently featured an article about why CMO’s are not good at selling the concept of brand awareness. On the surface, this seems almost incomprehensible to me, as it is a basic fundamental truth of marketing that brand awareness is the first step to inducing purchase. However, this notion makes sense in the context of CMO’s selling brand awareness initiatives to the CEO. Typically, a CEO will ask how much a brand awareness campaign is going to cost and what is going to be its impact on sales. Impact on sales is often considered only with a short term time horizon. In terms of a short term horizon, awareness campaigns may not make a difference. However, that does not mean that awareness campaigns are without value. Depending upon the product category a brand resides in, awareness initiatives can take anywhere from a month to years to show material impact.
Why should a marketer invest in awareness?
- According to research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, those classified as leaders also consistently outspend laggards on awareness marketing. Overall, leaders spend twice as much on marketing as laggards.
- Laggards outspend leaders on demand generation marketing initiatives, but see lack of growth, share and profitability from their demand generation efforts.
Do you want to be a leader or a laggard?
What are some easy ways to see evidence of an increase in brand awareness? The CMO.com article identified some, and I’ve added to the analysis below.
- An increase in email opens
- An increase in webinar or seminar attendees
- More followers on a social media platform. Ideally, this is accompanied by an increase in comments, likes and PTAT (Facebook), though those items are metrics of engagement. Awareness should lead to engagement.
- More website visitors, and website visitors being routed from a company blog or discussion forum posts.
How does the Distributed Marketing Platform play a role in building brand awareness?
Quite simply, the platform touches most of these areas. The essence of the platform is the optimization, management and distribution of content across multiple marketing channels in an integrated fashion. Clients can use the platform to enhance their webinar and seminar efforts, to become more effective in social media marketing, and as a means of driving website and microsite traffic. Our detailed tracking and reporting capabilities can provide the insight into marketing activities to know that awareness is being developed. With developed brand awareness, companies can move to the next phaseof the marketing cycle, brand interest/engagement. Awareness, Interest and Desire are known to lead to action. The desired action from most brands is a purchase.
Brand awareness is where it all begins, and companies are not making the correct fundamental marketing decision to neglect the awareness part of the marketing process. It’s way more difficult to market effectively without building a well defined brand that a target audience is aware of.