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The unspoken truth about Brand Marketing vs Direct Marketing

13 Jan, 2022 | Digital Marketing التسويق الرقمي
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Most companies are in a race to the bottom and this piece of marketing wisdom will help you change that

“Marketing”, “Branding” and “Digital” are the buzzwords we hear a lot these days, but most companies are missing the plot entirely. Here is some “back to the essence” advice for a world drowning in ad-noise.

You can’t measure brand, but you can measure direct marketing ads. And you as a marketer or a company should be measuring direct marketing advertising. Direct Marketing is “measured” marketing; if you can measure it you are most likely talking about direct marketing. Direct marketing allows you to make changes based on feedback – you can change from day to day or week to week or month to month depending on whether direct marketing is fulfilling its goals. Brand marketing is the Cheetos logo for instance or the Airbnb logo – you cannot test the Airbnb logo every day like you can do with direct marketing because it’s part of their brand story. A brand is a what and how you tell the story of who you are. This is also precisely the reason why a lot of marketers love brand marketing because you cannot test it and they can get away with bad brand marketing for a long time. And that’s also the reason why brand marketing has not evolved much.

Companies like Google and Facebook get all of their ad revenue from direct marketing – from people buying clicks, impressions, and reach that they meticulously measure. And they meticulously measure everything because they sell the clicks for 10 cents (for instance) – if the clicks work they can sell the clicks to your competitors and tell them that they can buy the clicks for 12 cents. This auction drives up the price and that is where Google and Facebook make billions of dollars. And even though Google and Facebook make all the money while advertisers make a lot less, they still pay for it because it’s better than zero. What we are seeing therefore is that the world has switched to direct marketing in a big way and that is because the metrics of brand marketing aren’t appropriate.

The unspoken truth about Brand Marketing vs Direct Marketing

What does that mean? If you are an individual who is counting Instagram followers and YouTube views, you are engaging in direct marketing. And if you follow the algorithm it’s a race to the bottom because you are optimizing yourself to be like everyone else – because that’s what gets the clicks. Smart brands like Airbnb and Nike are in a race to the top. They will use direct marketing when they should and use brand marketing for the rest of the time.

In a more broader sense, brand marketing is aimed at making our culture better – it might and it should have a direct marketing element to it, but mostly it’s a brand marketing exercise. And companies that are built around that idea have a better chance of doing brand marketing that resonates with people and touches them at a deeper level that goes beyond clicks, impressions and finding the best price on those pair of shoes.

Here is another way of thinking about brands: If Tesla came up with a phone, they would have to do very little direct marketing to hit their revenue targets. And that’s because most of us are sold on the idea of the brand called “Tesla”. Now imagine if you were blindfolded and taken to the inside of one of Marriott, Sheraton or Hyatt; would you be able to tell which one you are in? My guess is “No”. Because there is not enough brand promise and “what we stand for” and “what can you expect from us every single time” in the brand beyond their logos.

As a company – whether you are a startup or a somewhat established enterprise, there is always a lot of wisdom in thinking about and caring about your brand and what you promise. We at PrezLab strive to help companies achieve that with our branding services in Dubai and across the GCC and as well as with our presentation design services.

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