Why Brand Awareness Is Important (and What To Do If You Can’t Afford It)
Broad brand awareness ads allow businesses to get in front of a wide audience. When you’re a media marketer in Omaha, Nebraska, it’s the “broad side of a barn” approach; your message is effective because of how many people are exposed to it at any given time. The more often you run brand awareness advertising, the greater the chances that when the consumer has a need for a product of service, your brand will come to their mind.
It’s safe to say that advertising focusing on the essence of your brand is an effective way to raise awareness. It is not, however, inexpensive or efficient.
“There is a time and place for brand awareness advertising,” says Patsy Sumner, founder of MediaSpark. “It’s especially important during the launch phase of brand or rebranding, when the goal is to generate as much buzz as possible around your company name, its logo, and its most important messaging. The goal here isn’t to sell or convince someone to buy right away; the goal is to take up so much brain space as possible that when the consumer is ready for your product or service, you’re the only brand they can think of.”
That “top of mind” reference can be hard won, but it also can be hardwired, especially if you take the time to establish a strategy and enlist the help of marketing experts who have experience in big-picture, high-impact campaigns.
Due to its price tag, however, broad brand awareness isn’t always an option for many businesses, at least not all the time. “It doesn’t mean you can’t compete without it,” Sumner adds. “It just means you have to be super targeted in your approach and your messaging so that when it lands, it sticks.”
Here are three ways to stretch your brand awareness budget for maximum impact.
• Know your audience. Every business should know who they are targeting, and every media marketer worth her salt knows you need to know when that audience is online, tuned in, and engaged. You can’t just be within earshot; you have to speak then they are listening.
• Budget strategically. Firms like MediaSpark can stretch marketing dollars by using tactical spending as it aligns with corporate objectives. “The company brings their budget and goals, and we bring the research and data into the equation,” adds Andrea Brendis, MediaSpark. “It’s a lot easier to create a powerful marketing solution when you have all the pieces.”
• Hit it from several angles if you can, when you can. Repetitive, positive exposure is key. Just like the ad jingle you can’t get out of your head, messaging and branding should be catchy, consistent and constant; the best campaigns include digital, radio, television, and out-of-home advertising products like billboards, bus banners, and sponsorships.
• Build your brand from the ground. Word of mouth can make or break a brand, so if marketing dollars are slim, focus on establishing a solid reputation and integrity around your products and services. Get involved in your community, your local Chamber, and the areas where you can make a positive impression.
“Broad brand awareness campaigns can take a little while to pay off, but they are essential for the long-term success,” adds Sumner. “Think of it like a wide, but short, sales funnel. You may be capturing a lot of soft leads, but once they need you, it’s just a short slide to the sale.”