When it comes to marketing your business, is there a constant battle in your head (and your marketing department) between brand awareness and lead generation?
The struggle is real—even if you buy into the idea that your brand’s message is important, in practice, it’s often hard to allocate manpower and resources to something that won’t immediately impact the bottom line in a quantitative way.
But it’s time.
Time to stop concentrating on lead generation and start focusing on building your brand.
Time to believe that if you build your brand strong enough, they will come.
We have a long-standing client who was, when we met him, all about generating the lead. And generate we did—about 250 leads per month. But it wasn’t until we were able to shift his thinking away from collecting contacts and onto building his brand and positioning his company as a trusted leader in his space that the business really took off. Last year, his company’s revenue doubled, and they are already on-pace to kill it again this year.
Research says that more than 70% of buying decisions are based on how a customer feels. It’s been proven repeatedly that when it comes to making a purchase, customers turn to the brands they know, trust and care about. So why should anything other than getting customers to know, trust and care about us be driving our marketing efforts?
Renowned executive coach and former head of PR for Sony, Universal and Turner Broadcasting
Libby Gill puts it this way:
…the most successful individuals and organizations know that before they win market share, they must capture the mindshare of their customers—that is, their heads, hearts, trust and loyalty.
That’s the secret: leveraging your brand message to get into a buyer’s head—and stay there.
How do you do it?
The first step is to strategically define a consistent message for your brand. More than a logo, your brand is how your company defines itself, how you would like others to perceive it. It’s also your ticket to standing out in a cluttered landscape of competitors.
The next is shouting the message from the rooftops. The obvious places to start are digital—having a strong website, an engaging blog and a content-heavy social media presence are key. But it doesn’t start and stop with the marketing department—your brand identity needs to come through in all aspects of your business, from customer service to sales to paid advertising campaigns.
It’s basically all about switching up the process. With lead gen, you go right in for the kill, usually before a prospect has a chance to get to know you. Following a brand awareness strategy reverses things—you are building a reputation, developing relationships and positioning your business first. When the prospect is ready to become a customer—boom! You are top of mind.
Obviously, the end game of any marketing campaign should be increased sales. By shifting your marketing focus to a solid brand awareness strategy, and allowing yourself to stop seeing the capture of a new contact as the absolute measure of success, the customers will follow.