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Know When to Act Like the Big Boys, and When Not To

How many small business marketers wish they had the brand power of Nike? That is, the ability to put just one little symbol on a billboard and know that every viewer will perfectly understand what the advertisement is for. It’s probably every creative’s dream as well, to stop cluttering up advertisements or web designs with what they believe to be non-essential copy and call-outs.

The truth is, the majority of us don’t have that power. Surprisingly though, you see a lot of marketers get stuck when they have to choose between creating that clean, branded advertisement, and a more info-packed piece. So when should you act like a big company and concentrate on branding and when do you concede to your own business needs like call-outs and longer copy?

If you have to choose, the general rule would be to brand to those that have seen you before, and create less-branded assets to those that have not.

Prospects that have researched your business before should know your capabilities (based on the effectiveness of your informational marketing scheme), so that is your opportunity to create more of a brand experience. You have the ability to shift their focus from features and benefits, to more emotive communication.

As for prospects that have never heard of you, they need to understand your capabilities more before you can offer an experience. This is especially important in a world full of marketing noise at every turn. You need to create urgency and deliver clear product or service benefits – rather than simply creating a brand vibe.

I bet some of you disagree and see it the other way around, that the experience should come first and then the offer. So let’s look at it from a return on investment perspective that businesses usually base their accounting practices on.

When purchasing advertising to prospects that are likely unaware of your business, which advertisement will give you a better return on investment, branding or an offer? I would bet an offer would win 99 times out of 100.

Now, if you can combine an offer and branding cohesively, good for you. But many marketers feel that to have one, you lose the other, and vice versa. This should give you something to think about.

By Modern Postcard

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