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Small Business Marketing And Advertising

Branding vs. Direct Response

Small Business Branding Advertising and Marketing an Oxymoron?

Unless you're a ubiquitous consumer products company, the value of branding is far, far less than the value of direct response. What good is impressing someone with your brand if he or she never comes into contact with your business again? Why would they come into contact with your business again if you haven�t gotten a direct response?

Branding is essential for Coca Cola and Microsoft and all the other consumer giants because they don't need direct response. Their offering is available every time you drive down the street, so burning their logos into your eyeballs will actually make you more likely to buy. But if you have to search out the business, having a logo floating in your consciousness won't be enough to motivate you.

Even if branding alone could drive business, how long will it be before that logo or slogan or jingle has left your memory forever? A few hours? A day?

One of the basic requirements for branding is repetition. Numerous repetitions. Like seeing the little Microsoft flag every single day, in the lower left corner of your screen, on your computer's case, in magazine advertisements and on television commercials.

One visit to your website or one glimpse of your advertisement won't accomplish this�and remember, unless you have Microsoft�s budget, one exposure is all you�ll likely get if you don't get a direct response.

In reality, even numerous exposures to your brand might not be enough. There's only so much room for logos in people's minds, and you've got an awful lot of deep-pocketed competition for that space.

In contrast, if someone requested a whitepaper from you, or called in for more information, you would have their attention for much longer, even if you never followed up--which you could do, since you had their contact information.

The Two Cases when Branding Makes Small Business Marketing Sense

1. When branding enhances direct response rather than detracting from it.
      Good branding enhances trust in your business. A good tagline, graphic design, and logo can also make it instantly clear what your business does, allowing users to go directly to your message without having to decide if you�re worth listening to.
      Simply put: if you�re a watchmaker, put a watch in your logo, and the word "watch" in your name and your tagline or slogan. When you�re selling services picking a logo can be trickier, but it can be done. UpMarket Content�s logo is a scroll and pen. Just make sure your logo communicates what you do, rather than something foolish like a black rocket for an advertising agency.
      Yet while branding usually enhances direct response, you should not hesitate to sacrifice branding if it hurts your response. If you find that a different tagline or font does significantly better in getting responses, run with them.

2. For branding to work: When you actually do have the opportunity to impress your brand on the same person dozens of times over the course of an average month.
      For branding to work, you don�t just have to maximize total exposures, but exposures to unique individuals. Let�s be absolutely clear: in terms of branding, exposing 1,000,000 people to your brand once each is infinitely less valuable than exposing 1,000 people to your brand 1,000 times each. You have to maximize exposures to the same individuals. Aim for a hundred exposures per individual if you want to really enter people�s consciousnesses.
      Of course, it may take far fewer than a thousand individual exposures. If someone is sitting in front of your branding advertisement for more than a few minutes, they may in fact be exposed to it dozens of times, each time their line of sight crosses it. But this kind of long-term exposure is likely going to cost you more.

Maximize Your Brand Exposure

How can you ensure that your brand advertising will maximize your brand exposure per unique individual? Place your brand advertising where users will come back often to see it. For instance, a banner on a website that has a strong following of returning users, or an advertisement on the local diner's placemat.

Even when branding does make sense, direct response will often also make sense, so you should combine the two if possible. For instance, at the bottom of a banner advertisement with your logo and tagline looming large, put a button labeled "get more information." Or, underneath your businesses sign, put a telephone number with an offer to get more information.

Because if they never visit or call, who cares if they have your logo burnt onto their retinas?

Joel Walsh


Joel Walsh is the owner, founder and head-writer of UpMarket Content. To read more about website content best practices with Mr. Walsh, see: this article, and don't miss Joel's other articles:
* Spyware Malware Quiz: Most people who think they know all about spyware, Trojans, viruses, and other malware really don't. Take this quiz to make sure ...
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* Web Scan-ability Joel Walsh shares the rules of writing for the web
* Web Content Strategy 101: our web content makes or breaks the profitability of your site. Here's how you can develop a strategy
* Accepting Charge Cards at your web site Joel writes about Accepting Charge Cards at your web site
* Adware Installation Stealth Tactics: Joel Walsh writes for spyware-refuge.com about malware removal
* Getting One-Way Inbound Links The Five Major Strategies
* Beating Adware, the Sneakiest Software how promoters of adware use cunning tricks to get you to install their software on your machine
* Web Scan-ability.
Joel Walsh writes for Collection Agency Law
Joel Walsh writes for Collection Agency Law


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