Digital marketers (including me) have criticized the old “brand awareness” game, where that was the only measurement we focused on to show that our marketing is any good. I’ve often tried to get companies to focus on actual direct marketing metrics and conversions, reasoning that if they buy from you then at some point they probably became aware of you.
But don’t let that focus on measurement lead you to the conclusion that brand marketing itself is unimportant. Sure, we want metrics focused on sales, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need a strong brand. What’s really true is that brand is more important than ever for the simple reason that digital marketing makes marketing important to more companies than ever.
In the old days, B2B companies had no marketing more elaborate than, “What should we put in this year’s brochure to bring to the trade show?” Small businesses had even fewer marketing decisions to make: “Half page or full page ad in the Yellow Book this year?” But digital marketing means that you can affordably reach even the smallest group, so suddenly your brand matters a great deal more than ever before.
Every business must think in terms of digital branding that reflects who they are as a company. Your newsletter, your website, your social media presence, and many other marketing tactics now make sense for any type of business, and with that, your brand matters more than ever before.
What do you stand for? How does that image start with the first digital touchpoints and carry through in every interaction with your company? Digital marketing means that you are competing with companies far and wide that you never had to worry about before. How do you differentiate when being the one down the street no longer matters?
These are big questions that every business must face in the digital age, but we do want to help you solve them. We’ve launched a series of Biznology Jumpstart Workshops to help you navigate these new challenges in marketing, and Denise Lee Yohn and I are pleased to offer a Brand Marketing Jumpstart Workshop on-site for your business to introduce or revitalize your company’s brand.
But whether that makes sense for you or not, don’t be caught puttering along with the same old marketing playbook as the world changes around you. If you market online, you have a digital brand. If you have a business, you have a brand. If your brand is literally selling your company short, you need to do something about it.