…Hmmm, well it depends. Nice and vague, I know.
It really depends on what type of company you are.
So, if you are a well known B2C company, then branding is crucially important to everyone. The brand reputation is critical.
However, if you are the majority of companies that are either B2B or lesser known B2C, then it’s perceived to be less important.
If we take a typical B2B small to mid-sized company, I would suggest that the CEO doesn’t care a whole lot about branding itself (or let’s say their interest in spending gobs of money on branding is minimal). Yes, they understand that your company’s brand needs to be known. Yes, they get that your brand has a reputation and personality that needs to be consistently conveyed.
However, in the end, many CEOs really want to understand how the money you spend in branding translates to revenue. And that’s where the difficulty comes in.
It’s understood in marketing that branding, often like PR, does not always have a direct correlation to revenue. And even if they influence prospects to buy from your company, it’s hard to quantify that.
There are some things that marketers can do that might give CEOs an understanding of the value of certain types of branding.
What most of this comes down to is tracking the influence that advertising and other brand building campaigns have on revenue. If you can track digitally how someone came upon your website, landing page, or social media conversation, then maybe you can see if over time that same lead ended up spending money with your company.
It’s really important that your digital tracking covers your prospect over the life of the lead. What I mean by that is that rarely do you have a campaign that targets cold leads who get engaged, search around your website, call a sales rep and buy. Most often, your company will have a series of interactions with that lead over time. Some of these interactions will be in areas where the prospect surfs (online pubs, social media, blogs, etc.), and some are from outbound initiated campaigns that you push to the prospect over time.
What we need to start measuring is if a lead sees your brand, your advertising, your social media, etc. at some point as a prospect or lead within your system. We’ll then track if that lead ends up generating revenue (or moving onwards as an opportunity within the pipeline). If so, you can start measuring your inbound campaigns, social media, and possibly branding dollars spent.