Short answer? Any good business needs both. Long answer – it depends.
Marketing professionals at large organizations spend a lot of time talking about conversion optimization, buyer journey aligned content, trigger campaigns, marketing automation and all the elements that come with a fully developed marketing team of twenty. For everyone else, it can get overwhelming quickly so over the next few weeks we are going to talk some of the basic marketing strategies every business needs before diving into lead workflows and persona development.
Before selecting a single tactic or starting to work on creative, we first need to talk goals. What is the purpose of spending money on marketing if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve? At the end of the day, marketing strategies boil down into two different areas, brand awareness, and lead generation. Each one has its own approach, goals, and purpose.
Who are you and do your customers know that? If push came to shove, would they put your name on the list when asked to name ten companies in your industry with excellent customer service? If the answer to that is yes, what you have is brand awareness. This is a critical component of the marketing tool box.
The some of the marketing tactics that live within Brand Awareness are:
- Targeted Display Marketing
- Acquisition Email
- Social Media
While you can use every one of these as part of a lead generation campaign, their primary function belongs in brand awareness. Putting your name in front of the right customer on a consistent basis allows you to seep into their consciousness.
For example, I never really had the need for a plumber but hear radio spots and see display ads for plumbers on a daily basis. Then low and behold, my basement was full of water last weekend. Rather than starting from scratch, I instantly recalled hearing an ad about a 24/7 plumber with high BBB ratings. Guess who I called?
It’s not about instant gratification with brand awareness, it’s about gaining those impressions so when the need arises, your potential customers become your customers.
This is the more numbers driven marketing tool. Lead Generation is all about the actual customers gained. It’s about funnel management and cost per acquisition. Pick a metric, and you’ll find it in lead generation.
The marketing tactics we leverage most often for Lead Generation are:
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Live Chat
- Website Development
What do all four of these have in common? They are there when potential customers are ready to buy. They are actively looking for solutions to problems like “best plumbers in Atlanta” or “divorce attorney in Denver.” They may even already be on your website researching your solution to their problem.
Lead Gen (as the cool kids call it) is all about making the phones ring or getting coupons redeemed. It is offers you want people to take action on now vs. building a longer term relationship.
Marketing can easily get over complicated, but if you can break down your plan into these two sections, you are at the start of something exciting.