One of the main reasons that the marketing strategies of many Small to Medium sized businesses does not work is because they do not fully understand the difference between Brand Marketing and Direct Response Marketing. As a result, they try to implement a combination of both and, as a result, achieve neither.
Brand marketing is normally used by large companies to build and increase awareness of their brand. While there is no doubt that this type of marketing ultimately results in increased sales (or they would not be doing it), it is a long-term strategy. It is designed to differentiate them from their competitors on the basis that their brand will become more famous (and therefore attractive) to potential and existing customers. The problem with brand marketing for most SME’s is that it is very expensive because it utilises virtually every promotional tool available, from TV and radio advertising to bill boards and sponsorship.
Direct response marketing is marketing which results in a direct response from your target audience. The type of response may vary depending on the type of business you are in and your overall marketing strategy. You may, for example, want the response to be an immediate purchase. Alternatively, you may want the response to be for someone to contact you to set up a meeting. The great thing about direct response marketing is that you can instantly tell whether it is working it either produces a response or it doesn’t. This enables you to test and measure the impact of your strategy on a small scale and change it if it is not working or increase it if it does work.
Brand marketing is, therefore, not normally a good way for a small to medium sized business to invest their marketing budget. If you run an SME, the only type of marketing you ever want to consider is direct response marketing. The only purpose of direct response marketing is to produce a clear response.
So now you now know the difference, review your marketing strategy and ensure that everything you do is focused on direct response marketing. If it is not, stop it and change your strategy.