No need to sacrifice brand for sales

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Jeff Haggin
Jeff Haggin

Marketers' two big weapons have been judged very differently. Brand market­ing — managing consumer perception — has been gauged by studies that measure brand health. Direct marketing — moving consum­ers to purchase — has been judged by sales response. But the rules have changed.

These times demand advertising account­ability and ROI. Better measurement tech­niques and technology exist to monitor and communicate through an increasing number of direct marketing channels, while increasing the ability to drive Web activity and transac­tions. Meanwhile, budgets keep tightening.

Marketers now need to simultaneously establish a strong brand and achieve measur­able sales results, uniting branding brain and transactional brawn. But we should under­stand the key drivers to successfully teaming up these once-separate marketing forces.

Maintain consistent brand delivery across online and offline channels, and across brand and direct marketing messages. Consumers now encounter all brands offline and online and across the spectrum of brand and direct communications. Only absolute consistency articulating the brand will reach consumers with the full impact of all communications.

Be as flexible as the medium demands. You won't succeed with one-size-fits-all cam­paigns. You may have to coordinate all mar­keting activities so that they work in concert to simultaneously create impressions and sales. Or the best move could be a holistic approach where every single ad, DM piece, and press release carries your message, aimed together to elicit a response.

Consider all the opportunity at Web-enabled touchpoints. A transaction or response can take many forms, from asking for more infor­mation to placing an order. We can measure all of these activities and move a prospect closer to purchase. And they are all possible because of the Web, providing marketers with valuable data and metrics to forge a relationship, make a sale, and develop a loyal customer. The Web not only makes a new approach possible, it necessitates it. Online communications and Web presence disconnected from offline com­munications with strong brand representation will confuse prospects who are only one click away from a competitor. To make that criti­cal, penetrating connection with consumers, marketers must present a consistent look and feel across channels.

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