Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Author: Drew Gula, Copywriter at Soundstripe
Aggressive selling has been a tried-and-true method for a lot of companies, dating all the way back to… Well, for as long as marketplaces have existed. If there is an opening in the market or some other advantage available, it only makes sense to go on the offensive and pursue it.
But rather than just throwing all of your resources into lead-generation ad campaigns, are there any other ways to build your company and grow your audience?
Marketing has evolved a lot in recent years. Part of that can be tied to the SEO revolution and the slow death of traditional advertising. But another part — and perhaps a bigger part — is that consumers have gotten savvy to the old marketing tactics.
Everyone has a sixth sense for marketing now, and pushing a product is more likely to drive someway away than create a new lead. And because it takes 5-7 impressions for consumers to remember your brand, you need to build a relationship over an extended period of time.
Thankfully, all of that evolution has created new ways to approach marketing and sales. And one new path in particular has gained some serious traction all across the business world.
The Ins And Outs Of Branding
We’ve all heard idioms like “If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward.” There’s an instinctive fear of becoming stationary in the business world, of falling behind the competition and missing on opportunities. After all, “missed opportunities” translates to “loss of revenue” or “business for your competitors.”
But is aggressive selling the best answer? Is a devout focus on the bottom line the most accurate indicator of success? And more importantly, is this ideology the healthiest way to build a sustainable business?
Brand marketing offers a new way to think about business. It steps away from sales-driven advertising and instead puts the focus on building a brand, and then letting that investment contribute to sustainable growth.
To put it simply, companies are doing things that make people like their company and their products.
In fact, 52% of people expect brands to know when to communicate and when to stay silent. Pushing monthly sales and sending hordes of cold emails can work, but they no longer feel “organic” or “authentic.” If anything, they’ll come across as an indication that you’re oblivious to what your audience wants from you.
The primary goal of brand marketing is connecting with people. It’s not about capturing an email, creating a sales opportunity, or even closing a sale — the focus is engaging with your audience, from lifelong customers to people who never heard of your company before.
At the lowest level, brand marketing takes more of a “street view” perspective. Each piece of content is built around a single goal to target a single piece of your audience. That means scrapping the shotgun approach of spreading the focus too wide and missing the mark completely.
By giving a defined goal to each piece of content (web ad, email, social post, etc.), you can make sure that everything contributes toward the same goal. And by developing a brand that is customer-focused rather than sales-focused, your company will develop a reputation and a loyal audience that will start to organically spread and grow.
Why Brand Marketing Works
You can probably think of a handful of companies that you’d describe as the “cool kids” in their respective markets. That reputation doesn’t mean they’ve got the biggest budgets or the flashies ads — it means they have built a successful brand.
Apple will never push its products on you or spam your email because the company has absolute confidence in its products to speak for themselves. And that sort of relationship inspires the same level of confidence in customers, turning leads into brand advocates practically overnight.
This process feels organic. There’s nothing overtly sales-y going on, and people admire that. It’s a piece of Apple’s brand that competitors envy and customers love.
One major reason this works is because brand marketing is a long-term strategy. Companies that orient around short-term goals are the aggressive sellers, chasing trends and trying to be as efficient as possible in the moment.
Brand marketing, on the other hand, says, “If we build it, they will come.” And according to Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is the most important goal to chase.
Building a brand affects every facet of a company. Yes, it affects how people view the company. But having an established brand also creates opportunities to try new things, whether that is new features or entirely new products. And because people trust the company, they will be more willing to try new things (and, in many cases, pay a premium for them).
Inherent Risks In Changing Tactics
On the other hand, brand marketing is by no means a guaranteed success. Making any big transition can be downright nerve-wrecking, with effects that spread across every variable or performance point.
The obvious hurdle with brand marketing is that you have to relinquish some control. This tactic can start to feel a little passive simply because you aren’t aggressively chasing sales. And when your numbers start to drop, it’s tempting to panic and reverse course while you can.
Additionally, you’ll have to consider brand positioning before you make any strategy changes. Defining your brand is a big achievement, but if you aren’t catering to what your audience expects, then all of that work will be for nothing.
At the same time, you want to position your company in a way that helps it stand apart from the competition. The worst case scenario is building a brand that feels like a carbon copy of a competitor, or even a successful company from another industry.
Brand marketing works — there are enough case studies and statistics out there to prove it. And just like every company should craft a unique brand, each company will experience a different move away from sales-driven marketing.
Use that to your advantage. What about your company or product is unique? What do your current customers love about your company? Build a brand around that, and eventually you’ll start to see positive results. And the best part is you’ll do it all without beating people over the head with flash sale emails and aggressive marketing ads.