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There are more ways than ever to communicate with prospects. From traditional mass media to cutting edge digital technology, the ever- widening array of media vehicles assault the senses daily. This “fragmentation” makes the job of the marketer extremely difficult- there are plenty of communication vehicles, but which ones will the target market utilize? One old school of thought is that of “Branding”. Branding simplified involves finding a key differentiator within the company, owning it, wrapping consistent messaging around the core idea and spending enough money so that it will be seen and understood by the target market.
Branding, which once held court as the flavor of the day (now its social media!) is really a 50-year-old idea. A corporation could spend enough money to run their ACME Coffee ad on network TV and the chances were great that it would be viewed by many households given that there were only three channel choices. Branding is really about awareness. It can contain a call to action, but the chances are great that no action will be taken by the market based on a mass media delivery.
What most people are looking for in this recessionary period is not branding but lead generation. Branding can definitely support and assist lead generation, but quicker Return on Investment is accomplished through lead generation. Branding takes years of repetition to take hold. Lead generation, through the use of direct means such as personal contact and direct marketing though traditional and digital techniques can return immediate results. Lead generation involves a specific offer to a specific market that requires a response. It is an aggressive form of promotion, trackable and can have an immediate positive impact on the bottom line.
By Woody Stoudemire