Branding and Lead Generation in a Noisy Marketplace

In a world of advertising noise, two things can substantially help your business stand out from the competition and resonate with your customers.

Alfredo Navarrete-Villanueva

To say that the current marketplace is a noisy one is an understatement. Not only are most markets saturated, but the number of channels used to reach target audiences are almost infinite. There’s Print, TV, Social Media, Bill board, Radio and Search to name a few.

Many brands are confident that their product’s USPs are unique enough to cut through the noise organically.

The reality is very different. Amongst so much media activity, chances are that no matter how amazing your product is, unless you have a strong brand and a clever strategy to go with it, your marketing efforts will be wasted.

On the one hand, products and services need to understand the need to create a proper Brand (A brand is much much more than just a logo). On the other, we have Lead Generation.

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For a long time, marketing professionals viewed these two as independent exercises. Marketeers know both need execution but have historically looked at them at different times in their marketing schedule, with individual purposes. With so many new channels and so many different brands in the market, this is no longer effective.

Both have very specific goals.

Branding wants consumers to know, identify, follow, and loooooove your product.

Lead generation seeks to identify and nourish relationships between consumers and products, ultimately prompting the consumer into taking some form of action.

In today’s environment they have to work hand in hand to be meaningful. Any product or service that thinks that branding and lead generation can exist one without the other will be doing itself a disservice.

What exactly is lead generation?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business’s products or services.

What is a brand?

The most recognisable part of a brand is indubitably the logo. But a logo is only one of the many manifestations of a brand. A brand is not media dependent and is represented visually through colours, shapes, patterns, words or through audio, sounds, jingles, theme tunes even smells or tactile elements (the ultimate expression of a brand is actually immaterial).

So what do these two marketing elements have to do with each other and how do they work together?

According to comScore*, attention spans are limited, so your strategy should encompass this.

The Attention Economy

We have become a society rich in information but poor in attention. With vast amounts of information out there, the sales and purchasing processes have change drastically and have almost been turned on their heads.

Previously, brands would rely on paid media to reach their target market. Today, more and more consumers rely on earned and owned media to make a purchasing decision. This means that the consumer has taken control on what messages they receive, when they receive them and which ones they will act upon.

How the Times Have Changed

Traditionally, marketing would generate leads for sales. Sales would then talk to buyers and buyers expected to have to talk to sales. Sales would usually engage in an educational process that would hopefully result in the consumer taking action. Many new leads are inbound.

Today consumers are well informed and choose what information they want to see. More importantly, consumers don’t have to talk to sales unless they want to.

So how do you get consumers to talk to sales in todays’ world?

By making sure consumers feel an affinity towards your brand. A consumer will need to know your product, know what your product stands for and what others think of it. The sales team has to be conveying the same message as all your other consumer touch-points in order to be convincing.

Many of their leads will now be dependant on how strong the brand equity of their product or service is. And a brand’s equity will only grow and become strong through a well thought out marketing programme that includes lead generation.

Marketing will keep changing and it will do so at the same staggering speed that technology does. No longer can a brand expect to succeed by approaching marketing in silos. A brand that expects to have some longevity needs to be constantly nourished and be evergreen.

A brand that wants to keep generating leads and drive conversions needs to build its equity and credibility and a great part of this constant re-generation and growth will stem from a healthy lead generation programme.

*https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/21/comscore-ceo-millennials-need-5-to-6-second-ads-to-hold-attention.html