Branding campaigns tend to be more general in nature, promoting the general visibility of a company. In addition, the primary goals of these campaigns tend to be rather basic; a branding campaign is generally not evaluated on advanced metrics such new accounts or memberships, time on site, or item downloads.
Branding vs. Direct Response
There are two general types of display ad campaigns:
- Branding: The focus is on getting relevant ads in front of as many qualified viewers as possible. In many cases, branding campaigns will have messaging that promotes the company in general.
- Direct Response: The focus in on driving visitors to a landing page, and often on generating new accounts, leads, members, or some other additional step beyond simply clicking on an ad. Direct response campaigns will often promote a specific product or service, or at least have a specific objective.
The screenshot below from CNN Money includes an example of both types of display ad campaign:
The smaller ads near the top for TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE are classic direct response ads; the goal is to get visitors to open a new account. Clicks on these ads that don’t lead to new accounts are ultimately worthless to the advertiser. These campaigns are likely evaluated on one key metric such as cost-per-new account; the company may be willing to pay up to $100 for every new account opened. Sites that don’t meet that threshold will be cut from the campaign.
The medium rectangle ad for Gucci on the other hand, is likely part of a branding campaign. Though the advertiser obviously wants visitors to click through and complete a purchase of Gucci apparel, the primary goal is to build brand awareness that may lead to purchases down the road. As opposed to the direct response-focused TD Ameritrade, every ad impression shown is valuable even if it is not clicked because it helps to familiarize visitors with the brand.
Gucci likely generates a relatively small percentage of total revenue from online sales, and uses web-based ads to build awareness of its brand and products. As such, it will be pretty difficult for the company to directly associate future revenue (which may come at a bricks-and-mortar store) with an ad impression served weeks earlier.
Direct response campaigns tend to be more intensely managed, analyzed, and optimized than branding campaigns. Direct response campaigns also involve a higher turnover among partner publishers, as agencies test potential partners and quickly cut those that don’t perform. Branding campaigns tend to return to the same sites over and over.
If a site is not performing in line with expectations using key metrics such as cost per lead or cost per new account, the advertiser or agency is likely to shift the spend. This may involve reallocating dollars within a campaign to different line items or cutting a publisher site entirely.
There tends to be a very high hurdle for direct response campaigns; if ads on a publisher site are not meeting the minimum metrics needed, that spend will be eliminated. Branding campaigns, on the other hand, tend to be much more forgiving. Advertisers often see value in maintaining a presence and high share of voice on certain sites even if metrics such as click-thru rate or cost-per-click are high.
From a publisher and ad seller perspective, branding campaigns are appealing because the advertiser has limited interest or ability to measure impact. While all spends are carefully planned and budgeted, the mid-campaign changes and optimizations are relatively rare in pure branding campaigns. Publishers have a lower risk of underperforming and seeing their spend cut.
Why using branding strategy
Even though branding strategy lacks an instant gratification of direct response, it measuring success on long term returns. Branding looks to gradually earns the trust of your prospects over time.
And here’s why you should choose branding strategy:
- Competition and Saturation
Direct response is able to optimize your campaign to improve the result, but you still constantly fighting against your competition to acquire customers. Instead, branding strategy does the opposite of this, it puts the people and company brand at the forefront and attempts to achieve a level of existence where your primary competition is your own self-sustainability.
- Advertising technology
Advertising technology makes branding strategy easier to execute in some very exciting ways. We can get our message out using content instead of sales pitch and ease the prospects into the sales funnel and re-target them after they leave. it’s still measurable!
What is branding?
Branding is a type of advertising that aims to remind customers and prospects of your brand as well as the product or service you offer by delaying response messages.
What is the goal of branding?
Branding goals are to help your company establish its position in the market place for the long term. It gives you a competitive distinction from your competitor by conveying your customers and prospects what makes your product and service unique, different and better.
What is a branding challenge?
To achieve an impactful branding, it relies on continuity, consistency, investment, and delivery on the brand’s promises. The minute you stop investing in brand development, your competitors swoop in and erode your market share.
Who benefits from branding?
Branding is a very effective marketing strategy but it’s not for everyone since its very expensive to pull off and it takes a lot of time.