My clients all have personal investments. For the most part, they’re smart with both their private funds, and their marketing dollars. But sometimes I wish Marketing Directors would treat their marketing budgets more like their personal investments.
I work in a full-service, direct-response-focused advertising agency. Lately we’ve been noticing a trend where there’s less distinction between a ‘brand’ advertiser and a ‘direct-response’ advertiser. Many new clients come to us for beautiful, branded TV ads, and we get to educate them about how to consistently drive sales. Other clients come to us because they heard we’re the ‘DR Experts,’ and we get to educate them on developing their brand.
The thing is; you have to have both. Immediate sales is necessarily to prove positive ROI, and show the higher-ups that your campaign works. Many advertisers that only focus on the immediate though never grow outside of their small, initial campaigns.
It’s just like personal finance. You need a steady income for the everyday needs, but invest simultaneously to get where you want to be in the future. The younger you are, the more risk you can take on.
Companies don’t follow these principles with their marketing dollars though. They usually spend the least in the very beginning stages, when they should be taking the most investment risk, assuming gains in Brand Equity over time will overtake any losses.
Every day that goes by without someone seeing your ad is a missed investment opportunity.
Luckily, my agency solves for both transactions and brand-building at the same time. We can only go as far as our clients are willing, though. Some companies simply don’t have the funds or the time to develop long-term strategies, establish a strong brand identity, produce the highest-quality communications, surround each consumer touch-point, and put enough air time behind channel.
Not many companies are ready to view long-term brand-building just like their personal investments. However, I’m ready to continue this discussion and ask the tough questions that illuminate the future goal.