Too often, marketers and corporate communications leaders have the tendency to believe that a strategy or campaign has to have a singular goal and focus: either brand awareness or demand gen. One or the other.
I think this likely goes back to the increasingly archaic separation of PR and marketing, siloing those two objectives within different departments that were as often adversarial as they were integrated, feeling a need to compete for budget and command.
But with an environment now in which audiences don’t completely distinguished between earned, owned and paid content, it is not only possible, but essential to create strategies and campaigns that cross over and combine brand awareness and demand gen to provide target audiences with a cohesive message from start to finish.
That approach is sinking in, as shown in the infographic below from LinkedIn, with more than 50 percent of the platform’s advertisers saying they want to run “brand” and “demand” campaigns together. The reasoning? When brand and demand are integrated, the combined effort considers the entire buyer journey, from awareness to a purchase decision.
An integrated content marketing approach will address both brand awareness and demand generation by creating a continuum of messaging to reach all levels of the sales funnel, both the cool leads who are just getting to know your brand and the hot leads ready to make a purchase.
So, why is there a disconnect for many marketers? I think the first chart in this infographic hints at the reason: brand awareness and demand generation marketing result in different metrics. Therefore, organizations who are focused on only short-term metrics may overlook the long-term benefits provided by investing in brand development. Marketers with a leaning toward brand marketing may minimize the potential short-term impacts of a strong demand gen campaign to kick-start revenue.
It takes both.
We strongly believe in developing integrated strategies that combine proven brand awareness tactics that traditionally fell into the PR lane—bylined articles, media outreach—with more urgent demand generation tactics such as targeted paid content and email to jump start the sales cycle.
Take a closer look at some of our philosophy and success:
Our Campaign Planning Calendar Template provides a look at what such a campaign might include, prompting your team to consider all levels of the sales funnel and all possible marketing channels as you develop a year’s worth of content for your brand. Download it today to get started, or schedule a time on my calendar, and I’d be glad to walk you through the process we use in creating campaigns that balance brand and demand for the results our clients truly need.