Are You Building Your Brand or Selling Your Products?
By Bob Stimolo
Building brand is an attractive notion, but for most school marketers it is a poor investment. Building brand is a long-term, multi-media investment that only the largest companies can afford. Most of us need to focus on selling our products.
Brand marketing entails investments in consistent messages spread over time and through all media. For most companies it is difficult, if not impossible, to track its impact on sales. Most companies that practice brand marketing measure its effectiveness through research and surveys, but there is no way to tie brand awareness to sales.
Some brand marketing is necessary for those companies that primarily sell through a sales force. However, not every company that employs a sales force invests in brand marketing.
Direct Marketing is the Better Investment
Direct marketing continues to be the better investment for sales. Direct mail and email are the most likely to deliver the best ROI. However, there is good direct mail and not so good. The same is true regarding email marketing.
Most of our organizations are strong in product development, but few of us are strong in marketing. This is because product development and marketing are like oil and water - they don’t mix very well. Product development is about understanding the subject. Marketing is about understanding human nature.
A Marriage that Works
Our clients focus on their products and services. We focus on their marketing. It is a marriage that works. They get the best of both worlds, drawing on their experience in product development and our experience in marketing. And they don’t spend money on marketing personnel that have little or no experience in the education market.
If you have been tempted to invest in brand marketing and yours is a small to medium sized organization, invest the money in more direct marketing, primarily direct mail and email. When you cannot think of a way to spend one additional dollar in direct marketing, revisit the idea of brand marketing.
Want Suggestions on How to Improve Your Marketing Program FREE? Call 800-838-3444, x201 to schedule a FREE ½ hour telephone discussion with Bob Stimolo or email firstname.lastname@example.org.