The power of the brand in a digital world
With more advertising spend allocated to digital channels due to cost efficiencies and data-led targeting, how does the power of the brand fit into this new world advertising?
In a time where companies are moving more of their advertising spend to digital channels due to the cost efficiencies and data led targeting, marketing managers and CEOs are often left wondering how the power of the brand fits into this new world advertising, writes Alex Jordan.
Everyone acknowledges that this is a complicated and tricky question for marketers and business owners alike, as the way customers consume content and information is vastly different than it used to be.
In digital there are two ways you can acquire a customer or sale
To understand the power of the brand in digital there is a fundamental element of acquisition you need to understand. There are two distinct ways you can acquire a customer, sale, or lead in digital.
1. Through someone who knows and has affinity with the brand so goes directly to your website or in-store and does not look elsewhere. They want a certain product, and they want it from you.
2. Someone who either doesn’t know your brand or is uncertain about who they want to pick for a product, so looks around and makes what is known as a “non-brand search”.
Both of these options have the ability to convert a customer online, however option two has a far higher cost of acquisition.
Why? Because you are competing both indirectly and directly with other companies, all with the same data-led targeting, trying to acquire the same customer you are. Most digital channels work like an auction, so if you have eight companies all vying for the same customer, the cost to get their eyeballs on your product becomes increasingly higher.
The customer is the supply, and the eight people bidding for their eyeballs become the demand, therefore skyrocketing the acquisition cost to get that customer.
So what does brand have anything to do with this?
Spending time and resources creating and developing a strategic brand that resonates with not only a user’s head, but also their heart, lets you start to play in option one.
Think sneakers; if you need new shoes, are you Googling and looking around for sneakers?
I would assume you go straight to Nike or Adidas’s website because you have emotions that connect you with that brand. Those brands are already subconsciously in the consideration cycle of the customer before they go online to begin their search.
And the cost to acquire that customer? Zero.
You don’t have competitors if a customer searches or looks directly for you, therefore making the pitch for brand increasingly popular.
Brand vs acquisition
So, should you focus your efforts on creating and activating a brand? Or acquiring every customer you can to keep cashflow humming in the short term?
The answer is actually both. This is where digital and brand agencies intersect. Pushing out paid and organic content that aligns with brand guidelines lets you play in both spaces, almost like the middle section of a venn diagram.
Brand and digital agencies should work closely together to strategically mould a strategy that, in turn, creates long-term success for the client.
Otherwise, it is a race to the bottom in a competitive market.
Alex Jordan is a digital and data specialist. Email jordanoptimisation.co.nz