I have a lousy neighbor. There, I said it. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and one of my neighbors, let’s call him Jim, is a lousy neighbor.
Why, you might ask, do I say that Jim is a lousy neighbor? Well, because I’ve loaned him gardening tools on occasion and he never brings them back without, after waiting for weeks, me asking for them. Then he acts insulted that I want my tools back.
After multiple interactions with Jim, I just don’t trust him anymore.
This interaction is illustrative of a marketing principle that we refer to as Brand & Demand. Through years of marketing considered purchases, we have found that focusing solely on demand — the “action” activity in a marketing transaction — leads to diminished results. We have also found that relying heavily on branding — the “trust” portion of a marketing transaction — provided similarly diminished results.
The insight we’ve gained from our years in the business is that you need both trust and action to move your target audiences toward a transaction. You need both brand and demand messaging with calls-to-action to optimize marketing transactions.
You need a balance of brand and demand.
I have another neighbor that I trust a lot. Let’s call him George. George also borrows garden tools from me. And he brings them back promptly. Not only that, but he brings them back clean, with a “thank you” and a tip or two about how I can get my lawn to fill in a little better. George knows how to build trust, and as a result, he can help himself to whatever he might need in my garage. George has achieved a proper mix of brand and demand.
What we know about Brand & Demand isn’t based on anecdotal experience alone. In 2021, BrandAction Agency verified this with a study of over 3,000 industrial marketers to understand the level of success reached using just branding, just demand, or a balance of both.
We discovered that marketers who balance branding and demand generation activities are 42% more likely to be successful than those that don’t.
These results have been repeated elsewhere. In 2019, The Marketing Practice fielded a study focusing on the need for both long-term branding and short-term demand-generation activities. The study found that B2B marketers that added branding activities to the demand activities already being executed outperformed competitors by two-to-one.
And, also in 2019, a study from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising showed that the optimal balance of brand and demand in both digital and traditional marketing is a 60/40 split: 60% branding, 40% direct response. That’s how you ensure optimal impact when it comes to pricing power, awareness and sales.
The bottom line is, if you want to be successful in marketing and considered transaction, you need to be a George, not a Jim. You need to build trust and credibility before calling for action.
You need to practice accelerating branddemand℠.