Business who blend brand and demand marketing will ultimately achieve far better results.
Research by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising shows that the optimal balance of brand and lead generation marketing is a 60% branding/40% direct response split, in digital and traditional marketing.
“If your ratio is skewed too much one way or the other, you’re going to get suboptimal results,” the IPA says. “If you just have brand marketing without lead generation, you can’t move potential customers through the sales funnel. They may know your brand, but they’re not actually connected with your company. You can’t drive sales if there are no leads to convert.”
Brand marketing works on a very different timeline to lead generation marketing. And while it takes longer to develop, it’s a strategy that yields better returns for businesses in the long run.
Ten years ago only 47 per cent of marketing funds were allocated to lead generation, according to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Fast forward to 2019 and that number has increased to 72 per cent.
Lead generation marketers’ ability to show a short-term sales gain means they are more successful. But the IPA study found that while these direct response efforts produced quick hits they became less effective over time. Comparatively, the fruits of a successful branding campaign were still going strong long after lead generation marketing had dropped off.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions says businesses should have the patience to stick around for the long term.
“The war on brand isn’t a war worth fighting,” LinkedIn Marketing Solutions says. “Remember that it’s not a competition. You all have the same goal and you all play a role in reaching that goal. So negotiate a truce, with a 60/40 split of the budget between branding and lead generation. Don’t just focus on short-term successes, think about your long-term goals.”
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions worked with a credit card company to see what would happen if it synchronised brand and demand.
They started with a direct response-only campaign which achieved a 0.2 per cent conversion rate. But when the campaign was paired with brand and demand they recorded a 1.2 per cent conversion rate – a substantial increase.
So negotiate a truce with the 60:40 rule to achieve maximum effectiveness.