1

Becoming an official sponsor of the Olympic Games is expensive.

But what if your brand wanted to APPEAR to be an Olympic Games sponsor without paying the typical sponsorship fee? Is that even possible?

Yes, it is possible, if you are adept at guerrilla marketing (affiliate link) and are willing to try a sponsor bomb strategy. A sponsor bomb, similar to a photobomb, involves getting near enough to a major sponsorship property to be able to bask in the attention it generates – without running afoul of the sponsorship property owner!

How do you sponsor bomb the Summer Olympics?

Here is how we applied guerrilla marketing principles to create a sponsor bomb for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at my former company, a global business-to-business transportation services provider.

The Background for the Strategy

Guerrilla Marketing - Sponsor Bomb the OlympicsOur company wanted to send a message to a focused target audience of employees in our headquarter locations – Kansas City, MO and Cleveland / Akron, OH – and the broader local communities. The message was our company was still viable, had a global perspective, and had the stability to be associated with a major event such as the Summer Olympics.

The guerrilla marketing approach involved a series of 4 identically-structured television commercials starring our own employees from around the world. Each commercial delivered the same message and was featured in heavy rotation during local advertising breaks for the NBC affiliates within the Summer Olympics in our headquarter TV markets. While we skimped on metrics (because of a very tight budget), the overwhelming feedback of people in both markets was a belief that we had to be a major sponsor of the Summer Olympics.

4 Keys to Sponsor Bomb a Major Sponsorship Property with Guerrilla Marketing

From our experience sponsor bombing the Olympics, here are our takeaway guerrilla marketing lessons to developing and implementing a sponsor bomb strategy:

1. Figure Out All the Places Where the Event Will Be Visible to Your Target Audience

If you’re going to sponsor bomb successfully, identify everywhere the sponsor property will be visible – in-person, traditional media, online, etc. Once you have done that, figure out which venue is most likely to overlap with where your target audience will be viewing or participating in the event.

In our case: The opportunity was to buy time in the local TV affiliate breaks since it was affordable and allowed us to target audiences in Kansas City and Cleveland/Akron.

2. Mass Inferior Resources to Maximize the Impact

When you are using a guerrilla marketing strategy in place of a traditional sponsorship it probably means you have inferior resources relative to traditional sponsors. The difference is though, you may have proportionately more dollars to put into marketing the sponsor bomb effort. You need to orient the marketing mix for your sponsor bomb strategy to have the biggest possible impact when you can be active, even if it means passing up having a presence elsewhere / at other times.

In our case: We put our advertising investment into only the two (eventually 3) local markets with 15-second TV commercials. These shorter commercials were less costly, allowing us to buy approximately 100 or more airings  in each market coming into and leaving local break in the Olympics. The result was if you were in either local market, we seemed to “own” the Olympics broadcast because of the high frequency we achieved.

3. Keep Your Hands Really Clean

With a sponsor bomb strategy, you don’t want to run afoul of the sponsorship property owner or other sponsors. That means it is vital to understand what you can and cannot do, say, and represent relative to the property.

In our case: We could not show the Olympic rings, but the legal team said we could say “Summer Olympics” without naming the host city of the Olympics.

4. The creative execution should be more strategic than creative (and it must be incredibly creative)

Creative execution for a sponsor bomb has to integrate strongly with the rest of the sponsor bomb strategy to maximize the impact with the target audience. The creative has to match up with the objectives, the budget, and how you are deploying resources. To make the sponsor bomb work, creative that generates a big “wow” without supporting every aspect of the strategy is just a wasted opportunity.

In our case: To stay in budget, we had to go with lower production values. The idea of featuring employees played into lower production costs, plus it put the target audience right into the Olympics advertisement. The repetitive structure allowed us to feature more employees (4 different versions of the ad) while not compromising the advantages we were getting from the high frequency we were able to achieve with 15-second advertisements (featured below).

Have you tried or seen a similar guerrilla marketing sponsorship strategy?

There are multiple ways you can employ this type of non-traditional sponsorship strategy. As we’ve discussed previously, The Brainzooming Group used a variation of this approach to create the Building the Gigabit City sponsorship. While it may be more challenging strategically than a typical sponsorship approach, the rewards for your effort can be tremendous! – Mike Brown

 

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5

What impact does social media audience building create and is it really worth it to increase the number of Twitter followers you have?

Twitter Followers - Social Media Audience GrowthOver the weekend, a Brainzooming blog reader tweeted congratulating me on how many Twitter followers we enjoy for the @Brainzooming Twitter profile and hoping “they generate lots of work/business.”

There is certainly a common expectation of spending time on social media being able to DIRECTLY generate business. The view is fueled by SO many tweets, blog posts, webinars, etc. promising to tell you how to make this phenomenon happen. It is not, however, the reason I started investing time building a social media audience.

In fact, I created a Twitter profile well before The Brainzooming Group started. Social media paved the way to to build a social media audience and get the business going even though revenue generation wasn’t an initial element of our social media strategy. Instead, the number of Twitter followers and other people in our social media audience provided a platform and additional external credibility to launch The Brainzooming Group.

All of this is to support why we talk about whole-brain social media metrics, recognizing there will be both quantitative and qualitative benefits from a social media investment, and each type of social media metric can be important from both a business and/or a personal perspective.

11 Benefits from a Growing Social Media Audience

With that backdrop, here are eleven of the wonderful things the very kind Twitter followers who are part of the @Brainzooming family contribute to our business.

Twitter followers:

1. Help build the @Brainzooming target audience – Through recommendations to friends, sharing Brainzooming content, and #FollowFriday tweets (among other ways), @twilli2861, @marketingveep, @justcoachit, and others have increased @Brainzooming Twitter followers to reach part of our target audience we might never have reached as quickly.

2. Create credibility – Holding and growing a base of Twitter followers over multiple years is an indicator of the value of the social media content and interaction we have with each other. This credibility from our social media audience has helped open doors for social media strategy work and was integral to being named to the Innovation Excellence list of the Top 50 Innovation Tweeters.

3. Provide opportunities for additional exposure within the target audience – Twitter followers have provided a variety of new opportunities to increase exposure for Brainzooming among their target audience members. @ToddSchnick has provided multiple ones just by himself, including radio interviews and appearing in his new Kicking Fear’s Ass eBook.

4. Allow Brainzooming to be “seen” with them – Through tweeting with @Just_Stacy recently, a friend of hers was introduced to the Brainzooming Twitter profile and contacted us about developing and delivering innovation training for her company.

5. Introduce the brand to new people – It was an online introduction and follow-up that led to meeting @BobFine and the opportunity to write for his award-winning magazine The Social Media Monthly at its launch.

6. Help define and position the Brainzooming brand for our target audience – One of the metrics I find most rewarding is the number of Twitter lists on which our account is listed in relation to the number of followers. Additionally, through the names of these lists, we get an understanding of how people group and view the brand. (If you have not reviewed the list names of which you are a member, you need to look. It is tremendously instructive.)

7. Share motivation and encouragement – There are a few friends (including @amyrnbsn) who will reach out if my tweets seem “down” to cheer me up. You cannot put a price on that!

8. Point me to intriguing content – I look toward the people on Twitter to point me to great content online. They send me places I would never find for myself.

9. Offer counsel – These conversations usually happen via direct messages and have helped me think through both personal and business issues more effectively. @EAlvarezGibson has been the dispenser of much of this beneficial counsel.

10. Offer creative inspiration – So many people to point to here, but a great example is @DoseofCre8ivity and her 30 Days of Creativity project in the summer of 2012 that was a daily inspiration to for so many people.

11. Help us understand what social media content resonates with people – Retweets and responses to Brainzooming content are tremendously helpful in shaping our social media strategy. Retweets while I was sleeping were an early indicator of active engagement from the Brainzooming Twitter profile global audience, prompting a move to a 24-hour sharing schedule.

What impact do followers have for you or your business?

As I finish this list, I realize I forgot to include all the Twiter friends who have written guest posts, of which @WBendle has clearly been the most prolific, and meeting new people in my hometown, i.e. @JordanEM.

So in response to this weekend’s tweet, this is a PARTIAL list of benefits I get from the great Twitter followers @Brainzooming has for its Twitter profile!  – Mike Brown

 

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If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5

Want to take on an intriguing personal challenge for the week?

Level 5 Decision MakingNot only make fewer decisions, but also INFLUENCE fewer decisions.

What I am talking about is trying to embrace more Level 5 decisions this week.

Level 5 Decisions

In his book, “The End of Marketing as We Know It,” (affiliate link) Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing Officer at Coca-Cola, discussed the five levels of the decision making process he used relative to his team.

My boss, Greg Reid, read the book by Sergio Zyman and employed four of the five levels of decision making with our team:

  • Level 1 – His decision with no input from the team
  • Level 2 – His decision with input from the team
  • Level 3 – Consensus decision (This is the one Greg ruled out; we did not have consensus decisions.)
  • Level 4 – A team member’s decision with his input
  • Level 5 – A team member’s decision with no input or influence from him

Some co-workers found the five level decision making process difficult, but it proved very freeing since you knew ahead of time what type of input or approval you needed to keep an initiative going.

While there were very few Level 1 or Level 5 situations with Greg, I have tried over time to embrace more Level 5 decisions. The key has been not necessarily caring about things less, but caring intensely about fewer things. Now I try to focus on only being an influence on decisions involving what matters strategically.

If nothing else, experience has demonstrated on many occasions that even when a small thing does not go as I wanted, everything still works out and frequently works out in some other unexpected positive way.

Ready to Allow More Decision Making without Your Influence this Week!

I invite you to join me this week to see if there are decisions you used to make or try to shape that can be left to other people. Rather than being nerve racking, as I’d expected, embracing more Level 5 decisions has mainly provided a lot of peace, relief, and importantly, growth for those I work with as they get to exercise their own strategic decision making skills.

So, what do you think about this decision making process? Are you ready for more Level 5 decision making without your influence this week?  – Mike Brown

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4

Seeing painful examples this week featuring social media completely devoid of real brand personality means it’s time to create a simple social media personality audit.

Social media content with no brand personality?

Social-Media-Personality-AuditExample 1: The Financial Institution

There’s a TV advertisement running in Kansas City for a financial institution’s new blog targeted at women. The TV advertisement features five women in a kitchen, supposedly talking and sharing in a very “it’s just us girls” way. Apparently by “just us girls” though the financial institution means “in a very stilted, formal, artificial, and awkward” way.

When you check out the financial institution blog, the “stilted, formal, etc.” sentiment carries throughout its site. The five women in the ad obviously represent five personas for the blog. But instead of depicting real people, the five women are characters with phony descriptive names tied to each persona’s life stage and some variation of the financial institution’s signature color.

Let’s just say the dearth of activity on the financial institution blog suggests nobody feels like hanging out in the virtual kitchen to talk and share with these phony personalities.

Example 2: The Vet Clinic

Then yesterday, after visiting our vet to pick up the cats, the vet clinic popped up on Facebook with a status update about a new blog post. I clicked the link and scanned the last three vet clinic blog posts. All three blog posts were about products to keep away from your pet. Helpful information, without a doubt. But the information appeared (based on the blog design information) to be generated by a company specializing in on-hold call systems. As a result, the vet clinic blog posts had the personality one would typically associate with an on-hold call.

This is in stark contrast, however, to a very friendly and warm vet clinic where vets, techs, and other staff have shown us tremendous support as one cat faded and get genuinely excited and have a special nickname for our other cat when she visits the cat clinic.

10 Question Social Media Content Personality Audit

These two social media examples so devoid of brand personality sent me looking for definitions of individual personality and brand personality to spur my creative thinking.

Based on the words suggested in the Wikipedia entries and our experience with good and bad social media content, here are 10 questions the financial institution, the vet clinic, or your brand can ask to see whether you are putting enough personality into social media.

Apply this 10 question social media personality audit to see how any social media content from a brand does. Give two points for every “Yes” answer and no points for every “No” answer:

  • Is there an overriding emotion this social media content suggests?
  • Would you know the attitude employees of this brand embody from its social media content?
  • Are the behaviors your people display when they go above and beyond to help customers clearly suggested?
  • When you see this content, does it appear as if it could be shared in a genuine conversation or letter exchange with someone who knows you?
  • Is there a level of familiarity suggested that customers or potential customers would expect when they dealt with your employees in person?
  • Does this social media content have a spark of imagination and spirit?
  • Will the information shared via social media pass the “straight face” test?
  • Does the tone and delivery of the social media content treat the reader with clear respect?
  • Will a reader walk away from this social media content enriched both intellectually and emotionally?
  • Would people legitimately want to spend more time with the person delivering this social media content?

Let’s see how you did!

Grading the Social Media Content Personality Audit

Here’s how to score a brand on the social media personality audit:

  • 18 or Greater: “A” – You are delivering personality throughout your social media content
  • 16:  “B” – You’re showing more personality than most are in social media
  • 12 – 14: “C” – Social media content you produce might reflect aspects of your brand personality, but it could easily be missed
  • Less than 12: “Fail” – Your social media content probably has drab stock photos (even for what should be employee images), copy that should be on your website and not your blog, and status updates that read like short-form press releases

Who is doing it right?

If you want to see a local brand that has really impressed me of late by oozing its brand personality in social media content, check out the Kansas City store, STUFF on Facebook. It’s located on my favorite creative block in Kansas City, and in the face of a lot of generic retail social media content, STUFF shows you can showcase your brand personality in an imaginative way every day.

Oh, BTW, there is a caveat

Most of the creative questions, strategic thinking exercises, and innovation-inducing tools shared on the Brainzooming blog spring from real-life organizational situations and have been tried and tested.

This social media audit hasn’t, at least in this form. It’s all stuff I fully believe and espouse, but this attempt to share it in a new way isn’t client tested. Because of that, I’d love to see you apply it, and let us know if you think it’s appropriately categorizing the good and bad of social media content you see. – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming email updates.

 

If you’re struggling with determining ROI and evaluating its impacts, download “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track” today!  This article provides a concise, strategic view of the numbers and stories that matter in shaping, implementing, and evaluating your strategy. You’ll learn lessons about when to address measurement strategy, identifying overlooked ROI opportunities, and creating a 6-metric dashboard. Download Your Free Copy of “6 Social Media Metrics You Must Track!”

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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8

“When Everything Is in the Cloud, What Does ‘Place’ Mean?”

That was a quote from the inaugural Gigabit City Summit courtesy of Josep Piqué, Director Strategic Sectors – 22@Barcelona during the wrap-up section of the inaugural Gigabit City Summit. Amid so much great discussion and information sharing during the global conversation, this comment from Josep Piqué stood out to me as a very rich, life-changing strategic question in the years immediately ahead.

As more of the “things” we work and play with are digitized, they have the potential to become omnipresent. When you start to digitize organizations and the structural elements that give organizations their presence and power? Well then, if not all, than a whole bunch of bets are off.

This was exactly the point that Simon Kuo raised when the early Building the Gigabit City results were shared. Simon talked about how education and businesses will be turned over as physical structure is completely re-envisioned.

These points got me thinking about some of the areas affected if “places” becomes irrelevant. I will admit, this list is not based on extensive research or philosophical exploration. I simply started a list of ideas about what place might mean and some of the related areas that could start to change.

What Does Place Mean?

Place is where someone or something is from . . .

  • It shapes a person or object’s history and background
  • It’s somewhere you stay or leave and may return to in the future

Place is where people meet and congregate . . .

  • Governing happens
  • Learning happens there
  • Information and opinions are shared
  • Spiritual beliefs are celebrated
  • Friends are made

Place is where functions are carried out . . .

  • People work
  • Marriages happen and families are created
  • Money is saved, spent, and invested
  • Teaching and learning happen

Place is where people are entertained . . .

  • Movies are shown
  • Concerts are performed
  • Sports are contested

Place is where goods and services are consumed . . .

  • Goods are sold and bought
  • Medical treatment is provided

Places are where people reside . . .

  • Property is sold, bought, and owned
  • They are defended
  • People live, raise families, and are buried
  • Taxes are paid

How would you change this list?

There are clearly duplications and omissions among this list inspired by Josep Piqué and Simon Kuo. Would you help build and improve it by sharing your ideas on what “place” means and how it shapes our lives today . . . and will in the future? – Mike Brown

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How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

The Brainzooming Group joined with the Social Media Club of Kansas City in summer 2011 to plan Building the Gigabit City. The initial Building the Gigabit City effort was a large-scale brainstorming session to imagine what Kansas City could be like with ultra-high-speed Internet courtesy of the introduction of Google Fiber on both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the state line.

The initial Google Fiber brainstorming session continues to lead to a variety of other outputs, including the free 120-page “Building the Gigabit City” report recapping the concepts and ideas generated at the session. The session also produced a recap video with a variety of brainstorming session participants sharing their hopes for a new Kansas City.

What’s Next? The Gigabit City Summit: A Global Dialog on Smart and Connected Cities

Most recently The Brainzooming Group has partnered with Curiolab and Sandel & Associates to create and produce the Gigabit City Summit, A Global Dialog on Smart and Connected Cities. This series of global discussions held through Cisco Telepresence, is allowing experts worldwide to meet, share their expertise, and convey best practices from the implementation of next-generation city efforts. Participants throughout the Gigabit City Summit sessions will include:

  • City leaders at the forefront of next-generation communities
  • Industry and community experts who manage smart/intelligent community initiatives
  • Vertical experts in industries highly subject to disruption by a faster, more seamless Internet, including media, healthcare, education, government, entrepreneurship, and venture capital

We held the first Gigabit City Summit session on June 27 to set the stage for the entire series of events. Presenters included Mayor Joe Reardon from Kansas City, KS (Wyandotte County), Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, MO, and author Tim Campbell who provided an overview from his book Beyond Smart Cities – How Cities Network, Learn and Innovate (affiliate link). You can listen to the entire inaugural Gigabit City Summit session online to get a sense of the topics we’ll be covering monthly.

 

 

Participate in the Gigabit City Summit

As a Brainzooming reader, I want to personally invite you to listen and participate live via WebEx, courtesy of the Smart + Connected Communities Institute, to the next session on Leadership, Organization and Community Challenges. The session will take place live on Wednesday, July 25th, 7:00-9:00 am CDT and will be available for replay afterward.

The second Gigabit City Summit will features representatives from innovation hubs around the world, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hyderabad, Singapore and Toronto. In addition the co-chairs of the Mayors’ Bistate Innovations Team, Mike Burke and Ray Daniels, along with David Warm, Executive Director of Kansas City’s regional planning organization will talk about preparation for the arrival of Google Fiber, which is scheduled to make a major announcement about the Kansas City Google Fiber product launch on July 26th.

Sponsor the Gigabit City Summit

Beyond listening to the sessions, there are sponsorship opportunities for organizations who would like to engage in these global, next-generation cities conversations.

Gigabit City Summit sponsors can take advantage of exclusive networking, content marketing, and thought leadership opportunities, in addition to a variety of other sponsorship assets. The sponsorship document below highlights the Gigabit City Summit and the related sponsorship opportunities for the series of events.

Contact me at info@brainzooming.com  if you’d like to discuss how your organization can become directly involved as a Gigabit City Summit sponsor.

 

Let’s keep the conversation going! – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

 

      (Affiliate link)

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

For many B2B marketers, a brand building marketing strategy can mean pulling budget from product-focused marketing initiatives that directly drive response or purchase with the target audience. All too often branding is treated as a mutually exclusive marketing strategy set distinctly apart from the response-based strategies used in product- or solution-focused marketing efforts.

 

In fact, responsibility for brand strategy and product marketing often resides in different departments. For those organizations, the answer to bridging this gap is typically instituting formalized brand usage guidelines. And while it’s one element of successful branding, a unified look driven by corporate identity standards is sometimes mistaken for implementing an integrated brand strategy.

It is easy to understand why branding and direct response strategies have historically been isolated.  The messaging, media and metrics used to guide each are polar opposites by definition.

The Great Abyss

Strong, relevant brands have identified the emotional drivers associated with their value and have successfully integrated those emotional pulls into the messaging, tone, and imagery aimed at the target audience. On the other end of the spectrum, successful direct response relies on the pragmatic purchase decision levers with offer strategies that drive a particular action such as a limited time value-added benefit or price break.

Beyond the corporate identity, brand strategies are often synonymous with large branding campaigns communicated most frequently through trade publications in B2B markets, but also through television and radio. Comparatively, direct response has predominantly been implemented through one-to-one media such direct mail and, more recently, interactive media.

Finally, branding success is measured over time against softer brand awareness and recognition metrics, while direct response is measured immediately through definitive response rates and sometimes actual transaction levels.

Given the difference in approach, media and metrics, it is easy to understand why most B2B marketers do not have the budget or resource to fully support both brand and product advertising strategies. As a result, neither typically gets accomplished very well as part of addressing the target audience in a marketing strategy. 

Closing the Gap

But what if you could fuse the benefits of direct response and brand advertising? If successful, you would ensure the core values of your brand were consistently communicated to the target audience and at the same time drive directly measurable results. Using a hybrid approach that integrates the right mix of brand message and response options/offers, along with a performance-based media strategy, can maximize a marketing budget and drive branding and product marketing results.

By definition, good marketing builds the brand and sales by effectively identifying and measurably motivating a decision maker or influencer to take a desired action while continually reinforcing a desired belief. The road map to integrating the benefits of these two marketing strategies can be illustrated through two key B2B marketing tools. The common denominators in B2B media strategy tend to be direct marketing and trade pub advertising; nearly all B2B marketers use both media more heavily than TV, radio or even interactive. Using a direct branding philosophy, the approach to developing and executing each medium would look a little different.

A Marketing Strategy with with Message and Metrics

It’s a messaging challenge. The direct strategies used to motivate a decision maker or influencer to take action now can be counter-productive to the overall brand if not executed properly. The brand message tends to get lost or more likely traded off for messaging that supports only the product features and benefits as well as the call to action. Take the time to weave in your brand.

The insights that drive successful direct marketing are usually very data driven, such as business or demographic descriptors, to drive list source evaluation and acquisition. The insights allow you to target the right audience for the highest anticipated response. That shouldn’t change. However, integrating in the insights that drive strong brand definition shouldn’t be overlooked.  Branding insights are dialog driven to ensure relevant messaging. There is a heavy focus on understanding the motivators as defined by the customer needs and expectations which is often overlooked in developing direct campaigns or mailers.

If it hasn’t already been done within your organization, identify the two or three key brand message points that need to come across at every point of communication with your target audience and infuse those message points through copy, imagery and/or tone of the piece.

Now you’ve successfully integrated your brand, not just your logo, into your direct response strategies. And with every direct interaction, you build brand relevance and equity.

Infusing Direct Marketing Strategy into Branding Initiatives

Isn’t every message, regardless of the medium used to deliver it “one-to-one”?  Ultimately, the goal is to connect with the reader if we’re communicating through trade publication advertising. But what does “connecting” mean? In traditional branding terms, it means we’ve instilled the desired belief about our brand.

That isn’t enough for B2B marketers working on shoestring budgets which is why pure branding campaigns are rarely leveraged.  If the ad could instill that brand belief and entice them to take some type of action – link to a Web site to learn more about the company or product, request more information or even purchase – then you’d have a strong direct branding ad.

Integrating solid direct response strategy into mass media is accomplished in two ways:

  • Including a call to action that drives the reader to a centralized point of contact like a Web site, landing page or an 800 number. The ultimate value lies in response/leads you can measure and the opportunity for one-to-one contact over time.  In addition, it enables a real measure of interaction with your brand.
  • Weighting the media strategy toward performance-based media buys instead of simply relying only on the traditional reach and frequency plan.  This is a balancing act, but increasing media spend with publications that actually generate stronger response to your offer is like increasing spend with a particular list source that’s generating the highest response to your direct campaign.  You wouldn’t keep mailing to a list that doesn’t respond. Balancing the brand exposure benefits of traditional reach and frequency media strategy with productivity based on interest/response generated is a critical element of a solid direct branding strategy.

Now you’ve successfully integrated the value of driving leads and direct measurement of relevant interaction with your brand into your branding initiatives. – Barb Murphy

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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