There comes a point in time when every brand faces the difficulty of prioritizing investments for the greater good of the mission. What's more important, awareness or demand generation?
Ideally, these important pursuits are equally supported, balanced, and their contributions to marketing plan success is measured. Awareness of your brand is chiefly related to increasing the size of your audience whereas lead generation targets or limits those people or entities down to different levels of action or buy-ready prospects.
At Merit Mile, our approach to the awareness and lead generation mix is rooted largely in the concept of integrated marketing communications. The formula is unique to every brand, but we have had considerable success applying integrated “air-cover” and “ground cover” formulas.
Air cover marketing focuses on awareness strategies including product or service launch communications, media relations, and editorial pursuits within the mass media or trade media. Ground cover marketing focuses on lead generation activities that fill the sales funnel with some mix of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or sales qualified leads (SQLs).
A key aspect of finding balance between these two critical marketing pillars is striving to be sure they are not silo'd or stand-alone initiatives. An air-cover awareness campaign can provide lift for a lead generation campaign and vice-versa. For example, that public relations publicity within a trade magazine, industry portal or even a TV interview can drive traffic to various direct marketing vehicles such as a social media hashtag initiative or, more conventially, a conversion-focused landing page. And of course, your email marketing efforts can use third-party air-cover coverage to build trust and credibility with your prospect audiences. Analytics and marketing measurement techniques are no longer nice-to-have, they are “musts”… and proper pivots can make or break your marketing ROI. Altogether, success in this type of top-down and bottom-up approach hinges on timing of exection. Similarly, having the business and marketing agility to move and edit marketing communications chess pieces among tactics in real-time bolsters even small budget campaigns.
For more insights, set up a call with a Merit Mile associate today.