An Overview of Marketing Tactics - Use the Right Marketing Tool for the Job

Are you using the right marketing tactics to achieve your business goals?

The right tool for the job makes the task easier. The same goes for marketing. Choosing the correct tactic to achieve your goals is vital to your overall marketing plan success.

Too many executives, however, hear or read about a particular tactic, and then it becomes their pet tactic. They go to a seminar that talks about Facebook advertising, and suddenly, they want their marketing team to enact a Facebook marketing plan immediately – even though their target customer is on LinkedIn or the company has already tried Facebook advertising and gotten no results.

I can’t tell you how many meetings I have sat in as a consultant and heard company leaders demanding to know why this tactic or that one isn’t being done as if a particular tactic is a magic bullet that will fix their marketing problems.

There’s no magic bullet, and there is no one ‘right’ marketing tactic to solve your particular problem. However, there are some guidelines about what tactic to choose based on the specific situation you want to solve. Below is my list. It is not the only list. However, it should serve as a sound general guideline for those who wish to use it. As with all things in marketing, test, measure, repeat what works, and discard what doesn’t. Give any campaign enough time to make an impact before changing things. And always – without exception, without fail – focus on your audience and where and how they like to receive information.

Examples of Marketing Tactics and The Goals They Achieve

Advertising

Print, television, radio, display, digital, social media ads
Best for lead generation, direct product sales, and acquisition marketing (such as building up an email list for future marketing). It can also be used for branding and product awareness.

Direct Mail or Email

Direct mail (old-fashioned “snail mail”), email marketing

Best for direct product sales and lead generation. Email marketing through newsletters is good for retention, i.e., “keep in touch” marketing with your customers.

Content Marketing

Blogs, articles, case studies, white papers, videos, podcasts.
Best for thought leadership, awareness, and branding. It can be used for acquisition marketing but is usually not an immediate lead generation or sale opportunity. Excellent for brand awareness, building brand loyalty, and developing an audience.

Events and Conferences

Exhibiting at a trade show and attending industry events.
Best for networking, brand awareness, and long-term acquisition and retention.

Marketing Tactics – The Right Tool for the Job

Again, let me stress that the list shared above offers guidelines rather than rules about which marketing tactic to choose for your needs. Often, these tactics are adapted or adjusted to support various strategies. Multiple tactics are used together (called an omnichannel marketing strategy or an integrated strategy) to produce the desired results.

This is where choosing the right marketing tools becomes an art rather than a science. Companies that struggle to solve a business problem, such as lead generation, high customer churn, or poor brand awareness, should work with an experienced marketing consultant. Experienced marketers have faced similar problems and have seen which campaigns worked (and which didn’t) to solve the problem. They can apply these learnings to your business and make better, informed suggestions.

So before you insist that “we should be doing a podcast” or “we should start a blog,” sit down with your most experienced marketing person and instead state the problem to be solved. Don’t try to guess the tactic or use the tactic in vogue. Not every marketing approach fits every situation. Pick the right tool from your marketing toolbox to achieve the desired result.

Prefer to listen to an article? This article is available on our podcast, Bricks, Brambles & Bytes on Podbean!

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Ready to get to work?

Let’s talk about how I can help you develop your brand, communicate it with confidence, and build a content marketing powerhouse that generates leads, supports sales, and provides solid marketing.

 

Contact Us

Phone: (434) 574-6253

Mobile: (434) 808-4163

Email: jeanne@sevenoaksconsulting.com


Marketing Strategy Review: Are You Stuck Doing Pot Roast Marketing?

Prefer to listen to an article? This article is available on our podcast, Bricks, Brambles & Bytes on Podbean!

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Here at Seven Oaks Consulting, “pot roast marketing” is an in-joke. It refers to how companies often fall into the trap of doing the same marketing year after year just because it’s always been done that way.

  • They go to the same trade show every year because they’ve always gone…despite the fact that they haven’t gotten a lead there in years.
  • They produce YouTube videos because someone said “everyone in your industry does this” and so they do them even though it’s a struggle.
  • They send the same emails out because the CEO loves them.

The Marketing Metaphor of the Pot Roast

The term pot roast marketing comes from an old story I was told many, many years ago. In this story, a young bride cooks a pot roast for her husband for the first time. As he bites into the first forkful, he chews thoughtfully and says, “Honey, this is the best pot roast I’ve ever eaten. But why did you cut the roast in half before cooking it?”

“I don’t know,” she answers, “but my mom always cooked it this way, so that’s what I do, too. Let me call her and ask.”

So the woman phones her mother, and her mother doesn’t know the answer, either. “Well, that’s the way Grandma always made it, so that’s how I make it, too. Let me call her and ask.”

When the two women get on a call with Grandma, Grandma bursts out laughing. “Oh my dears,” she laughs, “the only reason I cut the pot roast in half is because I didn’t have a pan big enough for the full piece. I had to cut it to make it fit. Don’t tell me you were making it this way all along and didn’t know why?”

That’s what happens in marketing departments. The “pot roast” is a project, perhaps a campaign, that someone initiated years ago. Once, it was successful, and so it became standard operating procedure. No one has questioned it since. But, when examined carefully, it reveals itself as a drag on time and resources, and underperforming activity that can either be set aside or changed to go with the times – and be a productive campaign once again.

 

A Real-Life Example of a Pot Roast Marketing Strategy

Company Made 5X Investment Once They Fixed Their Marketing Problem!

 

I experienced the phenomenon of pot roast marketing many years ago. A company I was working with had a direct mail piece that was a ‘prime’ example of pot roast marketing. It was stale and tired. It cost them a bundle to mail each year – and lost around $30,000 in the process. But they insisted, to the last breath, that they had to keep sending out that mailer ‘because it’s always been done this way and everyone in our [target market] expects it.”

 

Even though it’s not considered best practice to change multiple things in a direct mail piece at one time, I did it with this one because they had nothing to lose – it was costing them money and they weren’t getting the desired results. I asked their creative director to change the appearance of the piece, giving it a modern edge. Their list broker cleaned the list, removing duplicates and adding new audience segments. We even changed the timing of the piece, moving it back a few weeks.

 

The results? This old pot roast that originally cost them $30,000 each year now made them over $500,000! In simple terms, for every $1 they invested in the production of the direct mail piece, they received $5 back in product sales. And we saved $100,000 in mailing costs by cleaning up the list.

 

This small example shows you how pot roast marketing can stall even the best companies. This company was supportive of their marketing and invested heavily in all channels, including direct mail. Yet they had a pot roast on their hands. It took an outside voice – me, a marketing consultant – to help them sniff the pot roast out from their midst.

 

Key Marketing Insights: Takeaways

Look for every opportunity to get the pot roast out of the oven – to identify marketing activities that are among the annual tactical plan simply because it’s always been done that way or it’s a pet project of an executive. Question everything. Analyze the data. If it’s not helping you meet your acquisition, retention, or brand loyalty goals, change it or sunset it. But don’t keep doing a marketing activity because “it’s always been done that way.”

a pot roast cut in half

Ready to get to work?

Let’s talk about how I can help you develop your brand, communicate it with confidence, and build a content marketing powerhouse that generates leads, supports sales, and provides solid marketing.

 

Contact Us

Phone: (434) 574-6253

Mobile: (434) 808-4163

Email: jeanne@sevenoaksconsulting.com


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Difference Between Content Marketing and Content Strategy

Content marketing and content strategy are related concepts, but they have distinct focuses within the broader realm of content creation and marketing. Here's a breakdown of the key differences between content marketing and content strategy.

Differences Between Content Marketing and Content Strategy

Content marketing and content strategy are related, with content marketing a subset of strategy.

The strategy provides the overarching framework for creating and managing content, encompassing elements like content planning, governance, and workflow. Content marketing, on the other hand, specifically focuses on using content as a marketing tool to attract, engage, and convert customers.

However, content marketing and content strategy are essential for a comprehensive and effective approach to content creation and marketing within a business context.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience. The goal is to drive profitable customer action by providing content that meets the needs and interests of the audience. It involves producing content such as blog posts, articles, videos, social media posts, and more to build brand awareness, generate leads, and nurture customer relationships.

The ultimate objective of content marketing is to drive customer behavior, whether it be making a purchase, subscribing to a service, or taking some other desired action.

What Is Content Strategy?

Content strategy is a broader, more comprehensive approach that involves planning, developing, and managing content throughout its entire lifecycle. It encompasses the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content that aligns with business goals and meets user needs. A content strategy involves defining the purpose of content, identifying the target audience, and ensuring that content is produced, organized, and maintained in a way that serves both business objectives and user needs.

The primary objective of content strategy is to align content creation with business goals, ensuring that the right content is produced and delivered to the right audience through the right channels.

Examples of Content Strategy

Content strategy involves planning, developing, and managing content to align with business goals and meet user needs. Here are a few examples of content strategy in action.

Brand Storytelling Strategy

Brand Storytelling builds brand identity and connect with the audience emotionally.

Strategy: Develop a narrative that communicates the brand's values, mission, and personality. Create a content plan that incorporates consistent storytelling across various channels, such as the brand's website, social media, and marketing materials.

User-Generated Content Campaign

User-Generated Content (UGC) Campaign increases audience engagement and authenticity.

Strategy: Develop a content strategy that encourages users to create and share content related to the brand. This can include social media campaigns, contests, or features on the brand's website showcasing user-generated stories, photos, or videos.

SEO Blog Content

SEO Blog Content improves search engine visibility and attract organic traffic.

Strategy: Conduct keyword research to identify topics relevant to the target audience. Develop a content calendar for regular blog posts that address these topics while providing valuable information. Optimize content for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords and providing high-quality, shareable content.

These examples illustrate how content strategy can be applied across different aspects of a business to achieve specific objectives, whether it's building brand identity, increasing engagement, improving search visibility, or nurturing leads through the sales funnel.


What Is Brand Equity?

Brand equity refers to the intangible value that a brand adds to a product or service. It represents the perception and attitudes consumers have towards a brand, and it can significantly influence their purchasing decisions. Like many aspects of marketing, equity is built over time through various marketing and branding efforts, and it reflects the overall strength and value of a brand in the marketplace.

What Are the Key Components of Brand Equity?

There are numerous components that build equity in a company's brand.

Brand Awareness

The degree to which consumers recognize or are aware of a brand. Higher awareness often leads to higher  equity.

Brand Associations

The mental connections and associations that consumers make with a brand. These can include attributes, benefits, values, and even emotions linked to the brand.

Perceived Quality

The perception of the quality or superiority of a brand's products or services. If consumers believe a brand consistently delivers high-quality offerings, it contributes positively to the brand's value.

Brand Loyalty

The level of customer loyalty and repeat business a brand enjoys. Strong brand equity often results in increased customer loyalty and a willingness to choose a particular brand over competitors.

Brand Image

The overall impression or reputation of a brand. A positive brand image contributes to higher equity, while negative perceptions can diminish it.

Brand Identity

The visual and symbolic elements that represent the brand, including logos, taglines, and other brand elements. A cohesive and well-defined brand identity contributes to its equity.

Brand Personality

The human-like characteristics and traits associated with a brand. Establishing a unique and relatable brand personality helps build a stronger connection with consumers.

Brand Trust

The level of trust consumers place in a brand. Trust is crucial for building and maintaining a brand, as it influences consumer confidence in the brand's promises and consistency.

Brand Differentiation

The distinctiveness that sets a brand apart from its competitors. Brands with a strong point of differentiation often command higher brand equity.

Market Positioning

The position a brand occupies in the minds of consumers relative to competitors. Effective positioning contributes to brand equity by establishing a clear and favorable space in the market.

Brand Equity, Your Most Valuable Asset

Equity is a valuable asset for companies as it can positively impact business performance, market share, and the ability to command premium prices. Companies invest in building and maintaining brands through consistent branding strategies, marketing communications, product quality, and customer experiences. A strong brand can also provide a buffer during challenging times, helping companies recover more quickly from setbacks or crises.


What Is B2B Marketing?

B2B is an acronym for “business-to-business,” meaning businesses market products and services to other companies as opposed to the consumer segment. B2B marketing means "business to business marketing" or selling products or services from one business to another business.

Examples of B2B Marketing Companies

Here are a few examples of B2B companies:

  • An accounting firm that works with corporate accounts
  • A commercial real estate company
  • A commercial print shop 

Elements of a B2B Marketing Plan

A Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing plan is a strategic document outlining the marketing goals and strategies for a business that sells products or services to other businesses. The components of a B2B marketing plan typically include:

Executive Summary

Briefly summarizes the key points of the entire marketing plan, including business objectives, target market, and major initiatives.

Business Overview

Provide an overview of the company, its mission, vision, values, and key differentiators in the market.

Market Analysis

Analyze the industry and market conditions, including trends, opportunities, and threats. This section may include a competitive analysis to understand the positioning of the company relative to competitors.

Target Market and Buyer Personas

Define the specific businesses or industries the company is targeting. This may include creating detailed buyer personas to understand the characteristics, needs, and challenges of the target audience.

Marketing Objectives

State measurable goals the marketing plan aims to achieve. Objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Positioning and Value Proposition

Articulate how the company wants to be perceived in the market and communicates its unique value proposition—what sets it apart from competitors.

Product or Service Description

Provide detailed information about the products or services offered, highlighting key features and benefits relevant to the target audience.

Marketing Strategies

Outline high-level approaches and tactics the business will use to achieve its marketing objectives. This may include content marketing, digital marketing, events, trade shows, partnerships, and other channels.

Sales and Distribution Channels

Describe the channels through which the company's products or services will be sold and distributed to businesses. This could include direct sales, partnerships, distributors, and online sales.

Budget

Set the budget allocations to different marketing activities. This helps ensure that resources are allocated effectively and in alignment with strategic priorities.

Timeline and Milestones

Break down the B2B marketing plan into a timeline with key milestones and deadlines. This helps in tracking progress and staying on schedule.

Metrics and Measurement

Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure the success of marketing initiatives. This includes metrics such as lead generation, conversion rates, customer acquisition cost, and customer lifetime value.

Implementation Plan

Detail how the marketing strategies will be implemented, including responsibilities, timelines, and any specific action plans for each marketing initiative.

Monitoring and Adjustment

Outline how the plan will be monitored and evaluated regularly. In addition, include how you plan to address issues that arise from performance data.

By including these elements in a B2B marketing plan, businesses can create a comprehensive and strategic roadmap for reaching and engaging their target audience, ultimately driving growth and success in the B2B marketplace.

Tactical Ideas for B2B Marketing

Marketers should use a variety of strategies to reach decision makers in the B2B space. The most effective approach is considering those that cater to your specific needs and target audience.

Examples of B2B Marketing Tactics

Regardless of your combination of methods or approaches, an intentional approach to B2B marketing is key to success. That can mean taking these steps in this order:

  • Develop a vision
  • Define your target market
  • Identifying marketing tactics and channels
  • Launch your campaign

Success of any B2B marketing campaign hinges on knowing the frustrations and goals and of their target audience. Cost savings and ROI are usually the primary motivators in this context. However, these drivers come with unique set of challenges. B2B marketing speaks to the impact on the bottom line. That means marketing teams need to concisely and authentically communicate value to the decision maker. 

 


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What Is Affinity Marketing?

Affinity marketing, also known as co-branded marketing, means that two organizations join forces. It has the potential to elevate awareness, exposure and the overall stature of both brands. In some cases, the two parties might launch one product or service together. This arrangement is known as “co-branding” and can be an effective way to reach current or new audiences in different or new ways.

Affinity Marketing Best Practices

Choose the Right Partner

Company leaders should consider whether the other business owners share similar values, customers, or offer products that align.

Ensure the Partnership Serves Both Interests

The best arrangement is fair to both partners. If either feels like the other is benefiting more or not contributing, it’s not going to be sustainable.

 Define Roles

As is the case with any business endeavor,  it’s important that both partners grasp and agree to the outlined roles and responsibilities for the sake of clarity and curbing potential conflict. Two entrepreneurs who might want to plan and execute a trade show event, for example, must discuss who’ll pay for the display and any marketing material. 

Examples of Affinity Marketing

Sometimes it's easier to understand a concept when you see examples. Here are several examples of affinity marketing.

Affinity marketing involves creating partnerships or collaborations between brands with similar target audiences but non-competing products or services. These partnerships aim to leverage the existing customer base of one brand to benefit the other. Here are three examples of affinity marketing:

Starbucks and Spotify

Starbucks, a global coffeehouse chain, partnered with Spotify, a music streaming service, to enhance the in-store experience for customers. The company's rewards program members were given the opportunity to influence the music played in Starbucks stores and create personalized playlists on Spotify. This collaboration allowed both brands to tap into each other's customer bases, as coffee enthusiasts could discover new music, and music lovers could explore Starbucks offerings.

Uber and Spotify

Uber, a ride-sharing service, collaborated with Spotify to offer passengers the ability to control the music during their rides. Riders who connected their Spotify accounts to the Uber app could play their favorite music from the moment they stepped into an Uber. This partnership enhanced the overall customer experience for both services, making the ride more personalized and enjoyable for passengers while promoting Spotify to a broader audience through the Uber platform.

American Express and Airbnb

American Express, a financial services company, teamed up with Airbnb, a platform for short-term home rentals. The partnership allowed American Express cardholders to link their cards to their Airbnb accounts, providing them with special offers and discounts. This collaboration was designed to encourage American Express customers to use Airbnb for their travel accommodations while providing Airbnb with exposure to a segment of financially affluent travelers.

Affinity Marketing - Beneficial to Brands

These examples illustrate how affinity marketing can be mutually beneficial for brands by allowing them to reach new customers, enhance their offerings, and create unique experiences that resonate with their shared target audience. Affinity marketing relies on the principle that the customers of one brand are likely to have an interest in the products or services of the partnered brand, creating a win-win situation for both parties involved.


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What Is Brand Marketing?

What is brand marketing?

Brand marketing is a strategy that focuses on promoting and building awareness of a brand to create a positive perception among target audiences. The goal is to establish a strong and distinctive brand identity that sets a product or company apart from competitors. Brand marketing goes beyond just advertising products or services; it encompasses the overall image, values, and personality of a brand.

The Elements of Brand Marketing

There are many things that go into a brand's overall design. Brand recognition is based on the repetition of brand elements. Some brand marketing elements include the following.

Logo and Visual Identity

The design elements associated with a brand, including its logo, color palette, and visual style, play a crucial role in brand marketing. For example, the golden arches of McDonald's or the swoosh of Nike are instantly recognizable symbols.

Advertising Campaigns

Brands often create advertising campaigns to showcase their products or services in a way that aligns with their brand identity. For instance, Coca-Cola's holiday-themed advertisements featuring the polar bears have become synonymous with the brand during the festive season.

Content Marketing

Hey, this is what Seven Oaks Consulting does - content marketing! Brands create and distribute valuable and relevant content to attract and engage their target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more. Red Bull, for instance, is known for its content marketing through extreme sports events and sponsorships.

Social Media Presence

Brands use social media platforms to connect with their audience, share updates, and humanize their brand. Wendy's Twitter account, known for its humorous and witty responses, is an example of effective social media branding.

Sponsorships and Partnerships

Associating with events, causes, or other brands can help build positive associations. For example, Nike's partnerships with athletes like Michael Jordan have significantly contributed to its brand image.

Customer Experience

The way customers experience a brand, from product quality to customer service, contributes to brand perception. Apple, for instance, is known for its sleek and user-friendly products, contributing to its brand image of innovation and quality.

Public Relations

Managing the public perception of a brand through media relations, crisis management, and community engagement is a key aspect of brand marketing. When a company responds effectively to a crisis, it can positively impact its brand image.

Influencer Marketing

Brands collaborate with influencers to promote their products or services to a wider audience. For example, fashion brands often partner with influencers to showcase and endorse their products.

Overall, successful brand marketing is about creating a consistent and positive image that resonates with the target audience, fosters trust, and encourages brand loyalty.


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New Doesn't Always Mean Improved in Marketing

New Doesn’t Always Mean Improved

In marketing, have you ever seen a company offer something new? It’s a standard ploy to get customers to switch to their product or keep buying. Most people, myself included, assume that “new” means “improved” - that I will get something more or better for my money. That isn’t necessarily the case. 

  • New can mean the company has added a new ingredient to its formula. It may not mean the product is better. 
  • New can also mean that the company has changed its packaging and added different sizes to its product line. 
  • New may mean the product is now available in different colors or sizes. 
  • New can also mean a product is now offered in new scents. 

You get what I mean. 

The word “new” can mean a company has made cosmetic changes to its product. The essential parts or integrity of the product remain the same. This would lead savvy customers to ask themselves, “What is really new about it?” 

To be transparent with your customers, be straight with them. Avoid using the word “new” in your marketing until you have something really new and improved to share with them. 

They will thank you by trusting your brand and continuing to buy from you. Happy customers are more likely to recommend your brand to their family members and friends online and in person. Your marketing efforts will be more successful as a result. 

 


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The Four Ps of Marketing: Pillars of a Successful Marketing Strategy

What Are the Four Ps of Marketing?

When I was in university studying for my Masters in Direct and Digital Marketing, our general marketing course began with the fundamentals: the four Ps of marketing. Although others have said over the years that there are three, five, or any number of Ps, the four Ps remain the foundation of all marketing. Therefore, it's vital that anyone in the marketing role understands the four Ps of marketing and how the interplay shapes marketing strategies.

So, what are the four Ps?

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

Let’s dive into the significance of each of the Four Ps and understand how their interplay contributes to the success of your marketing strategy.

Product: The Heart of Your Offering

At the heart of business and marketing lies the product. It's not merely about having a product; it's about having one that resonates with customer needs and distinguishes itself in the market. Continuous product development and innovation take center stage, emphasizing the place of products in the marketing mix.

Price: Finding the Right Balance

Determining the optimal price significantly influences how a product is perceived. Prices must be aligned with customer expectations, market averages, and the costs of goods sold. Using pricing as part of a marketing strategy is truly an art that must be refined over time. Prices can undoubtedly influence perception, as can many aspects of marketing. It can be used as a leverage point, a selling point, a competitive point, and more.

Place: Reaching Your Target Audience

Place among the Four Ps of marketing refers to where you market your products and to whom. That's your target audience, and I've written a lot about target audiences over the years. It also refers to the marketing channels you choose to reach your target audience. The goal of "place" in the marketing mix is to find the right combination of channels and tactics to reach your target audience effectively.

Promotion: Building Awareness and Desire

Promotion extends beyond mere advertising; it's a multifaceted approach that includes public relations, social media, and content marketing. Understanding the target audience is vital, so tailor promotional efforts effectively. Integrated marketing communications (IMC), too, remains an integral part of the promotional mix, ensuring that all messages, no matter what channel is used, remain consistent and appealing to the target audience.

The Marketing Mix: Examples of How the Four Ps Are Used

Companies use the four Ps differently. Some products or companies emphasize one or the other.

Tiffany: Emphasis on Product and Promotion

Tiffany, the famous Manhattan jewelry store, uses product and promotion heavily in their marketing, with price as another factor. Place for this venerable upscale brand is essential, but their emphasis is on the products (diamond jewelry), pricing (high), and promotions (exclusive and branded with the trademarked blue color.)

Dollar General: Emphasis on Place and Price

Dollar General, the ubiquitous variety store found in every small town in America, leverages price and place heavily in its marketing mix. Price is obvious; it's even in the store name! Everything is inexpensive and priced at a round number -  $1, $5, etc. The company has gone on the record about its strategic use of place, building stores in underserved rural communities throughout America to ensure access to basic groceries and household items for all. The company rarely sponsors promotions. The stores feature commodity products found in most variety stores and supermarkets. It heavily uses price and place as its marketing focus.

Use the Four Ps of Marketing to Your Advantage

By understanding and effectively managing the Four Ps of marketing, professionals can create a strategic marketing mix that resonates with their target audience and positions their products or services for long-term success in an ever-changing business landscape.


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Content Marketing vs Brand Marketing - Similarities, Differences

Content Marketing vs. Brand Marketing – Pros, Cons, Differences, Similarities

Content marketing and brand marketing are two different yet complementary marketing strategies. While both are vital parts of a holistic marketing strategy, they serve distinct purposes to meet specific marketing goals.

Understanding these strategies, how they compare, and their differences and similarities is essential for companies looking to gain long-term visibility, build profitable relationships, and drive business results.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing involves developing and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract, educate, engage, and convert a target audience. It’s a valuable tool for companies seeking organic sales while building trust and credibility.

With customers constantly seeking solutions, only companies that position themselves as industry authorities by answering customer questions via quality content will earn trust. That makes content marketing the go-to strategy for companies looking to build credibility without sounding desperate or salesy.

What Is Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing refers to the process by which companies define themselves and create memorable experiences in the eyes of their customers. Companies use this strategic marketing approach to create a strong positive brand perception and ensure instant recognition among customers.

For instance, people can easily differentiate Amazon from eBay, even though they’re both online marketplaces. This is because Amazon has established itself as a brand that sells products while also allowing third-party sellers to list and sell products. On the other hand, eBay positions itself as an online marketplace, with both auctions and set-price sales, that facilitates retail transactions by connecting buyers and sellers.

Brand marketing benefits companies in different ways - building a strong brand identity and reputation, turning prospects into loyal customers and brand advocates, sustaining long-term growth, and many more.

Content Marketing vs. Brand Marketing – Detailed Comparison

Here’s a detailed comparison of content marketing and brand marketing.

Core Purpose

Content marketing: The core purpose of content marketing is to build trust and credibility and drive organic sales through content that informs, educates, and engages the target audience. Each piece of content published aims to address a need, interest, or question the audience may have.

Brand marketing: On the other hand, the core purpose of brand marketing is to build and maintain a brand’s identity and image. It connects with the target audience, pointing them towards the brand and all it stands for, ultimately winning their loyalty.

Content Type

Content marketing: Content marketing incorporates blog posts, images, infographics, white papers, videos, podcasts, etc. All content pieces are created to inform, educate, inspire, or engage an audience.

Brand marketing: Brand marketing incorporates slogans, visual elements, advertisements, and storytelling. The focus is to highlight a brand's unique qualities and values, thus establishing its identity and building loyalty.

Timing Strategy

Content marketing: Content marketing incorporates both short and long-term strategies. For instance, video content and blogs can be created to drive conversions in the long term. Similarly, a company publishing a press release, news article, or any other content to pass urgent information is adopting a short-term content marketing strategy for that particular goal.

Long-term content marketing strategies often involve educational content focusing on evergreen topics or questions customers may have at various stages of their buyer journey.

Brand marketing: Brand marketing focuses only on long-term strategies, as it consistently reinforces the brand’s identity. All brand marketing efforts are geared towards one goal – the brand identity; there’s no short-term fix.

Goal Measurement

Content marketing: Content marketing goals are measured using metrics like engagement rate, click-through rate, website traffic, lead generation, or conversion rates. Because companies use content marketing to promote specific products and services, they expect increased leads and sales.

Brand marketing: Brand marketing goals are measured by brand perception, which can be accessed through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or polls.

Examples

Content marketing

  • A manufacturing company publishing educational blog posts and videos about its products’ features and uses.
  • A real estate company publishing articles on how to spot valuable real estate.
  • A skincare company posting tutorial videos on the perfect skin maintenance routine.

Brand marketing

  • A mobile phone company running TV ads that show the organization’s commitment to innovation.
  • A beverage company using an emotionally connecting slogan and logo in its ads.
  • A chef showcasing their culinary processes, emphasizing neatness and attention to making healthy food. 

Content Marketing vs. Brand Marketing – Pros and Cons

Pros of Content Marketing

  • Increases audience engagement.
  • Boosts website traffic and conversion.
  • Cost-effective marketing approach.
  • Enhances target content delivery.
  • Enhances credibility and helps companies showcase expertise.
  • Provides data-driven insights on customer behavior and preferences.
  • Enables websites to rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Cons of Content Marketing

  • Requires long time commitment to see results.
  • Fierce competition due to lesser financial investment.
  • Content creation requires a certain level of skill set.
  • Content creation is time and capital intensive.

Pros of Brand Marketing

  • Ensures consistency in marketing efforts.
  • Gives a brand a positive public perception.
  • Enhances brand recognition.
  • Creates a deep emotional connection with the target audience.
  • Fosters customer loyalty gained from a well-established brand identity.

Cons of Brand Marketing

  • Cost-intensive.
  • Difficult to measure results.

Content Marketing vs. Brand Marketing – Differences and Similarities

Differences between content marketing and brand marketing.

Content Marketing Brand Marketing
Focuses on promoting brand products and services. Focuses on building and promoting brand identity.
Publishes targeted content focused on a specified buyer persona. Publishes generalized content focused on a wider audience.
Incorporates traditional and digital media. Works best with digital media.
Targets a select group of people. Targets a wider audience without considering demographics.
Content types include blog posts, infographics, images, videos, and podcasts. Content types include brand slogans, logos, visual elements, and advertisements (billboards, TV, and radio ads).
Works best with a long-term plan. Incorporates both short and long-term plans.
Measured with engagement rates, click-through rates, lead generation, lead conversion, etc. Measured with surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

Similarities Between Content Marketing and Brand Marketing

Brand Promotion: The end goal of content and brand marketing is to promote a brand and its products. While content marketing does this by educating and informing an audience about the brand’s products and services, brand marketing does it by promoting the brand directly.

Audience Focused: Both content and brand marketing are focused on delivering value to an audience. While content marketing does this by focusing on an audience with specific demographics and interests, brand marketing focuses on a wider audience, hoping those with whom their brand resonates will show interest.

Long-term Strategies: Both marketing approaches have a long-term end goal - aiming to build long-lasting relationships with customers and increase brand awareness.

Emotional Appeal: Both content marketing and brand marketing are structured to create an emotional connection with the audience. Brand marketing does this through the visual elements, core values, and brand story, while content marketing does this through storytelling and engaging content.

Storytelling: Content and brand marketing leverage storytelling at some point to drive home information, create emotional connections, and sustain relationships.

Trust and Credibility: Both content and brand marketing aim to position a brand as an authority in the industry, helping it earn customer trust.

Content Marketing vs. Brand Marketing – Which One Should You Adopt?

Content marketing and brand marketing are complementary strategies. All companies should have a brand strategy as part of their marketing plan, but how they deploy it through content marketing varies considerably. While they’re distinct marketing approaches, both work together toward achieving the same goal – brand recognition and revenue generation.

At Seven Oaks Consulting, we recommend companies adopt a marketing mix that involves both and focuses on a unique promotional approach to your audience, products and services. The best result is achieved when traditional marketing, content and brand marketing are integrated. It’s crucial to put structures in place to help maintain a healthy mix of both strategies, as negligence on one might impact business results negatively.

Our team of content marketing experts can help you cut through the confusion and complexity and build a solid brand that resonates with your target audience and generates business results.