Weekly Recap – March 19, 2021

Lori Bahnmueller 03/19/21 - 3:40 pm

Man walking by a large poster advertising Harry’s.

Bottom Feeders

The race to the bottom of the sales funnel begins with brand marketing. Branding is the foundation on  which enduring consumer relationship are made. Few purchases are made without previous, and often, multiple exposures. (When was the last time you bought anything without a proper introduction or referral?) But awareness is amorphous and difficult to measure, unlike clicks. Digital media leaves breadcrumbs that marketers can add, subtract, multiply and divide. The data is dazzling. So, it’s not surprising when marketers are attempted to sacrifice budget at the top of the funnel to fatten the bottom.

+ Except the approach is terribly short-sighted. A strong brand can cultivate long-term awareness with a large audience—something that bottom-funnel, targeted marketing efforts cannot. While account-based marketing can help companies reach targets that fit the ideal customer profile or have intent to buy, it doesn’t allow marketers to reach the entire market or future buyers with a brand message.

+ “Marketers are ignoring a large portion of potential buyers that aren’t in market now, but might be in the future,” said Jon Lombardo, global lead at LinkedIn’s The B2B Institute in a story published on emarketer.com. “Brand marketing ensures that in two years, when those buyers are in market, you are top of mind over your competitors that don’t invest as heavily in branding.”

+ To be successful and enduring, a brand needs to be different. A brand can look different, sound different, value something different, offer something different, etc.  While on the quest for that unique value proposition, the brand must stay closely aligned with what the product or service actually does. A brand needs to offer something different, but it also needs to be true. Brands require constant feeding, nurturing and exposure internally and externally. The bottom of the funnel is important but it’s shallow without all the rigor that precedes and follows it.  Key takeaways from eMarketer’s missive on branding:

+ No matter how precise B2B marketers become in their performance-driven tactics, brand strategy—which is sometimes more difficult to measure—will always be critical to a company’s overall go-to-market approach.

+ Although crafting, maintaining, and evolving a brand strategy is a creative process, data and insights should inform the creation and ideation work. Companies must consult the right stakeholders to determine if the brand is relevant and making the intended impact. And this work must continue tracking how perception is changing.

+ The brand identity, positioning, and purpose should be present and consistent across the customer experience. There is no point in spending the time and money crafting a differentiated and amazing brand if it isn’t expressed reliably and accurately across channels: owned, earned and paid, digital or in-person, etc.

+ Employees must be on-board. For any company to truly bring a brand to life, the message must resonate internally. From onboarding to the culture and every other part of the employee experience, the brand must be consistent and crystal clear. They must be trained and enabled to be brand advocates; this includes creating accessible and helpful brand guidelines with specific instructions on how the brand should be handled internally and externally.

Moving Picture

Pinterest rolls out robust video advertising tool. Pinterest has announced some key new audience insight and ad tools, including a video ad solution called Pinterest Premier, per Adweek. Pinterest reported it has 459 million monthly active users, and that the number of Gen Z and male users on the platform increased 40% last year, making them the fastest-growing cohorts.

+ While Pinterest isn’t traditionally associated with video viewing, the pandemic has affected digital video behavior on its site. Pinterest reported that video viewing surged on the platform in 2020, and users are now watching almost 1 billion videos daily, accompanied by a nearly 800% increase in video uploads.

+ Pinterest Premier allows advertisers to buy a time-bound exclusive placement for their video ad in the home feed for a targeted demographic, interest, or category. This is similar to Twitter’s First View offering, which allows advertisers to target select audiences to view a video ad when first opening the app.

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