Why BUY advertising!?

I hope someone can help me with this advertising dilema. I sell ad space for one of my companies, Highlight Sports. Branding is a concept I’m attempting to engrain in the heads of clients I work with.

My role at Highlight Sports is to promote creative advertising. We provide completely customized DVDs at cheer and dance competitions. In my research I’ve come to the conclusion that a company buys advertising for one of two reasons:

  • Branding
  • Direct sales
  • Branding refers to the process of impressing a company name or a product name onto society’s collective brain. Branding happens with both new and existing products. When you see a billboard that says nothing but “Coke” on it, or you see a NASCAR car that says “Tide” on the hood, or you see a feel-good ad on TV about a car company or an oil company but there’s no mention of a product, that is branding. The advertiser doesn’t necessarily expect you to do anything today — the advertiser simply wants to impress itself on your consciousness. The question that comes to my mind is:

    “How do you teach the importantance of branding to advertisers that don’t seem to know what they are missing out on, that base their advertising decisions solely on ROI?”

    Who cares about Branding?

    I wanted to ask some questions, share some insites, and just vent about branding

    • What is branding?
    • Where do I start?
    • Why is branding so helpful? or Is it really that helpful?
    • Is branding something you can track?
    • Can you get an ROI on branding?
    • Why do companies choose branding as a marketing strategy and tactic?
    • Are there just long term effects of branding or can they be short term as well?

    This is what en.wikipedia has to say about a brand:

    “A brand is a collection of images and ideas representing an economic producer; more specifically, it refers to the concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme…A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace…”

    Branding is a key factor in business building.

    Need I say more? Does anyone not know what this is? It’s extremely effective “branding”!

    I’m reading a marketing book right now that talks about the importance of developing a marketing strategy before you create marketing tactics. This means that you need to know WHY you are doing what you plan to do before you start implementing specific marketing tactics. Creating a brand starts with a well thought out mission statement and/or vision. You must answer the question:

    How is what I’m planning on doing going to help others?

    If you are able to answer this question in two or three sentences and feel strongly about it, you have taken one of the first big steps in building a brand.

    More to come…What are your thoughts?

    Interviewing Competitors for Brand Recognition – What?!

    “If you are small and niche I don’t think it hurts to link out to competing sites or even to feature their brand or their owners as content. You can get exposure and work your way up the social ladder by siphoning off their brand value. But I think there is far more value in featuring them and recommending them than in having them mentioned in an ad. Interviewing people, for example, is an easy way to get great content and build mind share.” – Aaron Wall, www.seobook.com

    Wow, this is an interesting, yet compelling strategy. As many of you know, one of my sites is www.clogon.com where I sell clogging shoes and taps. One of my competitors is Trevor Dewitt, owner of clogdancing.com. They don’t sell clogging shoes but are #2 for traffic in the clogging industry (right behind ClogOn.com!) It would be interesting to hear his reaction when I call and ask to feature him as a “Featured Fellow Clogger”. I’m sure it will get a great response and, like Aaron says, “…get exposure and work [my] way up the social ladder by siphoning off their brand value.”

    What do you all think? Have you seen any results from this type of marketing?