Many marketers need help deciding if they should focus on lead generation or put their effort into brand awareness. The struggle is about balancing the two because your business needs both. Lead generation and branding are like two sides of the same coin, and you cannot ignore one for the other. In fact, for a digital marketing strategy to be successful, both must go hand in hand. They are learning how and when to prioritize what can be a game-changer for the growth of a business.
Let’s first learn what lead generation is and what branding is. When we know these two terminologies, we can better appreciate their differences and significance.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is when a business attracts potential prospects to its website and converts them into leads. These leads eventually become valuable customers. Lead generation is a specific task and targets the opportunity for a defined purpose. The purpose can be to get them to check a particular landing page, sign up for a newsletter, or purchase a product. The success of a lead generation campaign can be measured using defined metrics like – the number of sign-ups or the number of products sold.
What is Branding?
Branding, as the name says, is about increasing awareness about a brand. The focus of a branding campaign is to reach more people and let them know about the brand. Social media ads, promotions at networking events, social media campaigns, etc., are typically used to increase a brand’s reach digitally. The primary aim is not to generate sales but to make people aware of a brand name. Branding helps establish a business as a recognized and trusted name in its niche.
How Lead-Generation Campaigns Differ from Other Types of Marketing Communications
Different from conventional advertising or marketing communications is lead generation. The primary distinction is direct marketing, usually referred to as direct-response marketing communications, in lead creation. “Direct marketing” refers to targeted, measurable marketing tools, strategies, and initiatives motivated by return-on-investment (ROI) concerns. The main distinction is that direct marketing aims to inspire action. Whatever the marketer’s objective is, the action could be anything from a click to a call to a store visit.
Direct marketing is the foundation for today’s successful marketing strategies. It is based on customer information collected, maintained in a database, and used with various analytical and communications tactics. E-commerce, data mining, customer relationship management (CRM), and integrated marketing communications are some strategies. But generating leads for a sales force—whether it be an outside sales resource like a distribution channel partner or representative, an inside sales team, or both—is the main contribution that direct marketing offers to the business marketing equation.
B2B Direct marketing is a vast industry.
Interesting data on the scope and impact of direct marketing in corporate markets is published by the Direct Marketing Association. From The DMA 2010 Statistical Fact Book, have a look at these:
- B2B direct marketing spending in all media channels in 2010 was $74.6 billion.
- The spending growth rate (CAGR) between 2009 and 2014 is expected to be 4.9 per cent for B2B, compared to only 4 per cent for direct consumer marketing spend.
- B2B sales driven by direct marketing in 2010 represented $786 billion.
- Sales growth CAGR from 2009 to 2014 is estimated at 5.4 per cent, compared to 4.9 per cent in consumers.
An estimated 3.9 million people were employed in B-to-B direct marketing in the U.S. in 2009. This is big business in every sense of the word.
In addition to direct-response marketing, lead generation differs from conventional marketing communications in two significant areas. One aspect of lead creation is the balance between quantity and quality. Salespeople are a costly resource for a business, and making them more productive is the role of lead generation. Thus, having a large audience and a high volume is optional. In actuality, fewer, higher-quality leads always outweigh more, lower-quality leads.
Second, lead generation frequently takes place on the ground level. It assists sales, generates field results, and establishes income connections. Lead generation is commonly regarded as a more tactical set of actions than strategic marketing that occurs in corporate communications, brand creation, and public relations and is a part of a field marketing function. Some lead generation professionals feel underappreciated by general marketers who focus on so-called bigger-picture marketing because of their largely tactical role. The B-to-B industry is still debating this issue. But anything that is the primary job of 76 per cent of CMOs deserves a lot of respect.
Two sides of the same coin
You can see that despite their differences, lead generation and branding significantly impact one another. Lead generation comes after effective branding. The brand is strengthened when leads turn into paying clients. Most of the time, combining the two will yield the best results rather than choosing one. It all comes down to applying the proper method at the appropriate moment. Your marketing efforts will be successful if you can pull them off.
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Content: Keshav Bhardwaj
Publisher: Media Value Works
Social Media: Ravish Dhiran