While marketing automation continues to boom and executives look to invest in marketing activities that spit out ROI, sometimes we need to send a reminder – branding matters. Even if innovative marketing trends hype up automation and analytics, branding is the backbone of your business.
Branding is for everyone.
Direct-to-consumer brands aren’t the only ones that need to consider how they want to share their unique brand story. Behind every B2B company is an organization filled with people. These people choose a brand just as much as they choose a product or solution for their business. We as humans make decisions based on facts, results but also based on instinct and emotion. Your brand needs to connect with emotions to influence long-term relationships and conversions.
There is often a feeling in the tech industry, especially in young B2B startups, that technology and automation are everything. These companies rely on tech. Marketing and building a brand are pushed back to come later in the game. And when things go wrong or slip, marketing is usually the first department to take the hit.
Speaking of things going wrong – insert COVID. Not only were budgets slashed but habits changed too. Phillipp Schinder, SVP, and chief business officer at Alphabet noted in this Marketing Week article, that 2020 helped marketers realize that decreased consumer demand meant brands needed to stay top of mind with brand building for when spending picks back up.
What is key to remember at this point is that products don’t sell themselves.
Everyone, including your competitors, has to be the most innovative, revolutionary, disruptive, you get it… they need to stand out as the best. What we need to remember is that everyone can add copy to a page. Not everyone can create a brand experience to captivate and convert.
Companies that are leaders are the ones that can offer a consistent brand experience at every single touchpoint. They value the importance of branding and marketing from day 1 as they recognize that along with what tech they sell, they need to be a brand that customers don’t just recognize but connect with.
A strong brand ensures long-term survival and in moments of high pressure.
Lead gen is crucial and marketing automation is fantastic. But the point is that it doesn’t replace branding activities. Both objectives need to work together to create the perfect b2b marketing cocktail.
A good brand takes time, commitment, and consistency. Every moment your brand makes an appearance in the wild in a logo, an email, a blog, a banner, a whitepaper, the list goes on – your brand is making an impression on prospects, consumers, and brand advocates. Every touchpoint needs consistency and to impress because every single experience matters.
So YES, do the lead gen campaign, but…
Don’t lose sight of your brand. Track and automate but continue the work on staying on-message and being on-brand with creativity, quality, and consistency in every little piece to shine throughout short-term changes, pivots, and for long-term success.