Today most of Marketing has become dominated by the topic of demand/lead generation and account based marketing. Demand without brand will only get you so far. Demand generation requires brand strength.

Successful marketers know to succeed they need to invest equally across in brand, demand, and post sale/customer Marketing. These three pillars that enable are the foundation for finding, keeping and growing the value of customers.

The Brand, Demand, and Customer Connection

It’s a sad day when the focus on the tactical transactional aspects of marketing eclipse the strategic side of the coin.  Why? Because without brand you cannot create ongoing demand. Before we delve further, let’s clarify the nuance between demand generation/creation and lead/opportunity generation.

Keep Your Brand, Demand, Customer Marketing Strategies in Balance

It is Marketing’s mission to keep brand, demand, and customer in balance.

Within the context of supply and demand, Marketing along with Sales are critical components of the demand side of the equation.  It is the job of Marketing to shape perception, develop perception and create preference in your company’s solutions.  Identifying and engaging your existing and prospective customers that want and need your solution is the essence of demand creation and generation. Brand plays an important role in demand creation and generation.  Demand creation and generation is integral to lead/opportunity generation. With the demand for qualified “leads” and the focus on today’s deals, it is easy to for Marketing to get out of balance.

The Push and the Pull

In the traditional sense of push and pull, demand creation and generation is the “push” and lead/opportunity generation is the “pull.”  Your ability to generate opportunities into the pipeline is a result of how well you are able to build market awareness, create brand preference, and stimulate consideration.  Therefore it is vital that you invest talent, time and money into each leg of the school.  It take skill to balance these.

It’s hard to motivate people to buy from you if they’ve never heard of you or your product/service, do not know or have experienced you or your product/service, don’t have clear understanding of the product’s/service’s value and your promise in regards to their needs. These fall within the realm of positioning, brand strategy and demand generation in its purest sense.  These are as important, perhaps more so than opportunity/lead generation. Demand creation and generation paves the way for opportunity and lead generation.

Why You Need to Renew Your Focus on Brand

In today’s world of deteriorating product brand power, rising perceptions of parity products, reduced employee loyalty, and increasing competition, it may be worthwhile to renew your focus on brand.  A weak or strong corporate brand can make a significant difference in terms of your company’s sales volume and its stock price. It will also affect the marketability and acceptability of your company’s products, services and human resources.

Your company’s brand, its promise, plays a critical role in every organization. It is perhaps even more important for new and medium-sized businesses that must grapple for customer attention and the recruitment of financial and human resources without the aid of large communications budgets. Creating and communicating the company’s brand promise is a major strategic element in impacting a company’s Marketing, with a capital M, efforts.

From a Marketing perspective, corporate brand management needs to be an on-going, synergistic management tool, rather than a one-time “corporate image exercise.” The value of investing in a corporate brand is reflected in your organization’s ability to

  • differentiate itself from competition,
  • create recognized added- value to the products and services marketed or delivered by the organization, and
  • attract and maintain customer relationships in order to prosper in an increasingly competitive and constantly changing global marketplace.

Brand is Your Defense and Offense

If managed effectively, your brand strategy protects your company against competition from new competitors or from current competitors offering new products and services. There may be no greater Marketing skill than corporate brand management in today’s increasingly competitive markets. The ultimate battleground for winning and maintaining customer relationships often takes place in the minds, hearts, emotions and perceptions of the customers.

Take a look at your Marketing plan. Make sure your measurable objectives, programs, and investments reflect both brand and demand.   An out of balance plan will cost you down the road.

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