How Can Marketers Choose Between Brand and Demand?

More and more of them are choosing not to – and focusing on connecting the two sides of marketing more effectively. This infographic guide can help.

September 13, 2021

The Conflict Between Long and Short-Term Metrics illustration

For as long as marketers have distinguished between brand and demand, they’ve wrestled with the dilemma of which to prioritise at a given moment – and within a given budget. Lately, that juggling act has become trickier, because both types of marketing activity can make a strong case for why they should be the main focus, right now.

On the demand side, marketers are faced with the task of rebuilding revenues in the aftermath of the pandemic. That puts them under pressure to get calls to action in front of everyone who might consider buying from their category. Add in the fact that B2B sales teams are adjusting to remote buyer journeys, with many desperate for more marketing support, and the case for focusing on demand looks pretty strong.

Over on the brand side, though, the evidence is mounting that loading budget into performance marketing without a brand strategy to support it, risks diminishing returns. Research by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) shows the impact of demand marketing declining quickly over time while an investment in brand keeps on giving. That’s why IPA data suggests that the optimal marketing mix gives 60% of budget to brand, compared to 40% for demand.

It’s brand salience that ensures your solutions come to mind first in any buying situation – and that potential customers listen to what your content and ads have to say. In changing times, buyers of all types seek out brands they can trust, with values that align with their own. The chances are that new customers with new needs are coming into your category – and marketers who’ve invested in wider awareness and building perceptions have a valuable head-start.

Marketing for Today’s Revenues – And Tomorrow’s

All marketers have to be realistic about which types of marketing investment will deliver results in the timeframe they’re dealing with. If sales teams are crying out for leads this month and there are immediate revenue holes that need filling, then it’s very difficult to bet most of your budget on a big brand campaign that will deliver results over the next three years. If short-term metrics are the priority, then demand generation will need to be a big part of your plans.

It’s just as important though, to be realistic about how short-term your timeframe can afford to be. Getting through a given quarter or year matters – but being able to gain market share and post sustainable growth over a longer period matters too. Businesses don’t just want to survive day-to-day. They need a robust growth strategy that secures an ever-larger share of revenues in the future. They want to thrive.

Recent research from the Ehrenberg Bass Institute shows that only 5% of buyers in the average B2B category are in-market and ready to buy at any given time. In other words, the audience open to demand generation marketing today is a lot smaller than the audience that could be influenced to buy you in the future through brand marketing. Even with the most effective targeting imaginable, there’s a limit to how much future value you can create just by focusing on demand. You can create a lot more by connecting brand and demand marketing together.

A New Approach to Brand and Demand

This is what a growing number of marketers are choosing to do. Rather than separating out brand and demand as distinct priorities with their own competing strategies, they’re exploring how to multiply value by investing in both – and connecting them more effectively. They want brand and demand – and they want to design them to work better together.

These marketers understand that their audiences don’t switch off from brand marketing when they start considering products – and they don’t refuse to engage with demand marketing just because they’ve been watching a brand ad. Rather than trying to second-guess which type of marketing someone should be engaging with, they make it easier for that person to move between brand and demand experiences as their interest directs them. That way, there’s far less risk of missing out on the awareness and interest any of your marketing investment generates.

In a recent LinkedIn survey, more than 50% of marketers said that they want to run brand and demand campaigns together, addressing the entire buyer journey. IPA data backs them up. It shows that brand and acquisition marketing running together is 6x more effective than acquisition campaigns running alone.

Connecting Brand and Demand – The Infographic Guide

How do you choose between brand and demand? The smartest solution could be to find a way not to. Explore the this infographic and connect up your marketing strategy to deliver value throughout the funnel. Scroll down to view the infographic:


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