Brand-building plus online marketing get the best results

As more and more “tools of the trade” become available to us, marketing becomes both more interesting and flexible, yet also more segmented and potentially confusing.

Marketing’s “split personality” has traditional brand building, driven by broad-reach vehicles such as TV ads, on one side, and what we call “performance marketing” such as data-driven online activities on the other.

Performance proponents tout their ability to drive and measure clicks, while brand builders argue for longer-term, broader-reach marketing vehicles (sometimes struggling to demonstrate near-term value).

Cathy Ackermann, president and CEO of Ackermann PR, was elected to SmartBank's Knoxville board of directors.

We see brand building’s measurement challenges sometimes driving an organization’s marketing spend too far in a one-dimensional direction of online marketing exclusivity. Research shows that long-term customer loyalty is strongest if it is nurtured by an emotional connection to the brand.

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In order to effectively address this potential imbalance, we recommend moving toward what we call “full-funnel” marketing, which combines the power of both brand-building and performance (online) marketing.