Before customers can buy from you, they have to be aware of your brand. Whether through direct mail, in-store signage, catalog, or email, your brand must pop up in front of them, prompting a spontaneous purchase, or be part of their thought process when they are evaluating their options as part of a planned decision.
For decades, brand awareness has been the subject of research and study. To what extent does brand awareness influence the final purchase decision? As it turns out, quite a lot.
Here are the results from one fascinating study:
- In a blind study by the University of Newcastle and the University of South Australia, 85.5% of subjects chose the familiar brand in the first trial, even if they actually preferred a less familiar brand.
- Even when testing brands during an initial trial, consumers were more likely to purchase the product from a familiar brand name, even if they preferred the taste (or, by extension, look, smell, or function) of an unfamiliar brand.
- Consumers were not only likely to choose the more familiar brand, but were more likely to make the decision more quickly. In this case, 9.8 seconds faster.
- As consumers become more familiar with the category and interact with other brands, the impact of brand awareness drops over time.
- Brand awareness is more critical among novice shoppers and those investigating products or services in a new category.
What does this mean for you? Get to the consumer early. Stay in front of them and don’t quit! Repetition is critical. One statistic we regularly run across is that the average person remembers three to five brands per category. To get in there, you have to push someone else out—and then stay there.
This is where consistent drips of brand messaging can pay off big. Send a direct mailer and follow up with an email. Invest in retargeting with social media ads for visitors to your website. Create constant reminders of who you are and what your brand offers.
Creating brand awareness is not always about getting someone to buy right now. It’s about staying top of mind—and keeping your competitors out in the cold—so that when your target audience is ready to buy, they think of you.
Source: “Brand Awareness Effects on Consumer Decision Making for a Common, Repeat Purchase Product: A Replication” (Journal of Business Research)
Before new customers can buy from you, they need to learn about you. They need to discover you through direct mail, email, or on the web. To create this awareness, companies are developing sophisticated demand generation programs.
According to the third annual Demand Generation Survey from Annuitas, the top five goals of enterprises’ demand gen programs are to improve the following:
- Quality of leads (92%)
- Customer cross-sells/upsells (62%)
- Volume of leads (61%)
- Brand awareness (48%)
- Customer retention (33%)
The study shows that year over year, these efforts are becoming more effective. In part, this is because companies are developing a more holistic view of their customers. This year saw an 11% increase in the percentage of companies using buyer personas as a standard part of their demand generation programs.
According to the study, 65.5% of organizations now use buyer personas in the planning of their demand generation programs and activities. Twenty-two percent have them in the planning stages.
Among the criteria used to develop personas:
|Size/revenue of company||56.6%|
|Core buyer pain points||55.8%|
|Content channel consumption||26.5%|
|Demographic information (age, marital status, hobbies, etc.)||20.4%|
|Obstacles that inhibit better engaging with the buyer||10.6%|
Although some companies refresh their buyer personas more frequently, most companies (early two-thirds) refresh them annually. When was the last time you refreshed your buyer personas?
Want more information on developing buyer personas to improve your demand generation efforts? Let our business development experts help!
When you are personalizing print or email communications, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Good use of data can be very effective, but the poor use of data can make people uncomfortable.
One marketer caused a stir, for example, when it targeted men with a personalized communication that used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have some day . . . if they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.”
So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without crossing the line? Here are three tips.
- Protect private data. There is a difference between selling educational materials and selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, for example, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.
- Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and current. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired. Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details.
- Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them upfront. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.
Remember that data is just data. When it comes to personalization, it’s what you do with that data that matters. Need help making sure that your use of data is a good one? Talk to us—we’re here to help.
Rebranding is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But sometimes, the time is right. When should you consider rebranding your business? Here is some advice from the experts.
When something has significantly changed in your business.
Businesses evolve, and there can come a point at […] Continue Reading…
With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.
What happens to results if you switch […] Continue Reading…
There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard.
Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.
According to a recent study by […] Continue Reading…
Are you looking for ways to spice up your direct mail campaigns? Even if your response rates remain high, are you looking to freshen things up? Here are a few ways you can update your direct mailings and give them new appeal.
Update the package.
Are you using […] Continue Reading…
What makes 1:1 printing work? What turns an average marketing campaign into an outstanding success? Is it the graphic design? Is it the mailing list? Is it selecting just the right variables like income, age, or gender? Those things are important, but there is one ingredient that trumps them […] Continue Reading…
Why target Millennials in your prospecting? Because once their loyalty is secured, they are more likely than non-Millennials to share their love of your brand, product, or service with others. Furthermore, once you gain their loyalty, they will often spread the word for you, especially if you help them […] Continue Reading…
If your mailing is fat, over-sized, or three-dimensional, it stands out. People want to pick it up and see what’s inside. Results of dimensional mailings can be spectacular. However, they also cost more to produce, assemble, and mail. Dimensional mailings work, but you want to be smart about using […] Continue Reading…