Direct Response Marketing vs. Branding
Direct response marketing and branding are two distinct approaches to marketing. Direct marketing includes messages intended to drive an immediate customer response. Branding, also known as delayed response advertising, is a long-term effort to build up the brand image and value of your company and its products.
Direct response messages include calls to action that prompt immediate customer action. Direct response can occur through a variety of media. Television or print ads might include the directive "call now" or "be one of the first 100 callers." "Limited time only" is a common phrase used to denote the short-term opportunity of a particular sales promotion. Coupons, sales discounts and new customer promotions are all examples of direct response efforts.
The primary purpose of direct response is to generate immediate business. Its short-term goal orientation largely distinguishes direct response from branding. Companies use it to generate new business, attract new customers, create revenue or cash flow, clear out extra inventory or drive traffic to the business. A challenge in overusing direct response marketing is the potential for creating a price orientation with your customers. This conflicts with the efforts of long-term branding to increase emphasis on value, quality, service or other factors.
Branding, or delayed response messages, have a more long-term orientation. The point is to build and reinforce the central messages about your company and product brands. Top quality, high service, best value, durability, longevity, cost savings and green-friendly are some of the attributes businesses try to connect with their brands through branded marketing. Consistent, creative messages that reinforce the same strengths over time help companies develop brand reputations, which enhances the value of products bearings their names.
Branding helps your company establish its position in the marketplace for the long-term. It gives you competitive distinction from competitors by conveying to customers what makes your company and products unique, different or better. Achieving impacting branding relies on continuity, consistency, investment and delivery on brand promises. The minute you stop investing in brand development or maintenance, competitors swoop in and begin to erode your market share. You have to make long-term branding part of your focus to succeed in the long run.