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Marketing works against a backdrop of brand knowledge and presence, created through multiple interactions. And to work, it must work consistently.

Let’s Run An Ad!

April 1, 2024
Individual, isolated marketing efforts lack the influence of a sustained brand campaign.

Recently, I heard from a small company that its customer-service team feels all new business is driven by Marketing running an ad, which they do every few years. That’s an absolutely ridiculous expectation of business growth, and a wholly inaccurate understanding of the B2B sales process at large, as well as this specific company’s word-of-mouth business model.

Larger companies are no less immune to the idea that a single ad will be a game changer. To see the single-ad concept fail spectacularly against unreasonable C suite expectations, recall the unmet expectations for Snoop Dog’s viral “smokeless” ad – which led to the CEO's ouster.

Never in the history of ever has anyone made a multi-thousand dollar decision, as B2B purchases often are, based on a single ad or video. Random acts of marketing do not move sentiment or sales. Marketing collateral like ads and videos work against a backdrop of brand knowledge and presence, which are created through multiple interactions.

Your marketing collateral only works as hard as you make it work. And it needs to work consistently. That means your marketing collateral has to be part of a larger campaign as well as aligned with a brand vision.

In Marketing you can never rest on your laurels. Someone – usually in Sales – is always asking “What have you done for me lately?”, referring to leads and brand elevation. As a marketer you cannot come back with:

  • That one ad we ran.
  • That one video we made.

Not placing another ad because the single ad “did not get results” or not making another video because “we didn’t get much response” to the first one simply doesn’t make business sense. Marketing is about consistency – consistent messaging, consistent effort. Both with measured results.

Are you tracking leads? Are you measuring lead volume? What did the ad or video say or portray? Was it a solution or was it the ad equivalent of “you are here”?

An ad is not a sales tool. (Not unless you are running special pricing - and even then, it’s still not.) Ads are always about brand awareness: this is who we are and we have a solution to your problem or we solve problems for people like you.

The traceability of ads to brand awareness and the expectation that a single ad builds brand awareness is a losing game when the audience has the attention span of a goldfish. We’re in a war for attention. The average person sees at least 50 ads a day. (Some sources say 400, others 10,000.) Many “ads” don’t actually register to the viewer because we have simply become blind to them.

In B2B, the number we talk about is 5%. Five percent of your audience is ready to buy. Did your random act of marketing make your brand presence so memorable that a prospect chose your solution? That’s a lot to ask of a single ad or video!

The memorable “Got Milk” ad spawned countless copycats and remains the standard for branding simplicity. Remember, Got Milk was not a single ad but a 20-year campaign to raise product awareness. There are numerous ways to stretch a single ad or video idea into a campaign.

Questions to think about when evaluating your ad: Did the ad adhere to the brand? Does it match your digital presence? Is the messaging resonant with what the market’s interest? Does the ad match the company strengths you present on your website? Can you make another version (or two) to create a campaign? Can you make social media posts on the topic?

Questions to consider while creating a video plan: Did you put the video on YouTube, the second-largest search engine? Did you rehome it to your website? Did you post or link to it on social media? Did you format the title of the video as a question on YouTube to improve search? Did you review your YouTube analytics to see what questions people are asking to get to your YouTube channel?

Or did you just make a video?

Simply creating something – an ad or a video, or even a whitepaper – will not bring it to your audience’s attention when they are ready to buy. You have to be present where your audience is on a regular basis, with clear messaging about the problem you solve, to remain top of mind for your buyers.

Alexandria Trusov is the Global Marketing Director at Alpha Resources and a B2B marketing consultant to manufacturers and other B2B companies. Contact her at [email protected] or visit www.truinsightsconsulting.com.