Branding vs performance … they’re the same thing

Even the greenest marketing grad knows the well-worn John Wannamaker adage

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” There’s been lots of talk recently of the difference between performance and brand marketing teams in businesses, how it’s a completely different skillset and approach.

Our friends at Google divide their teams into performance or branding, and with justification; a guy great at data analysis differs broadly from the ‘brand and images guy.’

But I’d argue those lines are blurring and we’re moving into a world where everything is attributable. To some extent it always has been.

Advertising was for a long time about broadcast messages for companies to build brands and ultimately sell stuff.

Nike, Unilever, Coke, Apple, the world’s biggest brands are the world’s biggest advertisers. Why? Because brand advertising works, we don’t know to what extent, but it works. Nike advertise trainers on TV, on billboards, online. They don’t sell a pair to everyone who sees the ad, but they sell enough to justify the outlay. But the same theory applies to brand marketing as it does to performance marketing, if it shifts products it’s working. One day through customer tracking and attribution we’ll know which washing liquid people are putting into their shopping baskets and which brand ads they’ve been exposed to. We’ll assign a value to that advertising based on the information.

And traditional performance channels can be brand led, take for example the ad we ran against searches for ’50 Shades of Grey’ on its day of launch for our client Feel Unique, which while it had an impact on sales was also seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Massive brand exposure for Feel Unique. So everything boils down to performance on some level, it’s just how we attribute a value.

Rather than sitting the different media channels in different silos lets work together to understand the relationship between them all. We can understand much more about TV campaigns from search volumes and behaviour post view.

Croud are already looking at Google Betas tracking search and display impact on driving customers in-store. The same will soon be true of exposure to outdoor.

It’s not brand vs performance it’s brand plus performance.

by Luke Smith
27 March 2015



Related posts