What exactly is brand response advertising, and what role will it have to play in the new year? In this post, we walk brands through the strategy, which combines the storytelling advantages of brand marketing and the call-to-action typical of direct-response marketing, and explain why it’s becoming more and more prominent.
What is Brand Response Advertising?
Traditionally, advertising has been split into two basic activities. On the one hand, you have brand-building (or brand awareness) campaigns, which are designed to tell a story about the brand and drive a particular brand impression. On the other hand, you have direct-response (or direct-selling) activities, which offer a clear call-to-action to consumers, usually a sale.
The simplest way of thinking about brand response advertising is as a fluid blend of these two strategies, combining the storytelling impact of traditional brand marketing with the sales-boosting immediacy of direct-response advertising. Brand response advertising campaigns will often connect an aspirational storyline to a sale by using a nuanced and relevant transition.
Why it Matters Right Now
When done correctly, brand response advertising can boost a brand’s reputation while simultaneously netting conversions. A beneficial feedback loop is created, wherein the brand response campaign drives a sale, which then increases brand awareness and consumer trust. One reason brand response campaigns are taking center stage is the rise of web-driven B2B and B2C companies, which have traditionally relied on the customer experience to shape and reinforce impressions of the brand.
In our start-up-rich, digital-first environment, traditional copywriting has also run into some problems. Most traditional copywriting is designed to create a brand impression, without containing a direct call to action. And while this may work for famous and storied brands, for start-ups and small businesses, especially SMBs navigating the world of e-commerce, that approach simply isn’t enough.
On a similar note, direct-response advertising has also been impacted by the digital revolution, typically underperforming when it comes to top-of-funnel lead generation online. A clear sales pitch, advertisers have found, tends to get lost when users’ attention is being bombarded from every angle. Brand response advertising is ideal for combatting advertising fatigue, which has only increased over the past few years, as consumers have spent more and more time plugged into their devices.
Finally, today’s tighter and more crowded markets mean customer loyalty is critical — the best-case scenario for brands involves customers who are personally invested in the brand, and willing to commit to a long-term relationship characterized by a mutual return on investment. The personal, patient approach of brand response advertising is a natural fit.