From The Ground Up: Why it’s Time to Start Thinking About Awareness Tactics Again

Stephanie Lee Written by: Stephanie Lee

Guest blogger and local marketing strategist Stephanie Lee explains the value behind both long and short term awareness tactics, especially at the local level.

Think of the last time you went to the movies. As you wait for the movie to begin, you’re subject to several advertisements before the movie starts. Can you remember an advertisement you’ve seen while waiting? What brand was it? Why did it stick with you? Did you chuckle as M&M’s were kidnapped by a Russian mobster? Did you feel inspired with Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” commercial? Whatever it was, it was most likely an awareness advertisement – an ad that you noticed and remembered long-term.

In today’s fast-paced, instant gratification world, brands remain heavily focused on the end result: what are the tactics that will make my cash register ring?

Because consumers now have 24/7 connectivity, they’re being flooded with ad messages: sometimes up to 5,000 per day. This means keeping your brand top-of-mind for consumers looking for your service or product is crucial, especially in the local marketing space.

Awareness tactics seem to have fallen to the back burner as engagement tactics have been the focus for many businesses. However, much like a building a house, your brand’s local marketing plan must be built from the bottom up, starting with a strong awareness foundation and layering in action drivers that focus on messaging.

Awareness tactics can be divided into two categories: long-term awareness builders and short-term action drivers.

Long-term awareness builders:

Think of long-term awareness tactics as the base of the campaign (or the house). Your brand can never be silent. You need to always be communicating relevant, consistent messages to your audience. Providing those frequent messages through long-term awareness tactics will reach consumers who are at the very early stages of the purchase funnel.

Long-term awareness tactics include:

  • Out-of-home marketing i.e. buses, mall advertising, billboards
  • Digital display (banners and retargeting)
  • Cinema advertising
  • Online music and video streaming advertising
  • Paid search

Short-term action drivers:

These tactics are used to create additional touch points for your consumers during their path to purchase. These do not necessarily have to be offer based. Short-term action drivers can be used to simply create an extra boost for your brand, for example, around the holidays.

Short-term action driving tactics include:

  • Social media
  • Print ads
  • Radio spots
  • Experiential opportunities i.e. flashmobs
  • Sponsorships

Because of today's hyper-competitive market, it's important for consumers to interact with your brand over and over and over again. For national brands, successfully running both long-term and short-term awareness tactics at the local level is crucial for brand success. It’s easy for your brand name to get lost at the local level, but awareness tactics, if done correctly, keep your local dealers, agents and franchisees top-of-mind for current and potential consumers. Selecting long term awareness builders and then running them in conjunction with short-term action drivers surrounding large promotions (Black Friday, an in-store event, etc.) is a way to disrupt what the customer is used to. Think integrated marketing. Having multiple, relevant touchpoints through awareness-driven tactics will help keep your brand remembered by consumers at any level of the purchase funnel.

Being remembered is important, and being remembered comes from reaching your consumers through multiple touchpoints that are disruptive, innovative and effective. With so many advertisements and messages hitting your consumers every day, executing several different tactics to reach them and make them see you over and over again in a variety of formats will give you a leg up on your competition. In a conversion-driven world, don’t forget to step back and think awareness tactics, especially at the local level.


About the Author:

Stephanie Lee is a local marketing strategist at Brandmuscle where she helps local affiliates develop integrated marketing strategies that are developed with the affiliate's business needs and strategy in mind. Connect with Stephanie here.

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