Branding and Direct Response go hand in hand.

As published in The Q Review Spring 2020 Magazine.  Follow the link to Subscribe and receive your FREE copy each quarter!

In Part 1 we discussed the difference between branding and direct response and some of the marketing activities we have tried and tested broken down into Offline and Online.

Now using part science, part intuition, the two lists have been ordered from what we perceive to be the most successful to the least successful.

Having said that, the Facebook Ads have been most successful at getting the Free Business Guide into the hands of our target audience.

From there, the Free Business Guide has been very successful in provoking the recipient to reach out and engage with us further.

So, which is better, branding or marketing?

Honestly, I don’t think you can separate the two, I think the reality is you need a bit of both.

Too much of one and not the other won’t work. Too little of both makes the goal of growing very difficult indeed.

Ultimately, the most valuable commodity, and the only thing that really counts, is building trust.

What is most important, is to get your marketing, in both forms, right so that you are marketing ‘with’ your target audience, not ‘at’ them. What do I mean by this?

Ultimately, the most valuable commodity, and the only thing that really counts, is building trust. If your target market doesn’t trust you, the game is up. And of course trust can be earned, and it can be lost.

As you build a marketing strategy for your business, it is very easy to become so focused on trying to convince the recipient to take action, that you can fall into one, or even both, of the two biggest potential traps.

The first is that you start to effectively shout at your audience.

You don’t do so deliberately, or at least with mal-intent, but your enthusiasm and passion for trying to convince the recipient results in an ever increasing voice volume (both literally and figuratively).

The second is that you start to push the boundaries of the benefits your offering can bring.

Again, you don’t deliberately set out to mislead, but if you aren’t careful the once obvious boundaries become blurred.

For most small to medium businesses, where budget is almost certainly a constraint, we recommend following the advice of Seth Godin.

Don’t focus on the biggest possible market, don’t try to reach everyone, don’t try to please everyone nor try to convince everyone to your way of seeing and doing things.

Instead, focus on the smallest possible market that can sustain you and your business.

This will include what is usually the modest number of people who are initially interested in what you have to offer.

Bring this smallest possible market something of real value, that they can’t imagine going without, and that they will tell other people about.

For example, when it comes to our new South West WA Office, located in Vasse, after taking a broad approach to our branding, we have identified that all we are really targeting in the first year of operation was 40 local, ambitious business owners whom we can assist with their business building, wealth creation, asset protection, tax minimisation, estate planning and of course tax and other financial compliance.

…marketing based on price is fraught with danger.

That is the smallest possible market that we can serve really well, to whom we can add real value, and that can sustain our business in the area.

To help us achieve that modest target of business owner clients, we estimate that we can take on an additional 50 non-business owner clients who we will help with their personal tax affairs and provide some guidance regarding their financial affairs and their retirement planning.

We believe that 50 non-business owners will help us reach the 40 business owners we seek, and they will also help to sustain us moving forward as each year a small proportion of them will likely start a business themselves.

And there you have a modest yet sustainable business model and target market for our first regional business location.

One last point… marketing based on price is fraught with danger. Amongst the many pitfalls, the most important in our view is the fact that lowering your price doesn’t make you more trusted, in fact it almost always does the exact opposite! It results in suspicion as to how you achieve it, what important aspects you are skipping, and how sustainable your business really is.