There are two main goals that a marketer wants to achieve for their company. One is brand exposure and the other is marketing. These two names might seem very familiar and similar too but they are vastly different.
What is the difference?
Brand exposure is simple, it is advertising your brand, your name. The main aim with brand exposure or branding is to show off who you are, as a people. This is a great way to reward customers who already know who you are, or for companies to show off their work but whose name might not be known.
Marketing differs in a small way, as the idea of marketing is to use your name to show off the work you do, and to actually convince people to come work with you or buy from you.
For instance, appearing on TV to talk about engineering specifications is fantastic brand exposure. People will see your name, and see that you are experts in this field. However, marketing is more of a clever sales pitch, through any medium.
Why do I need to know this?
It’s a valid question, and the line of difference between the two is very thin. However, its significance is indeed huge; it is not something you want to mess up. If you are at a trade show or exhibition, then the last thing you want to do is just stand there handing out flyers and giveaways. For anyone who has been to shows like these, you know that the valuable connections you make are the people you talk to, actually marketing your company by explaining who you are. The same rule applies in every aspect of marketing. You do not want to pay for an advert that just displays your logo. A lot of money can be spent doing the wrong thing. Although sometimes the brand exposure might convince someone to look into your company, the marketing efforts are much more effective.
Examples of both
Here are some examples of both ways to increase awareness of your brand, but also marketing, to help you really understand what we’re talking about.
1. Guest blogs: This offers good ways to do both. Talking about a topic you’re an expert on is brand awareness, whilst some pieces might include how you work to achieve a certain goal.
2. Appearances on TV: If you’re being interviewed, the goal here is brand awareness. People will see your name, but the topic of conversation won’t be down to you.
3. Webinars/Seminars: This is really a marketing effort, as although you are sharing your knowledge, you are choosing what to talk about. You can choose to steer the subject into how your business deals with things and why you believe it’s a better approach.
4. Instagram: This is brand awareness, showing off your work. These people just like the pictures you put out, and although your name might gain some popularity, a lot of these people are not going to be your next customers. It is a good medium though, use it.
5. Facebook/Twitter This is a marketing tool, as you can talk about the product/service. Each tweet/post can be a small sales pitch, and you’re going to increase some brand awareness the more followers you get.
6. Trade Shows: This is a way to market your company. Engaging with event-goers and making a connection is where the success of the event will come.
7. Sponsoring: Whether it’s a team, local event or whatever, you are performing brand awareness here. People will see your name everywhere, which encourages them to look you up, but you’re not telling the viewers anything about your product.
8. Charity work: This is a great way for brand awareness and to boost your band. It doesn’t convince people to come buy from you but everyone will look at your brand a lot more fondly, which is a way to convince people who know to work with you.
Is there a place for promotional products?
Now, when it comes to something like promotional products, you have to ask yourself something, what are you trying to achieve with these gifts? If you have organised a large event like sponsoring an event, then there is probably no need to go for the lavish gifts in the goody bags. Try something small like USB sticks or key rings. Make the costs low, as the real marketing has already been done by yourselves by the wonder of the event and by connecting with the customers there. Now, if you are at a marketing event like a trade show, you want to market the company, get customers to work with. In this case, the big mistake people make is handing out an infinite number of pens in the hope that it gains customers.
As said earlier, talking to people at events like these is where the marketing lies, so instead, hand out fewer promotional products, but to the people you’ve engaged in a conversation with. If you do want free giveaways to hand out to anyone and everyone, make it something like sweets or mints. I know this may run against the reasoning of some brand handlers but it is an effective thing to do.
Since you are giving away less promotional products, the more money you can spend on them, and the best promotional products are the ones that not only represent your company and work, but ones that are actually memorable and when looked at will be a reminder of exactly who you are.
Branding or Brand exposure is often confused for marketing and, that way, a team’s efforts to generate revenue is often lost because they forget to see where the line of difference is.