As the owner of a marketing firm, I have the privilege of getting to see how hundreds of different companies work together to articulate their unique value propositions. There are some distinct differences from business to business and market to market. But one of the things that always surprise me is how often infighting occurs between marketing arms of companies and operations arms over the expectations of a particular ad campaign or marketing effort. In my experience, these types of misunderstandings can almost always be avoided by getting everybody to understand the difference between a “business building” campaign and a “business driving” campaign. Both are essential to the bottom line of a healthy business, but they are very different. Here are the main differences and how to best utilize each.
Business Builders: These types of campaigns are essential to letting potential clients know who you are, what you do, and what your unique value proposition is. Business Building Campaigns commonly come in the form of radio ads, billboards, magazine ads, advertorials, sponsorships, trade show attendance, and promotional items. This type of marketing effort is critical as it builds brand awareness and helps your brand be top-of-mind when what you provide is needed by potential customers.
Business Drivers: These types of campaigns are usually seen as the rock star of a company’s marketing/advertising campaign because they are specially designed to gain an immediate response. Business Driving Campaigns often come in the form of a special offer advertisement, door buster, sale, etc. An ad may come out on Monday, and the business sees people streaming in to take advantage of the special offer the very next day. These are exciting campaigns.
The disconnect usually comes from leadership not understanding that the Business Driver campaigns would not have been successful if people did not already trust the brand thanks to the quiet work of the Business Building campaigns. Think about what happens when Nordstrom advertises their Anniversary Sale on Thursday; people stream into the store on Friday. But if it hadn’t been for the marketing offering great service through regular Business Building campaigns, the sale announcement would not have been as well received by the masses.
For almost all businesses, it is critical to have a mix of Business Builders and Business Drivers when it comes to their advertising/marketing. However, it is equally important to assign different expectations of a builder vs. a driver. A driver should bring people in immediately, but it is important to remember that the builder set the driver up to deliver. It is just like a basketball game; people cheer when a player achieves a slam dunk, but without the team member who got the ball safely to the shooter, none of it would have been possible.
Daniel Hickey, Director of Creative Advertising, Hickey Marketing Group, based in Redlands, California