There are two marketing jobs on the table, always.

  • Job 1: build the brand
  • Job 2: grow (the) sales

The two are not the same. The fact that Emirates Airlines is stuck in my head doesn’t mean I am booking a plane ticket tomorrow. The brand job has been done, but not the sales job.

Doing a successful brand awareness job creates long-term benefits. It means, for example, that I will consider Emirates first when I eventually decide to travel. It also means that I may tell friends and family to consider Emirates when we discuss overseas travel. Or that I use the brand when I blog – like now. It’s a “brand” job well done, and should translate into long term benefits for the airline.

But not now.

If Emirates wants me to book a plane ticket now because their plane is half empty on the tarmac, they should do a different type of marketing. They should run a sales campaign that encourages quick action!

A sales campaign is very different from a brand campaign.

  • A brand campaign builds momentum over a long time; a sales campaign runs in short bursts.
  • A brand campaign stays unchanged for years; a sales campaign needs to change regularly for maximum impact.
  • A brand campaign requires a little bit of money over a long period of time; a sales campaign is more expensive over a short period.

The problem is that many business owners, and marketers, confuse the two types of marketing. For example, many entrepreneurs start companies and then ask a marketer to help them build a website which then takes months to complete. But really, what the business desperately needs is sales! Spending marketing money, and energy, on a company website is not going to generate sales. What is needed is a sales campaign! The company website can wait till next year.

Everyone wants to build brands. But let’s be clear, brand building doesn’t pay the bills. Sales do!

Be clear with yourself, and your marketing agency, on what the job at hand is!