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ONE big area where online marketers are not taking enough heed of expertise of their offline peers and where they might lose battle, is branding. Too much direct mail-type marketing means that credible, trustworthy branding is unlikely to occur. Type in a generic search term for a product and find yourself amazed at outcome. Reading results, you'd think you'd landed on Mars.
Branding old fashioned way is a lot more time consuming than any internet marketer will naturally be inclined to think. Branding is an exercise of timing, planning, researching and optimised launches. It takes time before people are used to new products. Psychological studies confirm time and again that we buy what we think is safe, comfy, familiar, nice, soft, handy, easy, whatever word to indicate a certain comfort zone that creates an entry for marketers. It's a known fact that you first need to see a product about umpteen times before it has become a part of your reference frame. If you don't believe this, move to a foreign country, visit a supermarket and try not to feel totally lost. It's impossible.
Only if we are familiar with a product brand, we think that purchasing it will better us. If we don't have at least a vague positive idea when we purchase a product, no brand building has been done or not enough or it has not connected with us.
Although branding of products offered online is something quite new, it is quite amazing that outright stupid mistakes are made here. Where online marketers are often wrong is where they are measuring search engine advertising way they would direct marketing. True, much of search engine advertising resembles direct marketing, but realistic measurement of people's attitude towards products advertised, should include more than only whether or not they buy it. Brand measurement takes place when all responses are analysed, even why a product is not purchased or not immediately or not at a specific platform.
In forgetting to measure any customer behavior outside conversion rate, they completely forego power of branding. They don't realize how much greater click through and conversion rates would be if their brands were recognized and trusted by that same audience.
Here is an example of just how effective a campaign can be when branding's taken seriously. The marketers have got it so right, that their campaigns themselves have become an overnight brand known for controversy. Called Gatoring, after company that made software enabling it, this advertising has come under scrutiny of courts. What people are upset with is that popup ads are thrown on competitors' sites. If are looking for a particular brand of car for instance, a popup of a competing brand would pop up. Despite its dubiousness, gatoring shows just how effective online marketing can be - when marketers do their homework.
Angelique van Engelen is a writer at www.contentclix.com, a Netherlands based content writing agency. Email her at AngeliquevanEngelen@contentclix.com