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Branding? What is it good for?

Sometimes you might get the chance to sit down an mull over a thought-provoking article for ten minutes or so, and if you’re interested in some of the more conceptual aspects of advertising, I’d recommend reading Let’s Get Rid of Performance Based Marketing, Huh? on Future Now’s GrokDotCom/Marketing Optimization Blog. It will give you an insight into the discussion which a lot of people in advertising are having at the moment concerning the role of “branding” advertising, and whether the internet can deliver the goods on this front. The “IAB” referred to in the article is the industry body known as the Internet Advertising Bureau, by the way.

Personally, I advise most industrial and scientific B2B advertisers to use online for response advertising alone. For many companies, that’s all they want anyway. This article tends to concur, suggesting that branding requires repeated interruptions, which is something that the web is only great for in certain situations. We’re great at ignoring banner ads now, so although they can generate a trickle of responses which may be enough to justify them in terms of sales leads, don’t think they’re going to have nearly enough views to have a “branding” impact. If you want to get your product or company name seared into customers’ minds for some reason, you’re going to need to devise a more creative strategy than just booking some banner ads. But do you really need to do this at all? For most of us, getting decent response is still the only target.

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