I have to admit, when I wrote this headline, I had some serious flashbacks. Gone are the days when client discussions focused on top-of-mind awareness. That was so … early 2000s?
Or so it seems. Since the Great Recession, most marketing efforts (in my experience) have shifted from top-of-mind awareness to lead generation. The affordability of digital marketing and its accompanying analytics are attractive for clients with dwindling budgets and who require measurement for spending those budgets.
We now call top-of-mind campaigns branding campaigns, but the goal is the same – to be one of the “top” suppliers of goods or services that buyers recall when they enter the market. Why? Because research shows that only 5% of buyers are in-market at any given time.
Organizations need to spend this year focused on how they are going to stay top-of-mind for the 95% of buyers who are not looking to make a purchase. Umm, I think we were doing that in 2002.
While elevating brand awareness is nothing new, how brands approach this in 2022 is critical. Pushing product updates and approaching their marketing in a self-serving manner spells disaster for brands refusing to evolve. Today, we require brands to earn our trust and to engage regularly with us.
That’s because people buy brands, not products.
Some brands are going as far as forming “Consumer Boards,” inviting consumers to have a seat at the table when making decisions. While marketers are focused on what they think is right for consumers, consumers will simply share what they want or don’t want – weighing in on everything from campaign concepts to product creation.
Consumers spoke loudly and clearly about social issues over the past couple of years, and fortunately brands listened. In 2022, you’ll see campaigns be more in-tune to diversity and inclusion, with sensitivity of marketing reaching an all-time high. Will your brand follow suit?
Staying top-of-mind can be a bit more challenging than it once was. But having a well-thought out plan with a multi-channel approach, messaging that connects, and creative that inspires action is a great place to start.