The Four B's to Using Media to Brand Your Business
By: Sharon Fanto, Cox Communications
April 2016 ENDEAVOR News Magazine
Identifying and using the right media tools to market and brand your business can be a daunting process. In the early 20th century, businesses simply placed an ad in the daily newspaper and then waited for people to come into their store and buy. Fast forward to 2015 and those traditional tools don’t necessarily work anymore. Due to the explosion of technology, a combination of traditional and digital media is needed to have a successful marketing strategy and brand. It is even more important that the messages utilize what the Millward Brown Ad Reaction report calls the Four B’s. (1)
They are: Be Consistent, Be Connected, Be Considered, and Be Concise. Let me explain further:
Be consistent. Your brand messaging should be uniform across all platforms so that the consumer’s experience is the same using any electronic device so they have a consistent experience.
Be connected. Give consumers a reason to go from TV to website. Think about second-screen experiences, specifically how your marketing can interact engagingly between screens and travel seamlessly across screens.
Be considered. TV messaging may not work on the web.
Be concise. Don’t clutter small screens with lots of type. Use mobile-friendly, shareable content that entertains first, informs second.
To better interpret the “Four B’s” we must first understand the traditional sales funnel that has been around since the 1800’s: inquiries = qualified leads = opportunities = revenue. Ultimately your efforts are focused on reaching the smaller and more engaged group who is likely to buy from you.
Technology has reshaped consumer habits. Two-thirds of Americans have smartphones. Americans spend more than three hours each day on the Internet. And, 80 percent of online ads use some form of social media. Additionally, since 2000 there has been an explosion of content with more video, more sources, and more devices to access it. All this technology provides consumers convenience and it has put them in control.
Additionally, as a marketer you have to define what types of “purchases” you have to offer, a product or service, and determine how the consumer can buy it, whether via a downloadable form, registering on your website or perhaps via a newsletter. Ultimately, to be effective you must define the right tools for the job based on your needs, as well as knowing who you are targeting.
Remember to always focus on the benefits, not features. Theodore Levitt, noted professor at Harvard Business School and editor of the Harvard Business Review said it best, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, and they want to buy a quarter-inch hole.” Sometimes, you must think for your customer!
All of this plays into building your brand. Your brand differentiates your business from the competition and ensures that consumers associate your business name with your type of product and/or service. Make it easy for them to find your website, optimize your listings in local search directories, make your website easy to navigate, update it regularly with new content, make it mobile-friendly, and create an app if you can. Then there is digital! TV is the #1 driver of brand awareness, but, today’s consumers are engaging with other digital devices, such as tablets, phones, and laptops.
Choosing a multi-channel media advertising strategy can reach consumers at every stage of the game. TV lays the foundation to establish your brand, online advertising drives your customers deeper into the sales cycle by engaging; and finally the purchase facilitates the shift from consumer to customer by reaching your target audience. So, create a strategy and start building you brand!
Sharon Fanto is the vice president for Cox Media in Virginia. She has more than 20 years of experience in leading multi-platform media sales management and leadership team. She holds a BS degree in Mass Communications & Advertising from Boston University and a Masters of Business Administration from the College of William & Mary.