Marketing: Is It Essential To Understand The Technique?
Are today’s marketing practitioners expected to be highly skilled in every aspect of the brand toolkit or is the key to successfully finding the best possible service provider?
The age of technology has blurred the lines between the traditional definitions of above the line (ABL) and below the line (BTL) marketing. So much so that most brands now opt for a more integrated through the line (TTL) approach using digital tools to achieve greater brand awareness whilst also reaching a more focused market segment.
What this means is that TTL marketers should have a working knowledge of every tool available in their brand kit, but would one person or team ordinarily have the time and experience to be able to coordinate and action absolutely everything within the greater brand strategy?
ABL advertising is a specialist tool within the brand kit. There are many signage, branding and out-of-home media alternatives to consider and placement is key. Although mass media marketing is not necessarily targeted, and conversions are less important than brand awareness, much like real estate the success of a brand campaign often comes down to location, location, location. The more experienced the operative, the better the results.
Owner of Technique Media, Darren Kirby says, “We are essentially a service for the new breed of marketeer – we will advise on the best solutions for your brand, find the right space, conceptualize creative, and coordinate and manage the entire process from start to finish so that a through the line marcoms manager can focus on bringing all aspects of their wider strategy together.”
A company’s ABL strategy serves to build awareness. Where branding and signage play such an important role is effectively talking to the customer once they’re within the advertiser’s environment i.e. pulling the wider ABL messaging into their points of purchase. Kirby says “branding can only enhance the strength of a company’s greater communication strategy, whether it serves as delivering a call to action or a broader brand awareness focus. For companies that struggle to use ABL media platforms given their hyper-specific markets and niche products, branding and signage options are a great means of creating and building awareness – for example, fleet branding.”
There are many ABL advertising options between the traditional and digital spheres, and from a financial perspective branding and signage solutions are solely limited to an initial production cost as opposed to media platforms and BTL activities with monthly costs.
Print branding and signage solutions could include anything from a simple outdoor vinyl business sign or wallpapers and window prints to interior fabric frames, PVC stretched signs, billboards, branded product and brochure display stands, branded x-board flat pack furniture, vehicle wrapping and tarpaulin prints. And of course, because nothing is impossible, even the most bizarre custom job can be conceptualised and delivered on.
On the other hand, the options around digital branding and signage are far less well-known only having entered the market in 2007. Company names up in lights, screen solutions in the retail space – sure – but there are many others such as lightboxes, smart mirrors, digital billboards and geo-location marketing that contribute toward this booming movement. However, many retailers and store owners don’t know what options are available and how cost-effective they can be if installed and delivered correctly. A study conducted jointly by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute and the Light Technology Institute in Germany found that drivers spent significantly longer looking at the digital billboards they passed than traditional billboards. Another study by InfoTrends found that digital signage in stores encouraged customers to spend up to 30 percent more time browsing.
Kirby concludes, “Digital signage is the way of the future with many more benefits than that of print and it proves to be much more cost-effective in the long run, but customer experience is everything and can be enhanced whether it’s through digital platforms or fresh and current static branding solutions.”