What is Brand Awareness?
Brand Awareness represents the following: how recognizable your brand is with your target audience, how much familiarity they have with it, and to what extent it resonates with them. It is generally associated with things that are trending, interesting, and desirable. The more brand awareness you have for something you’re promoting, the more likely you’ll be able to engage with your target audience. Engagement with your target audience directly leads to sales. Establishing brand awareness is critical in the early stages of a business when sales are needed most to keep a company afloat. How effectively you’re able to market and promote your business will determine the level of brand awareness, and ultimately, the amount of success you’ll be able to achieve.
Why should companies seek to improve Brand Awareness and when should companies focus on addressing it?
As stated above, brand awareness plays a key role in the success of your business. It can help establish a sense of trust across your target audience. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to not only purchase your products or utilize the services you provide, but it will make them more likely to recommend your company to a friend. If big enough, it can also create an association with everyday items or tasks and essentially become the default word of choice amongst people. For instance, how many times have you used the term ‘Kleenex’ instead of tissue – “Can you pass me a Kleenex please?” Or instead of saying you’re going to do an online search, you may have heard someone say “I’m going to Google it to learn more.”
While these examples come from largely successful companies, the same goals can be strived for amongst all companies, even if it’s at a much smaller scale. In order to establish and build upon your brand awareness, you’ll need to be able to effectively convert prospects into customers. You’ll also need to have a good understanding of the buyer’s journey. But how can that be done?
What is the marketing funnel and how does it relate to Brand Awareness?
It may take some time, but the first thing you’ll want to do is build your own marketing funnel. A marketing funnel can be defined as the journey a prospect will take starting from awareness and eventually leading to conversion, with conversion being the purchase of your goods or services. Put another way, it’s the process of turning prospects into paying customers. In order to build the funnel, you’ll need to understand the prospect/customer experience so you can effectively meet the needs of your target audience. It’s important to understand some basic concepts of the marketing funnel before diving right in.
There are three stages to the marketing funnel: top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU), and bottom of funnel (BOFU).
At the TOFU stage, your primary goal is to provide general information about your products or services to gain some interest amongst your audience. You’ll ultimately want individuals to transition to the BOFU stage and while that will happen with some, not all will get there. Providing a steady stream of content through automated email campaigns and including things like blog posts, articles, eBooks, or videos within those emails will all contribute to garnering more interest. Remember, you are really trying to increase awareness among prospects who are not yet willing to make a purchase.
In the MOFU stage, the prospect is more likely to become a paying customer since they’ve expressed some level of interest in your product or service. Someone from your sales team could reach out directly to individuals in this stage, but should be aware that most people, who are now considered a lead, aren’t quite ready to purchase. Depending on how their interaction goes with a sales rep will determine if they require more lead nurturing (and therefore get pushed back to the TOFU stage to continue being provided with general informative content) or are ready to progress to the third and final stage – BOFU. Providing content packed with more details on your products or services that’s geared toward purchasing behavior is your goal here. That can be sending out invites to a webinar you’re hosting or by providing downloadable content that’s educational in nature. If the prospect moves on to the BOFU stage, they are now considered a sales lead.
The BOFU stage is where you’ll find your most qualified leads. These individuals are ready to purchase and are people you want to retain for the possibility of future purchases. In this stage, your sales team should be working more directly with prospects and content should be provided that will lead to these individuals taking action. It can be broken down into two stages: opportunity and customer. When the prospect is in the opportunity stage, they are considered a sales lead who is ready to work with the sales team to actively buy. In the customer stage, the lead has purchased and therefore become a customer, which ultimately completes the buyer’s journey. While their progression from prospect to customer has been a success, you should still continue to nurture these individuals to retain their business. You can do so by adding them to another engagement program you’ve built that’s meant to target past paying customers.
How should a company improve Brand Awareness with Marketo Engage?
Now that you have an understanding of brand awareness, why it’s important, the buyer’s journey, and some basic concepts on how to convert prospects into customers, you’ll now have to determine what tools you’ll use to accomplish your business goals. One of our tools of choice at Etumos is Marketo Engage. Marketo Engage is a marketing automation platform that helps businesses automate and measure marketing engagement, tasks, and workflows. It allows marketers to provide a steady stream of content at a consistent cadence (otherwise known as nurture or engagement programs) to their prospects and customers while doing so in a manner that is efficient and scalable. It works in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customers (B2C) settings and allows marketers to target prospects, qualified leads, and customers with automated and personalized email marketing campaigns.
In addition to providing content, Marketo Engage is also a powerful tool to be used for lead management. It can store person records and any important data that’s captured which can come from filling out a form, opening and/or clicking through an email, visiting a Marketo built webpage, or registering for an event or webinar. It can also be synced to a customer relationship management (CRM) software which can provide your marketing operations team with accurate information on prospects and customers in real time, and as a result, will create a roadmap to follow so you can personalize and enhance the buyer’s journey by providing content that’s likely to resonate with them.
It’s clear that in order to build brand awareness, your company must have a gameplan to follow and the right tools at their disposal to utilize. Marketo Engage bridges the gap between establishing brand awareness and promoting the sales of your business. It gives your team the ability to create automated workflows and processing, store and analyze data on prospects and customers based on their behavior, which in turn, helps you construct the right type of content for them, and does all of this at scale.
At Etumos, we’ve created our own framework on how to build out a Marketo instance and have established best practices based on the wealth of knowledge we’ve obtained over our years working with clients. Marketo Engage has given us the power to help our clients build brand awareness and aid in the success of these companies. As marketing automation experts, we know Marketo Engage inside and out and have proven we know how to effectively unleash its full potential. Let us take your business to the next level by contacting us today!