The definition of branding (for small businesses)

by gordon_mullan

I came across a great blog post today from a well-known and very successful small business marketer called John Jantsch, creator and author of Duct Tape Marketing.

In it, John gives a great definition of both marketing, and branding, as applied to small businesses:

“Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you. Most small business folks, exposed only to more academic definitions, really seem to appreciate the truthfulness of that characterization.

This same reader (Eddy) also asked then for my definition of branding (as it might relate to marketing)

So, here you go. Branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable.”

As a small businesses, customers are never going to know, like and (start to) trust you from your marketing if you talk in the same, lobotomised, corporate tone of voice that most everybody else does, is also important to be a recognized business with a digital signature, for this you can find the right software online

Until you start giving people the human face and personality behind your business, you’re going to continue to get dismissed as ‘just another [whatever]’.

What can you do, right now, to start communicating your uniqueness to your target audience, in terms they care about?

Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation and logo. All of these elements work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing professional profile.

Why Is Branding Important?

Branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people percept your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness.

Marketers today have their work cut out for them. The average customer uses 10 channels to communicate with companies, which means the digital marketing landscape is more fragmented than ever. As customers’ expectations rise, so does the temperature in the proverbial kitchen for marketing management.

Research shows that marketers’ top priorities include optimizing the marketing mix for the best return and modernizing their tools and technologies. These teams are also revamping their marketing metrics for a new era. The same survey shows that 41% of marketing organizations are using marketing attribution modeling (e.g. marketing mix modeling, multi-touch attribution) as a measure of ROI.   

So what are the most common types of marketing attribution? Whether you’re looking for an introduction to marketing or just brushing up on definitions, we’ve compiled this overview of marketing attribution models as a guide.


What is marketing attribution?  

Marketing attribution is the way in which marketers assess the value or ROI of the channels that connect them to potential customers. In other words, it’s the means by which the customer came to know and buy your product or service.

It seems simple enough when you think about the final sale. But does a customer ever go straight to a website and make a purchase? Rarely. Multiple channels and messages were responsible for the final buying decision, including the Facebook ad they initially clicked on or the email they received when they signed up for the newsletter. In an ideal world, you’d be able to track the entire customer journey from start to finish with personal anecdotes from each customer about why they made the decisions they did along the way. But that’s not realistic, or scalable.

With so many touchpoints to consider, operational marketing roles are becoming more and more complex. Luckily, there are a number of marketing attribution models that have been introduced and evolved since the digital boom to account for multi-channel selling.


What are some common marketing attribution models?

Let’s take a closer look at these types of attribution models:

  • First-touch attribution
  • Last-touch attribution
  • Multi-source attribution (several varieties explained below)
  • Weighted multi-source attribution

There are many different approaches to marketing attribution that range from basic, single-factor models to advanced models, which can incorporate complex algorithms and logic. But every method of attribution has its pros and cons — making it one of the most hotly contested areas of marketing today.

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