As a marketer, you’re always looking for new ways to grow your return on investment (ROI), boost brand visibility and find new customer segments. New research from Nielsen examines how every company can refresh their overall marketing strategies to boost short-term sales and increase long-term brand recognition. One of the key lessons from the data is that building and maintaining a brand requires a strategic approach that combines updated messaging and keen channel insights to connect with customers authentically today and tomorrow.
Get more information on how to reassess your marketing strategy for short- and long-term goals to refresh your brand and find new inroads to customers.
1. Digital marketing is becoming a greater contributor to brand equity.
Staying at the forefront of customers’ minds is paramount for every business in any vertical. But brand equity, the commercial power that comes from how consumers view your brand, is changing amid COVID-19 and ongoing supply chain disruptions. Traditionally, brands augmented equity by assuming the metric would grow as consumers saw the products on shelves, but supply chain volatility has made that a risky gamble.
Data from Nielsen reveals marketing now accounts for as much as 35% of a brand’s total equity. As fewer consumers drive to stores for in-person visits, investing in new marketing tactics to boost brand visibility is a key way to grow equity and simultaneously safeguard quarterly sales and long-term brand recognition.
2. Marketers need new strategies to stay balanced.
Major international brands like Gap and Adidas rethought their marketing strategies amid the pandemic, offering lessons every marketer can use to reorient their advertising approaches for 2021 and beyond. One powerful takeaway from these companies is that channels that drive sales may not increase brand awareness, requiring every marketer to take a balanced view of their overall marketing.
Nielsen points to a case study of a national insurance company. Nielsen evaluated how the insurer’s marketing investments impacted both short-term sales and long-term brand recognition by evaluating performance across nine separate channels. Separating the ROI into short-term sales gains and long-term brand recognition helped the company reassess its marketing spend on each channel, identifying areas in which the company was over-investing and under-investing. That insight helped the company find a holistic balance between garnering immediate sales and strengthening the brand’s long-term position for customers.
3. Refine your message and share it boldly.
When customers are first learning about a brand or a new product, the messaging surrounding that experience is critical. Nielsen indicates brands that saw sales success in 2020 not only crafted messages specific to customers’ needs, but also refined those messages to match the urgency of the pandemic.
A survey conducted by Nielsen and Wizer in the second quarter of 2020 discovered 9 out of 10 Americans had more favorable opinions of brands that helped consumers during the pandemic. As vaccines have rolled out across the country and more Americans are returning to work, school and social functions, data shows 55% believe they could fully return to normal routines in 2021. Using social context as a background for brand messaging is a critical way to connect with customers on an honest, emotional level.
4. Find where short- and long-term marketing strategies converge.
Preserving upper-funnel marketing strategies, those intended to drive long-term brand building, mandates marketers align their message and their chosen channel. Nielsen compared the ways messaging impacts sales in the long term and short term for an automotive brand and an electronics company. Both companies invested in online and offline marketing, and the impact on their short-term and long-term efficacy was striking.
For both companies, video advertisements were 25% more effective than non-video advertising in driving long-lasting brand recognition. Both companies, despite operating in vastly different verticals, also saw the benefit of investing in offline advertising like print campaigns: The automotive brand saw offline advertising as 50% more effective in driving lower-funnel marketing efforts (like conversions and immediate sales) than online advertising. The electronics brand’s results were similar, with offline/print campaigns 40% more efficient in driving lower-funnel marketing messages.
For home improvement product marketers, investing in both print and digital marketing solutions can give you the context your brand needs to more strategically hone your message and find the right channel to deliver it.
Key Takeaways for Home Improvement Brands
Nielsen’s data shows the value of trying new approaches to garner new customers in 2021. As the channel enjoys continued momentum from DIYers and pros booked solid with residential and commercial projects, relying on your marketing status quo can leave money on the table and offer competitors the leverage they need to gain ground.
Don’t lose sight of the modern market landscape.
- Home improvement is fortunate to see continued sales momentum amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Harnessing those immediate gains can help your company build a more robust long-term marketing solution.
- Explore new digital approaches to stay ahead of competitors and position your brand and products as progressive, modern and vital.
Make long-term brand building a key component of your marketing investment.
- Brands that aim solely for short-term sales gains often win the battle, but lose the war.
- Traditional avenues to brand equity may be eroding, but progressive marketing investments can help close those gaps.
- Building your brand has both a direct sales impact and facilitates your future marketing strategies.
Help your company understand the importance of a balanced marketing strategy.
- Educate your organization on the long-lasting sales impact of building your brand through a robust marketing mix.
- Measure long-term brand equity efforts to accrue evidence of their value.
- Segment your ad data by upper-funnel and lower-funnel initiatives to measure your reach in both fields and inform future decision-making.
Hardware Retailing, published by the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) offers nearly 34,000 readers with how-to management and new product advice every month. Hardware Retailing offers a range of digital and print advertising options to help you get your message to key buyers in both the retail and wholesale markets. And, the revenue generated from advertising is reinvested to produce education and research for the independent home improvement channel. Download our media kit for more information.