Protecting brand in a performance-driven world

By Claire Russell, Fitzco Media

But are there places that we have over-measured at the expense of brand building? Does our craving for real-time everything create bias against channels, tactics, and partners that do not work the same way?

COVID-19 put us to the test. There we were, steadily contributing a healthy but still relatively modest percentage of sales to clients, and boom, the bottom fell out.

For many, marketing was suddenly in the spotlight as one of the brand’s most dynamic and scalable business levers. As many businesses faced a make-or-break moment, they and their agency partners doubled down on what they knew to be impactful; and “impactful” became unmistakably synonymous with “measurable.”

The need for certainty made brands focus on paid search, shopper marketing, retargeting, and other lower funnel tactics, all known performers with proven, profitable returns. For most, the onset of the pandemic was not the moment to experiment with new channels or invest in ones that were meant to support mid- to long-term objectives.

Fast forward to today: We are still facing a soft macroeconomic climate and have conditioned ourselves and our clients to benchmark against what was a necessary but perhaps over emphasis on the lower funnel.

These tactics work and have a bit of a shelf life. If you’re not giving people a reason to choose your brand, your ability to win in those final shopping moments becomes diminished. And there’s only so much a paid-search ad can do to bring your brand to life. (I say this lovingly as someone with a search background).

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