Brand building and lead gen — separate or simultaneous?

Talk to any marketing purist, and they’d all tell you the same thing — that brand building and lead generation fall into different stages of the inbound marketing process. Of course, this is a long-established opinion for a reason, but I’m going to stir the pot and say I don’t agree! Let me explain with an example.

A large company that specialises in manufacturing and process certification once approached my company to bring in leads for them via digital marketing. When we sent out the brief form to them, the question asked was — what was the objective for the organisation? Pat came the reply — to build brand visibility. 

That’s the conundrum every other branding consultancy or digital consultancy faces. You need to build a brand but you also want to generate leads from your digital marketing activity. Well, to me, the two cannot be mutually exclusive of each other. 

Here’s why — no digital consultancy will be able to generate leads for you without brand-building activities anyway. And any digital marketing efforts applied for a brand will certainly lead to brand building too. In fact, the two are so interdependent, that one cannot be successfully completed without another. 

For example, if one were to generate leads for this brand in question, it would be impossible to go about the same without creating collateral on the process excellence, process of certification, journey or road map for the same, and so on. This could be in the form of videos, landing pages with benefits and process details, brochures, case studies, and so on. Each of these assets when disseminated even for the purpose of generating leads, would only detail out the proficiency of the brand in all the areas that it anyway would seek to talk about. If 2 out of 5 sign up for further information as a result of reading this material, the brand’s mission is accomplished. 2 leads received, brand reach is 5. End result? Lead generation and brand building. 

On the other hand, if we were only to engage in brand building activities online, my natural questions would be around brand positioning, value propositions, main marketing messages, services, products, impact created, and so on. I would seek to find the target audience and create a meaningful brand engagement touch points with the potential customer. Any activity or channel used to do this — whether through online social media engagement, thought leadership, emailers, or the others I have mentioned above — would ensure the brand message is passed on. When planned for the right target audience response, it would of course result in generating business for the brand too. Purpose achieved. Brand building done. Organic Lead generation made possible!

Now let me give you another example — this one’s about Mint, the popular personal finance app. Relatively unknown early on in its operations, it proved that it’s indeed possible to create brand awareness and generate leads at the same time. The brand rolled out a digital strategy in which they published stellar content and eye-catching infographics, which provided real value to the readers, led to skyrocketing awareness levels, and also grew their business!

Have I brought you over to my side yet? I hope so! If not, get in touch, and let me show you that the two aspects can — and do — work together!

Tina Garg
Founder and CEO at Pink Lemonade, an Integrated Marketing & Communications agency in Bangalore.
Tina launched the company in 2011, and today, it is known for its award-winning work in creative & business communications, and digital services. She comes with extensive experience in the creative industry, and is passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs.

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