The Business of Brand Building vs. Advertising

brandpoets-team_tana-martin-llinas-colorFor CFOs and accountants, results mean dollar signs; for others, results are recognition and loyalty. At the end of the day or on the profit and loss sheet, all companies want to show growth, stability, and above all revenue.

The best strategic marketers use their marketing dollars to balance two primary methods of audience engagement:

  1. Traditional Advertising: The message here has a clear call to action – “buy me” or “enroll today” – and is primarily sales driven. Tactics include print & digital advertising, direct mail, e-blasting, and radio, among many others.
  1. Building Brand Awareness: This is a softer, indirect approach where a company strategically aligns itself with like-minded partners to build reputation, prestige, and consumer confidence. Tactics typically include sponsorships, partnerships, events, or community outreach (charities and non-for-profit donations).

Here is an example of how these two methods pay off one another:


Company: Maria’s Pools (fictional company)

Challenge: Sell More Pool Equipment

Advertising Campaign: Advertise in publications and online where your audience frequents. Target customers with geographical data within your service area via social media.

Brand Awareness Campaign: Build a network and share value — organize and connect with your customers via blog, social media, or local publications and educate them on your industry in short concise posts/articles. Consider advertorials or native advertising and maintain a community presence with sponsorship opportunities.

The Pay Off: With both methods running in conjunction with one another, the consumer may attend an event where Maria’s Pools has a table, meets the team, and learns more about their services. The consumer then goes home, opens the mail and receives a nice postcard from Maria’s Pools with a special offer and ultimately calls for service.


The objective is to turn your audience into active participants.

About Brand Poets

Brand Poets, founded by Tana M. Llinas, is a collective of visual storytellers and marketing strategists, crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention.

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