We all know about direct response advertising.
Usually there’s a time element involved. “Sale Ends Saturday,” that kind of thing.
Mostly, direct response advertising is promotional in nature.
The opposite of “promotional in nature” is branding. Which is why I like to refer to branding as “indirect response advertising.”
The objective is still a sale. But the sale happens over time, not necessarily within the next week. Or, by Sunday.
Many people look at branding as the message itself being “indirect.”
I see it more as a matter of time than message.
It's an important distinction.
Did you know that 70% of consumers do online research on everyday grocery items?
What is online research actually?
In fact, every product purchased has a certain amount of time consumers spend researching that product before the purchase is made. How much time? Depends on the product.
The following is from Reuters.
A new home: 39 hours.
A car: 8 hours.
A computer: 4 hours.
A TV: 2 hours.
Which means an indirect response within the consumer must precede their direct response in most everything that is purchased.
If branding’s job is to increase sales over time, then the question advertisers need to ask themselves is how much of the potential customer’s time are they earning?
If researching a TV - on average - consumes two hours of a consumer’s time, how much of that two hours was time spent with your brand’s messaging?
You’d probably want more time spent rather than less, wouldn’t you?
If for no other reason that time spent with your brand’s advertising means less time spent with the competitor’s brand advertising.
It’s why I look at branding as a form of non-transactional ROI.
What it earns for the advertiser is time.
And ultimately, as we all know, time is money.