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Q. What's the difference between the Awareness strategy and the Direct Response strategy?
 

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A. Marketing expert, Joe Gracia, responds:

The Awareness strategy and the Direct Response strategy are two of the most common marketing strategies in use today.

THE AWARENESS STRATEGY

The goal of the Awareness strategy -- also called Image, or Institutional marketing -- is to build general and favorable awareness of a company, product or service in the marketplace.

The strategy of Awareness marketers is to saturate the media with enough marketing messages/images so that they gain Top of Mind awareness throughout their entire marketplace.

In other words, they want their name to be permanently ingrained into the minds of as many consumers as possible.

They also want consumers to think of them first when it comes time for any of them to purchase their type of product or service.

Ever heard of Crest Toothpaste? MetLife Insurance? Disney? McDonald's? IBM?

Of course, you have. Who hasn't?

The reason you are aware of these company names is because of the millions, if not billions, of dollars each company has spent over the years bombarding you with Awareness TV commercials, Radio commercials, Newspaper ads, Billboards, Direct Mail, etc.

The Awareness strategy doesn't ask consumers to do anything. They are just exposed to the messages, which over time should become a permanent part of their memories.

Does it work? Sure!

To prove it, just complete the following marketing slogans:

"_________ Tastes Good, Like a Cigarette Should."

"You Deserve a Break Today at _________."

"Don't Squeeze the _________."

"_____________, The San Francisco Treat!"

"Silly Rabbit! _________ Are for Kids!"

"You're in Good Hands with _________"

"See the U.S.A. in Your _________"

"Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun, with _________"

"Ho! Ho! Ho! _________"

"Nobody Doesn't Like _________"

If you missed any, just go to the bottom of this article.

So, if the Awareness strategy is so powerful in planting permanent messages in our collective minds, what's so bad about it?

The obvious problem with this strategy is . . . cost! As a small business owner, you just can't afford it.

The average small business owner doesn't have millions of dollars to spend every year to gain Top of Mind awareness in his or her general marketplace.

The giants of the corporate world have, what seem to be, unlimited budgets for creating cute, funny, creative, marketing messages designed to get consumers to remember them. Small business owners don't.

They can't afford to spend their entire budgets on marketing that just gets their name out into the marketplace, or creates a warm and fuzzy image in their marketplace.

Small business owners need results from their marketing investments, and they need it now.

That's where the Direct Response strategy comes into play.

THE DIRECT RESPONSE STRATEGY

The Direct Response strategy, on the other hand, always asks for action from consumers.

"The Direct Response strategy always asks for a response -- an immediate action -- as opposed to Awareness Marketing that doesn't ask for any action at all."

Effective Direct Response marketing expects and gets immediate response.

Direct Response marketing is not aimed at the entire marketplace as Awareness marketing often is. Direct Response focuses on the most likely consumers for a particular product or service.

The Direct Response strategy is ideal for small business marketers.

ANSWERS:

"WINSTON Tastes Good, Like a Cigarette Should."

"You Deserve a Break Today at MCDONALD'S."

"Don't Squeeze the CHARMIN!"

"RICE-A-RONI, The San Francisco Treat!"

"Silly Rabbit! TRIX Are for Kids!"

"You're in Good Hands with ALLSTATE."

"See the U.S.A. in Your CHEVROLET."

"Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun, with DOUBLEMINT GUM."

"Ho! Ho! Ho! GREEN GIANT."

"Nobody Doesn't Like SARE LEE."

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