Direct Marketing vs Brand Marketing – Which one?

Direct Marketing vs Brand Marketing – Which one?

Businesses get brand marketing and direct marketing mixed up. It is costly and causes a lot of mediocre results and headaches.

We’re going to fix this age-old debate right now!

You may find yourself running a brand campaign thinking you will get direct marketing results or you are running a direct marketing campaign and expect branding results.

If you mess these up, you will lose, become frustrated, and abandon ship for the next shiny marketing idea.

Let’s first define the two of them so we can know what to expect.

Seth Godin in his new book laid it out the best I have seen. We will use his definition.

Direct Marketing

If you’re buying direct marketing ads, measure everything. Compute how much it costs you to earn attention, to get a click, to turn that attention into an order.

Direct marketing is action marketing, and if you’re not able to measure it, it doesn’t count.

Brand Marketing

If you’re buying brand marketing ads, be patient. Refuse to measure. Engage with the culture. Focus, by all means, but mostly, be consistent and patient.

If you can’t afford to be consistent and patient, don’t pay for brand marketing ads.

What I just shared with you ought to have paid for the time and money you have spent reading my posts, emails, website and watching my videos.

When you know what kind of marketing you are engaged in, you will set the right expectations.

Types of direct marketing include:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • Solo Ads
  • etc

They’re Ads you can track directly to a sale.

Types of brand marketing include:

  • Billboard signs
  • The way you answer your phones
  • Your uniforms
  • Sponsorships
  • SEO
  • Networking events
  • Company culture
  • etc

The list above is not exact, but I think you get the point.

Different platforms can be used for both direct and brand, but the difference is your expectations, goals, and measurements.

Small startups get too caught up in their brand. They spend time, money, and energy dealing with brand experts and not enough time building out direct marketing campaigns.

Big brands try to make a shift into direct marketing and use branding techniques and wonder why nothing worked.

A Typical Story About Branding vs Direct Marketing

Marketing Hy worked with a client this last year who hired a new VP of marketing. He came from a large corporation that ran branding campaigns.

The owner of the company wanted to track all results and make sure marketing was giving him an instant ROI.


The new VP of marketing made called his past Agency and did a large media buy. The agency took the $241,000 and ran a display campaign along with a few magazine ads.

How much traffic came to the site? None!

Six months into the campaign sales had not increased at all. Less than a year later the VP of marketing was looking for a new job.

The owner had one expectation and the VP of marketing another.

Let’s look at SEO.

It’s a problem and owners have the wrong expectations.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the attempt to rank for generic terms in a search engine. Businesses spend a fortune on SEO because marketers promise to rank them for highly searched keywords.

SEO can be considered brand marketing or direct depending who you ask but here’s the problem…

It’s a gamble, and the odds are stacked against you. There are limited spots available, and it takes months if not years to rank for generic keywords.

90% of owners do not have the time, patience, or money to wait for the results. So they quit too soon.

What makes business owners assume they can outrank companies like Wikipedia, Home Advisors, Yelp, and Google on generic searches?

It’s not happening.

I find it best to avoid the games you will lose. No matter what your SEO company says.

What can you win?

Build an SEO campaign where people search for keyword that you can rank for. This will come in a later post.

Which brings us back to the beginning…

What kind of marketing campaign are you running? Are you mixing them up?


Both brand and direct marketing are good, as long as we set the right expectations.

If you’re interested in growing your business with a direct marketing campaign, reach out to use.

We would be happy to show ways to drive traffic, leads, and sales.

If you’re looking for a brand campaign, that is not our thing. I have a hard time spending money on marketing that can’t be measured.

Does branding work? Yes, it does. Just takes time, patience, and a lot more money.

Keep marketing!

There are Only Three Options. It’s Not What You Think

Marketing becomes easier when you realize your prospect has three options.

  1. Buy from you
  2. Buy from your competitor
  3. Do nothing

We tend to focus on our competitors, but the biggest problem is inertia. We so are bombarded with ads, calls, messages, and texts that we tend not to take action.

Goal number one?

Convince the prospect why they should buy.

You can do this by keeping your message simple and create multiple touches.

Here’s a real conversation I had with a business owner where we discovered her Unique Selling Proposition.

It could change your business.

The Most Profitable Square Feet In The House

My bathroom is the most profitable square feet in the house. Whether I am in the shower or cutting off the circulation to my legs, the ideas are always flowing.

They are usually money makers.

I’ve been getting daily deposits of marketing advice from the famous Seth Godin. His latest book, “This is Marketing” has a couple of one-liners that are worth mentioning.

Effective marketing makes a promise.”

When creating Youtube videos, Facebook ads, Instagram ads or Blogs. Make sure there’s a promise or an offer.

Once you have the promise/offer it’s now time to put it to work.

Here’s a simple way to generate quality traffic and keep your promise in front of your target audience.

Spend $100 a month on a YouTube Remarketing campaign.

Create a simple video and build a youtube campaign that will follow your website visitors around. You will need the following to make it happen

  1. Upload your video to YouTube
  2. Google Ads account
  3. 30-day remarketing list (put a pixel on your website)

Make it happen or we can do it for you

Are you guilty?

After months of hearing whines from my small but good looking following, I have decided to finally teach a little video marketing method that I have kept to myself.


Because I am going to be switching things up a bit. ​​​​ It’s time to become a lot more outspoken when it comes to marketing campaigns. I’m going to lay it out on the table so that businesses can make better decisions.

I’m tired.

Tired of seeing companies​​​​ blow their budget on bad Google Ad campaigns
Tired of companies hiring the cheapest digital marketing agencies expecting to get everything
Tired of bad messages
Tired of seeing expensive commercials that mean nothing to the consumer
Tired of so many lousy ads​​​​

The list keeps going.

Man, that was a bit negative.

Sorry, I will lay off a bit.

But, I am calling some of you out… 🙂

So here’s something that will brighten your day. ​​​​​​

The last 12 months I have been testing my audiences on YouTube Ads. I’ve been looking for the best audiences to increase my conversions.

Here’s one you can use that will give you a good ROI.

Download your lists and upload those emails to Google Ads. ​​​​

Once you uploaded them, you can create a killer YouTube campaign.

Trust me…

It works like a charm.

Here is a video where I show you how to do this.

Enjoy the free be and only share this with your Mom. ​​

Happy Marketing​​​​​. It’s time to go lift, eat breakfast, and get to making some money.


Did You Hire A Total Douche? You Should See What It Cost Them.

Did You Hire A Total Douche? You Should See What It Cost Them.

Have you ever met someone that deserves to get a beatdown? I did last week.

Total douche.

Sorry for the harsh language but that is about the extent of my swearing, so I like to use that word when I can.

Here’s the story.

A friend and business partner of mine needed some help with a client, so I offered to head down to Vegas to explain online marketing to a guy I had never talked to or met.

That was my first mistake.

Twenty seconds on the phone with this guy would have told all.

Picture this…

Our Prince had a shaved head wearing a Cop like uniform packing his Glock. His muscles were all tight because he was probably doing pushups and flexing in front of the mirror a few minutes before we met.

I am not joking.

The meeting was to go over a PPC campaign and show him where his clicks were coming from and what kind of impact Google ads were having on his Marketing.

It didn’t go so hot.

The Douche had taken a crash course on online marketing the day from another agency.

He knew it all and wanted to show us that PPC is a waste to their business and that social media doesn’t work to bring in sales.

Even though, they had 81,000 organic followers on Facebook and some of the best engagement I have seen on a Facebook account.

Get this.

Last month somebody hacked their account and instead of getting it resolved they decided to start a new page. They abandoned the old Facebook page.

Who does that?

The Douche does!

During the meeting, Prince Charming pulled out some analytics sheets to show his traffic and stats, but his tracking was off, and he was not looking at the right stats.

His mind was made up. It was a total waste of everyone’s time. We closed down the PPC campaign.

How does this happen?

This business is legit. They do about 20 Million in revenue and have an excellent product.

The actual business owners put this guy in charge of their online marketing campaign a couple of weeks before.

It’s the perfect example of the Peter Principle. Google it if you don’t know about the concept.

Is this story normal?

Sadly it is.

I can’t tell you how many times businesses put the wrong person in charge of their online marketing campaigns. Or they hire a digital marketing agency that puts interns in charge of their account.

Online marketing takes skills, time, and a bit of luck.

You can’t put Tinkerbell in a war with a Gladiator and expect her to win.


That is precisely what a lot of businesses are doing.

Who’s in charge of your online marketing?

What skills do they have?

What results are you seeing and what results are you tracking?

Did you hire the best?

All great questions to ask yourself.

Here’s a cool video we did talking about this principle.