Why brand awareness is important to growing your business
The singular goal of most companies that contact Fronetics is to generate more leads — today. This is not surprising in that leads are necessary to generate sales, and sales are necessary to revenue generation and to growth. What is surprising is the number of companies who do not recognize the critical role brand awareness plays in lead generation.
Brand awareness is the likelihood that your company’s brand, products, and services are recognized by consumers. Simply put, if consumers don’t know your company exists and/or don’t know what your company does or what your company offers, your company won’t be a part of their decision process.
Today, more than ever, being recognized and being a part of the decision process is crucial.
The new B2B buying process
The buying process for B2B buyers has become more complex and longer. The 2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report found that 80% of respondents reported their purchase cycle was longer than it was the previous year. The buying process has gotten longer because most buyers (73%) are using more sources to research and evaluate products and services, and they are spending more time in the research phase itself.
When conducting their research and evaluating purchases, B2B buyers report that they are looking for personalization, and for companies and vendors that demonstrate a deep understanding of the industry.
The place they are turning to conduct their research, and to evaluate purchases, is online: 89% of B2B buyers report using the internet to conduct research. Specifically, they are going online to: conduct web searches, look at vendor websites, read reviews, use social media, and participate in online forums.
The importance of investing in brand awareness
Your company can not generate leads if your company is not found when B2B buyers are conducting their research. And, being found is just the tip of the iceberg. Your company will not be included in the evaluation and decision process if it does not have a robust online presence that is inclusive of quality content that speaks to your target customer — that is, content that educates, informs, and identifies how your company can meet the needs of your target customers. It is about positioning your company as a knowledge leader, building trust, and establishing relationships. It is about brand awareness.
Building brand awareness takes time and dedication. Companies that are willing to invest their time and resources to brand awareness are rewarded – not just with leads, but with quality leads.
Too often, I see companies who are unwilling to invest either the time or money in brand awareness. One of the most frustrating things to see is a company that gives up too soon. These are companies who have realized significant gains — they have, for example, increased traffic to the website through organic, referral, direct, and social sources; decreased bounce rates; increased social reach; and increased social engagement. But, because their lead generation has not immediately sky rocketed, they decide to either reduce or eliminate their digital and content marketing activities. It is frustrating because these companies have built a strong foundation, and they are on the tipping point of success.
With the B2B buying process taking longer than ever, with buyers spending more time researching and evaluating their decisions, and with B2B buyers turning to the internet and critically evaluating companies on how they present themselves, investing the time and resources to brand awareness is critical.
As Geoffrey Chaucer said, “Patience is a conquering virtue.”