Direct response vs. branding: what’s the right approach to your goal?

Direct response and branding are two very different media strategies. For that simple reason, certain tactics and approaches are quite often more efficient at achieving one goal than the other. For example, if your goal is to create awareness of a speciality product among a very specific target audience, an approach that focuses on getting your message seen by enough qualified users at the right frequency makes sense. If, however, you’re trying to generate online sales for a general use product with mass market appeal, less importance might be placed on tuning audience and exposure-based parameters and more on generating performance-based interactions like clicks, sign ups or sales. A one-approach-fits-all strategy sounds great in theory, but may not generate the best long term outcome for your brand.

Once you’ve determined whether your primary objective is direct response or branding (note that there will always be some cross over between these goals, i.e. a direct response campaign will generate some branding lift and vice versa), reference the chart below for a few best practises on how to approach each campaign type with your online media spend:

Differences between a DR and branding approaches to an advertising campaign

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