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The danger of a short-term focus

Do you focus your marketing efforts on the short or long term? Are you aiming for immediate results or results in the future? Many organizations struggle to find the right balance between brand building and sales activation.
  • 2 minutes
  • July 14, 2022
  • Dennis Damen

Especially when a company is not performing well, the initial reaction is to pursue short-term results. However, if you only look at the number of clicks and leads to determine the success of your marketing, the organization becomes vulnerable to losing market share in the long run.

The concept of two types of marketing comes from researchers Les Binet and Peter Field in their report 'The Long and the Short of It.'

sales activation

The first type of marketing is called 'sales activation.' Sales activation works quickly but has only a short-term effect. Ultimately, it minimally changes your brand's market share. Sales activation elicits an immediate response. Examples include price promotions, lead generation, and conversion optimization.

brand building

The second type of marketing is called 'brand building.' Brand building works more slowly but gradually increases your brand's market share. However, its measurable effects may take around six months. Brand building creates lasting memories in people's minds and influences their behavior in the long term. Examples include PR, branding, and advertising.

de ideale verhouding

Brand building and sales activation are not choices but both essential for long-term success. According to research by Les Binet en Peter Field, the ideal balance is around 60% brand building and 40% sales activation for consumer brands (B2C). For business brands (B2B), this balance is 46% brand building and 54% sales activation. However, many companies emphasize sales activation much more. The importance of a well-positioned brand in the success of sales activation is often overlooked. Successful marketers generate short-term demand with sales activation while building long-term demand through brand building.



achieving brand preference

Increasing your market share requires more than just short-term sales growth among an audience already familiar with your brand. Aim for an ideal balance between brand building and sales activation. By building your brand for the long term, you can achieve brand preference, which can then be converted into increased revenue through sales activation.

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