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Direct Response vs. Branding Advertisements

The decision between investing in direct response or branding advertisements is a tough one. Direct response advertisements have one goal—to increase sales. Branding, on the other hand, uses advertisements as a way to promote the company’s core values and build a high-quality reputation. In this digital age where T.V. is still prevalent, which option—direct response or branding—is the better one?

First let’s take a look at what each option offers.

Direct response ads facilitate buying. The main goal of these ads is to obtain immediate purchases. Direct response converts prospects into customers. These ads drive sales by calling customers into action and securing their sale. These ads can help launch a new product, increase revenue and cash flow, or get rid of excess inventory. The majority of Internet advertising dollars is spent on direct response. In 2014, 59.1% of the US digital ad spending was invested in direct response ads, according to eMarketer.

In contrast to direct response, branding helps cutomers to choose. Branding is about a unique and impactful message that tells the customer that your company is the best option. It’s about representing your company’s core values and building brand equity. Branding takes patience. These advertisements usually occur on T.V. and the return from this investment won’t happen immediately; it may take a few months or years. But this doesn’t mean that branding isn’t important. On the contrary: branding is vital to direct response advertisements. You need branding to create a high-quality reputation for your company and establish trust among customers. Once a solid brand is established, an environment is created where customers are comfortable in making immediate purchases that come from direct response advertisements. The opposite relationship is also true: branding for your company cannot be funded without the revenue from direct response ads.

Alas, we have the answer to our question. There is no correct choice between direct response ads and branding. It’s not an either/or situation—it’s important to incorporate both in your company’s marketing strategy.

Amanda Zambito
Senior Writer/Editor

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