You want to start a marketing campaign, but don't know what your goals should be? What are the different types of outcomes you want from running a campaign? Spreading the word, and making sales. Here I'll explain the difference, pros and cons of each and why, when and how you can achieve those goals!...
What is CRO?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of running, evaluating and adapting a campaign with specific goals to make sales. Optimising the number of conversions from leads to customers.
What is Brand Awareness?
Increasing brand awareness is the process of running a wider-spread campaign with goals to reach new leads, and increase the number of individuals who have heard of your business. Often emotive campaign, you'll want to stand out and be remembered!
CRO is essentially just math. Trial and error calculations to optimise conversions. An example would be A/B testing with two Google Adword ads, one listing product features and one listing customer benefits. The CRO team notice the benefits ad is performing a lot better, so they then create different versions of ads stating the various benefits. They keep tweaking and changing the algorithms to find the highest number of conversions possible. Will having bigger "buy now" text increase the number of people who click it? It's all about the immediate reward and individual conversions/sales.
The brand awareness team however look at the big picture. Their research would take them onto the streets, asking individuals "name 5 brands/companies who sell X product" or "when you hear the brand name, what words come to your mind?". They're interested in catching the attention of potential customers and instilling specific ideas about the business. A detailed brand identity is molded around the target market, and developed over years of brand awareness marketing campaigns. Think of Apple's brand identity, well known for being fun, innovative and user friendly. People haven't always used those words to describe "apple".
Which one? Isn't it obvious?
All comes down to the bottom line: increased sales! CRO! Right? ... Not always.
STORY TIME: Intel processors!
Below is a graph that shows Intel's annual revenue over the years (in millions).
In 1991 Intel first launched it's "Intel inside" campaign.
Now let's pretend we were the web design CRO team for Intel at the time, and let's say the Intel branding team comes to us and requests “Intel Inside” to feature on all the company web pages selling the processors.
We - as any CRO would be - are confused with a slogan about Intel processors inside computers when our pages are selling the processors themselves. It seems pretty strange. Nevertheless, we run some A/B tests and the conversion rates are worse with the “Intel Inside” messaging, arguing against the branding team to include it.
Little did we know that the "Intel inside" slogan was so consistent across customers buying computers that it became a recognized and requested brand and a rally cry for manufacturers to carry the "Intel Inside" mark on their computers.
Of course a lot of Intel's success is attributed to the computer boom in the 90s and 2000s, But the 'Intel Inside' branding has left it as the most requested and therefore world-leading processor supplier.
Having marketing campaigns to promote your brand identity and increase brand awareness are just as important as marketing campaigns aimed to increase conversions/sales. There's a fine balance that relies heavily on growth strategies, market research and customer feedback to determine which campaign to do next.
If you're after some help in finding out what sort of campaign your business should focus on next: