In last week’s post, we talked about calculating return on investment on paid advertising, such as print and digital. What’s even more difficult than calculating the direct return on paid advertising? Calculating the return on brand management investment. What is it worth to your company to have an awareness of your brand? Way more than you think.

What is brand awareness? I like to call it being real. A full 90% of people now look up a brand online, including reviews, before they make a purchase. What are they doing? They want to make sure that you are the real deal – and that they’re not the first person to spend their hard-earned money on your service. Let’s say that you are looking for an executive coach. You google “Executive Coach near me” and if the name of the business doesn’t appear on page 1, there’s a 92% chance that you won’t use them. That’s right – only 8% of people click through to Page 2.

Here’s some considerations about the value of Brand Awareness:


We’re not talking about your 5th grade D.A.R.E. class here. This is the real, every day psychological drive to fit in. Author and Psychologist Robert Cialdini did a quick experiment on the power of peer pressure. He had a large group of people come into a room to seemingly fill out a survey. A large jar of delicious cookies was at the entrance, and on the first round of the experiment, each participant was offered a cookie from a full jar. Only about 20% of them took a cookie. In the second round, researchers offered participants cookies from a half-full jar. Again, only 20% took a cookie. On the third round, before the participants were offered cookies, a stranger took a cookie from the jar, and ate it right then. The participants were again offered a cookie, and nearly every single person ate one. Were the cookies any more delicious? Nope. It was just that no one wanted to be the first to try a cookie – when someone else did first, even a complete stranger, everyone else felt comfortable.

What does this mean to your business? If you can show to your target market that people like them are already using your service or buying your product, then they will be more likely to buy your product too. We can show this through client testimonials, with a photo of the client (it makes the testimonial feel real). You can also show this by your association with local Chambers of Commerce, with going out and networking, and more.


Even 10 years ago, marketing classes taught the Rule of 7, or that a prospective customer needs to see your name or logo, hear a commercial, get a referral, or more seven times before they will make a decision about you. With literally thousands of stimuli hitting our brains every minute, and over 10,000 brands and advertisements being bombarded on us every day, that number is rapidly increasing. Most experts estimate that it will take 20 (yes, 20) exposures to your brand before someone becomes a customer. Exposure to your brand can be in the form of social media, sponsorships, networking events, friends and family referrals (which are gold) and online reviews. This could also come from Google searches. Every single one of these activities is important and maintaining your brand on multiple platforms is increasingly essential. A client, who is a brilliant marketer, once said “if you want 100% of the customers you need to reach them 100% of the ways.” If you’ve got a Facebook page, but no Instagram account, LinkedIn Profile, YouTube channel, website, or otherwise, then you’re missing some of the ways that you can reach your customers.


That’s not to say that you need to know geographically where they live. You need to know where your Perfect Client (your PC) gets their information. For instance, if you are marketing to seniors that are 80 or older, then putting your time into a highly curated and content-heavy Instagram profile is not necessarily going to return leads. It would be a much better bet to use direct mail, newspaper advertising, radio advertising or network television. If your PC is a Gen Z 20-something, then Instagram, TikTok, or Snapchat is your best bet. Are you doing business to business sales to CEO’s? Then LinkedIn is where you need to focus your time.

Don’t give up on the other channels though – you need to be “real” on those. Use tools such as Facebook Publishing Tools to schedule posts on both Instagram and Facebook at the same time. There are a bunch of paid and free scheduling tools out there – they can make it easier on you.


Brand Awareness and Social Media are just as important as paid advertising, and the return on investment pays off in the long term. Remember – marketing (not advertising or sales) is a marathon that pays dividends for years to come. And with persistence with the right strategy, the right vision, and the right person driving the results, you’ll have a winner.


Need help coming up with the perfect marketing strategy? Need help executing the strategy with quality content and social media presence? Need help planning for business growth? We can help. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation business and marketing analysis today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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