Tuesday , June 18 2024
Hickey Marketing Group
Hickey Marketing Group

Business Builders vs. Business Drivers

By Daniel Hickey

As the owner of a marketing firm, Hickey Marketing Group, I have seen hundreds of companies work to articulate the unique goals and values of their business. Each business is unique, depending on the product or service they sell or the market they target. The one common denominator, however, is the infighting between the marketing and operations arms over the expectations of an ad campaign or marketing effort. In my experience, these types of misunderstandings lead to semi-hostile meetings that can almost always be avoided by getting everyone to understand the difference between a “business building” campaign and a “business driving” campaign. Both are essential to the bottom line of a healthy business, but they are very different. Here are the main differences and how to best utilize each:

Business Builders

These types of campaigns are essential to letting potential clients know who you are, what you do and what your unique value proposition is. Business building campaigns, also known as public relations, commonly come in the form or radio ads, billboards, magazine ads, advertorials, sponsorships, trade show attendance and promotional items. This type of marketing effort is critical, as it builds brand awareness and helps your brand be top-of-mind when a consumer needs your services or products.

Business Drivers:

These types of campaigns are usually seen as the rock star of a company’s marketing/advertising efforts because they are specially designed to gain an immediate response. Business driving campaigns often come in the form of an advertisement to get potential clients to take advantage of a special offer, door buster, sale, etc. An ad may come out on Monday and the business sees people streaming in to take advantage of the special offer the very next day. These are exciting campaigns that company’s can see a return on investment on almost immediately.

The disconnect usually comes from leadership not understanding that the business driver campaign would not have been so successful if people did not already trust the brand, thanks to the quiet work of the business building campaigns. Think about what happens when Nordstrom advertises their Anniversary Sale on Thursday; people stream into the store on Friday. But if it hadn’t been for the marketing done by them offering great service and doing regular business building campaigns, the sale announcement would not have been as well received by the masses.

For almost all businesses, it is critical to have a mix of business builders and business drivers when it comes to their advertising/marketing mix. It is critical to assign different expectations of a builder vs. a driver, however. A driver should bring people in immediately, but it is important to remember that the builder set the driver up to deliver. It is just like a basketball game; people cheer when a player achieves a slam-dunk but without the team member who got the ball safely to the shooter none of it would have been possible.

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