Brand advertising is mainstream, not risky

You’re not alone in being nervous about brand advertising. As soon as somebody says it’s difficult to demonstrate an activity’s ROI (return on investment) you’ll inevitably start to wonder whether it’s worth doing.

Google’s latest financial performance shows that brand advertising is not the bleeding-edge, risky activity you may think it is. In fact, if you’re just thinking about starting it you could see yourself as a latecomer rather than as an innovative risk taker.

Brand advertising attracts tomorrow's customers while today's are cutting back

Brand advertising attracts tomorrow’s customers while today’s are cutting back

In the latest earnings call by Alphabet (Google’s parent company), the company reported that advertising spend increased from $37.9 billion to $46.2 billion between 2019 and 2020. YouTube accounted for 81% of 2020’s fourth-quarter sales.

By analysing what was being advertised, Google was able to note “a significant acceleration of brand spending on YouTube”.

SVP and chief business officer Philipp Schindler said “Marketers realised that even if there was a pullback in consumer demand in the short-term, they needed to keep their brands in front of people to stay top of minds when spending picks back up.”

Brand building is just as important for SMEs as it is for the big enterprises quoted by Alphabet and best practice sources. Our markets may be smaller than L’Oréal and Mercedes, but the principles of business success are the same.

We need to focus on the long-term brand building that will bring tomorrow’s customers to us as well as the short-term lead generation activities that attract today’s.