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Arment Dietrich

Does Awareness Count As Marketing Results?

By: Arment Dietrich | October 21, 2010 | 
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While “reading the news” on Facebook, I came across an article on the Right Bag At ‘Ya fan page talking about a letter written to a city councilman by a group of kids trying to make change. A group of high school students living in Colorado wrote a letter to the editor of The Aspen Times asking if “the Aspen City Council will enact laws to lessen or even eliminate plastic bags and require all shoppers to use reusable bags.” Of course, the letter got published and you can read it here.

I’ve talked a lot about cause marketing lately. I’m intrigued with the different tactics people and organizations are taking to spark awareness – but how many of these efforts are resulting in change?

The problem is it’s hard to quantify how “awareness” equates to “results.” It’s like trying to measure the value of goodwill. In the case of these students’ letter to their city council, we have no way of knowing how many others might have also written letters to their congressmen, gone out and purchased reusable bags, or taken other action furthering the cause.

Even though we know change (donations, results, laws) is the key driver for cause marketing, have we, as marketing professionals, stopped trying as hard to deliver results and started focusing more on simple awareness? Or does this awareness count as results since in this case the letter did get published and therefore was most likely read by the Aspen City Council?

5 comments
Mario Romano
Mario Romano

This is considered by many practitioners as one good way of raising the brand or the popularity of a product or service.

HeatherWhaling
HeatherWhaling

I think awareness should help drive results. For exmaple, I worked with a domestic violence organization on a year-long, agressive PR and marketing campaign. Awareness increased significantly, but more importantly, we increased year-over-year donations by 120% and volunteer hours by 160%. That's how we knew our PR and marketing efforts were resonating. Sure, we built awareess, but we built awareness in a way that communicated a need and encouraged people to pitch in and help.

Heather
@prTini

JesusGonzalez
JesusGonzalez

The beauty of awareness is its ability to open doors to action.

But to think one can reap "results" at the awareness phase of a message is a big negative, ghost rider. Show me some action, then we'll talk!

Kt0wn
Kt0wn

Awareness is the first step but not the end result. We can never forget that Marketing and every media based profession was created to directly effect the bottom line. I find that what most are lacking is the follow through. You can't just shake every tree if you aren't willing to pick up every leaf that falls off.

Cherri
Cherri

Well, I've actually given this a lot of thought, and my resulting opinion is that awareness can lead to results, but awareness, in and of itself, is not results. It's like comparing transitive and intransitive verbs - the former shows action, the latter does not.