| 4 min read

Reach + Distinctiveness = Growth.

Written by Tom Lambert

This is the formula that defines advertising at its most basic level.

Your growth as a brand is primarily driven by your market penetration rather than increasing your customer loyalty, according to Byron Sharp at least. Penetration is defined in this instance as your ad impressions to prospective customers.

As marketers who care deeply about what we’re doing, we have taken the time to truly understand our product offering, its position in the market and what differentiates our product from the competition. 

As a result, we lose sight of the fact that:

  1. No one else cares.
  2. All that actually matters is being distinctive.

In a competitive market, all the consumer sees is a number of brands who are offering the same product with different logos, therefore they make the purchase based on the brand that is the most memorable.

A brand is memorable because it is distinct from its competition. Something is distinctive or memorable when the brand successfully triggers an emotional response in the consumer from its advertising. If you’re not memorable, you’re generic. 

The beauty industry is the classic example of this, with the likes of L’Oreal, Olay, Lancome etc. all blurring into one in the mind of the consumer.

Nielsen has even done some research to back up the fact that reach and creative are the two biggest levers you can pull to improve performance of your Facebook ads:

Facebook Advertising Elements

This fundamental rule of maximising the reach and impressions of distinctive content is something that a lot of Facebook marketers don’t appreciate the value of. 

This way of thinking about marketing is usually reserved for the people working at big agencies who manage massive brand campaigns, distributing largely on OOH and TV and reporting using brand lift studies. As a result, most growth or performance marketers snub the value of it or think it doesn’t apply to them as a small business.

The truth is that it is now more relevant than ever because of how Facebook has democratised marketing.

They have made cheap reach in extremely valuable placements accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes through their value based auctionMarketers with any size budget can now have a significant brand impact if they focus on achieving a high frequency of impressions on a highly relevant audience using distinctive brand assets.

Reach + Distinctiveness = Growth.

Our focus as performance marketers trying to ‘growth hack’ our way to success is always on the quick wins and changes to strategy (audience, optimisation goal, bid) within the confines of Facebook Ads Manager that bring us the 2x uplift in performance, halving our cost per purchase and allowing us to take our clients or business “to the moon”.

The sad reality is that this rarely happens more than once in the lifetime of an ad account.

The biggest win is often simply starting to advertise on a much larger scale, reaching more people and increasing your market penetration, allowing you to grow your market share at a much faster rate.

Your guiding light as a performance marketer should be growth in overall business revenue, driven by an increase in impressions of distinctive content on your target market.

Be brave, seek out those people who need convincing and push them into consideration. Have the hard conversations about the limitations of Facebook’s tracking and the “halo effect” that you see from increasing your spend on Facebook. Leverage the power of Facebook’s machine learning algorithm to learn who responds best to your product, and continually optimise your ad creative accordingly.

I promise you, the returns will be far greater in the long term.


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