One of the most important pieces of evidence that exists is the finding that the marketing activities that are effective in the short term are different to ones that are effective in the long term.

So, some types of marketing campaigns can bring in customers long after the campaign is over. These are known as Long Term Brand Building campaigns. While other types of campaigns only bring in customers during the length of the campaign. These are described by Peter Field and Les Binet as Short Term Sales Activation campaigns.

Both types of campaigns are quite different to each other in how they are designed and planned. The message you choose. The style of communication. The media channels you use. The advertising formats. The audience you target. All different. In many ways, they are almost the exact opposite of each other. They can both generate sales.

The evidence reveals two really important things. Firstly, is the brand building campaigns are more effective at gaining market share than the sales activation ones. This can be surprising and perhaps feel counterintuitive. But it makes more sense when the reasons are understood. Secondly, although they are more effective overall, the brand building campaigns are less effective than the sales activation ones in the short term.

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What this means is the week after your brand campaign goes live, you might be disappointed with your sales uplift but could expect to see uplift six months later. While on the other hand, you might be pretty happy with sales results in week one of your sales activation campaign, but unlikely see any significant customer increase once your campaign is off over.