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Transactional Vs. Brand Advertising

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Defining Transactional & Brand Building Ads

In a nutshell, transactional ads are more about the short game of immediate purchases and cash flow, and brand building ads are more about the long game of building name recognition and acquiring long-term customers. Both have their own power, so let’s dig into those definitions a little with examples to better understand how they fit into your business.

Transactional Ads

The goal of transactional ads is for customers to have an immediate action or interaction with your business. With these ads, you are trying to get customers to exchange money for goods and services in a relatively short period of time.

An easy way to visualize this is to think about online ads. You place an ad online, a customer clicks on the ad that redirects your website or product page, and (hopefully) that leads to an immediate purchase or a short trip down the conversion funnel.

Online resources like email campaigns, display ads, and social media lend themselves well to transactional advertising. With these ads, it’s easy to see results with clicks or bumps in sales.

The tricky part about transactional ads is that you may get a sale, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get repeat customers. And continually chasing new customers is more expensive than doing business with return customers. That’s where branding and brand building come in.

The Bottom Line

Every business will probably have transactional ads through the lifetime of the company. After all, there are always sales to advertise and potential new customers to reach. But if you make a plan to build your brand over time, you will eventually have a customer base that won’t need transactional ads to woo them toward your products or services.

Because of branding, these repeat customers already interact with — and perhaps even love — your company without extra incentives. This means that in the long-term you will likely work and spend less on transactional advertising as your business (and bottom line) grows.

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