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Size Matters: Why “Awareness” Campaigns Make Sense

If you haven’t seen one of the 100 million+ views of the most viral video in history that hit the internet last week, I’ll get you up to speed really quick. A 30 minute long video was published to the interwebs last week called Kony 2012, spreading a message about issues plaguing Uganda and other surrounding countries. This video has outpaced every single viral video you’ve seen or heard about. Want to see how fast it’s outpaced other viral hits? Look here!

Awareness Campaigns

I know this viral message has stirred up passionate opinions about the topics in the Kony 2012 video, and while it’d be fun to start a heated debate with opinions on the video, there’s already enough of those conversations happening. I’m going to use this viral success to demonstrate the purpose behind awareness campaigns.

The highest level of the marketing funnel is AWARENESS.  The AWARENESS portion of the funnel is designed to grow the group of people who know about your company, product, or related causes. Companies who focus on AWARENESS campaigns are trying to grow their audience, not necessarily their customer base. If only 100 people in the world know your company exists, and you want 1,000,000 to know your company exists – you need to create an AWARENESS campaign.

The size of your company’s AWARENESS group will dictate:

  1. How many people are interested in your company
  2. How many people have a desire to work with your company
  3. How many people actually start working with your company

As you can see looking at the funnel, there are quite a few steps that companies need to focus on to get consumers from the AWARENESS stage to the ACTION stage. AWARENESS campaigns simply grow the size of your audience. If you want to see AWARENESS campaigns impact your company’s growth – you need to create campaigns that focus on moving the audience all the way down the funnel, helping them arrive to the ACTION category.  One of the biggest mistakes companies make today is spending their entire marketing budget on AWARENESS, and then forgetting they need to nurture their audience to the ACTION stage. Please, I beg of you, if you want to increase AWARENESS, don’t forget about the rest of the marketing funnel as you plan your company’s marketing strategy.

The Kony 2012 sensation was set up as an AWARENESS campaign. With 100+ million views, I’d say it was a success. There are countless news articles, blog posts, twitter updates, and facebook conversations now happening across the world – both supporting and opposing the ideas introduced. The Kony 2012 succeeded in making people AWARE of the cause. Only time will tell if that translates into action.

Does your company need an AWARENESS campaign? Is it time to grow your audience? If so, here are some questions that can help you start developing your AWARENESS efforts:

  • How much do you want to grow your audience by?
  • What are the demographics of the audience you would like to reach?
  • What is the best marketing method to spread awareness to new audiences?
  • How are you going to lead your new audience down through the marketing funnel?