Awareness and Foot Traffic Are Not The Same Thing

Rich Castro

Rich Castro About The Author

December 19, 2019 at 10:30 AM

Awareness and Foot Traffic are not the same

When an organization launches a campaign to increase brand awareness, it is often assumed that increased foot traffic will naturally follow. Although this is sometimes the case, it is never a guarantee. There is a notable difference between brand awareness and foot traffic, and one does not always bring the other.Consider an organization that launches a widespread television campaign. Although follow-up consumer surveys indicate that the campaign reached its target audience and enhanced brand awareness, the company didn't notice an increase in foot traffic or sales. There could be many reasons for this disconnect, from inconsistent messaging to choosing the wrong audience. However, this example serves as a reminder that brand awareness and foot traffic don't always go hand-in-hand. In order to get these two measures of success to work together, you must plan your campaigns carefully.

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How to Enhance Brand Awareness

Your company can use a variety of different strategies to increase brand awareness. Some of the most common strategies used for this purpose include:

  • TV advertising - Utilizing both traditional TV and streaming services are great ways to reach consumers and enhance brand awareness. Commercials allow you to show viewers your product or services while telling your own story in a creative and memorable way.
  • Digital marketing - Digital marketing involves the use of the internet to build brand awareness through display ads or pre-roll, as well as content development and distribution. These types of ads reach customers and have the ability to be retargeted so that there is more frequency to help with brand awareness. Similar to TV advertising, location-based efforts tend to be more effective. 
  • Social media campaigns - Social media campaigns leverage connections between people to build brand awareness and when used properly, they can also increase foot traffic.
  • Email marketing - Email marketing involves sending engaging email messages to consumers, which can build brand awareness quickly.

Each of these strategies can effectively build brand awareness when employed properly. To ensure that your brand message resonates with your target audience, it's best to work with a media company skilled in all of these areas.

Foot Traffic vs Brand Awareness

Although building brand awareness is a key component to increasing foot traffic, it won't happen automatically. Nonetheless, an increase in brand awareness can translate to more foot traffic when brands use the right approach. For example, consider Popeyes’ recent chicken sandwich craze. It all started when Popeyes released their chicken sandwich on August 12 and then a tweet went viral between the restaurant and a competitor, Chick-Fil-A. This tweet sparked a viral competition between the two chains to determine who had the better sandwich. After a few weeks of the feud between fans, Popeyes sold out of their chicken sandwich before the month was over. The sandwich accounted for 30 percent of sales and more than doubled foot traffic in stores during the time of availability. 

On the flip side, consider McDonald's one-day release of Szechuan sauce in 2017. Although this campaign was successful in increasing brand awareness on social media, it did not appear to have enough of an effect nationwide to noticeably increase foot traffic for McDonald's. 

Using Brand Awareness to Boost Foot Traffic

The exact strategies you can use to boost foot traffic through an increase in brand awareness depends on the marketing approach utilized.

  • TV advertising - Some types of TV advertisements are more likely to drive foot traffic than others. Whenever you offer a deal or an immediate call to action that comes with a deadline, viewers are more called to act so that they are able to receive the deal. This approach creates a sense of urgency and can increase foot traffic. 
  • Digital marketing - All types of digital advertising can effectively boost foot traffic. In most cases, it will be a call to action that sets one digital advertising attempt above another. Personalized call-to-actions are most effective, performing 202 percent better than general ones.
  • Social media campaigns- Social media campaigns can also effectively increase brand awareness and foot traffic at the same time. Campaigns are more effective when they are location-based and/or when they include a promotion that entices your target audience.
  • Email marketing- Email marketing campaigns are similar to social media campaigns in that they will be more effective at building both brand awareness and foot traffic if they are location-specific, tailored to your target audience and/or related to a promotion.

As we have seen, brand awareness and foot traffic are not one and the same, but rather work together to achieve a common goal. A skilled media company can teach you how to create a brand strategy that optimizes each of your marketing efforts to increase your brand awareness and drive foot traffic at the same time.

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