Do all Marketing Activities need a Strong Call to Action?

The answer is different for new brands versus established brands.

This series revisits the basics of branding and marketing by answering questions marketers, entrepreneurs and small business owners face when growing their business. I hope this series provides you with knowledge to think smarter and a nudge to make stuff happen.

Do all Marketing Activities need a Strong Call to Action?

I believe new businesses and brands should be introduced with a strong call to action in most of its marketing activities. Established business, with a well-known brand and a growing customer base, need to remind people and thus, do not need to have a strong call to action in all of its marketing activities

New Business/Brands
It’s important to gain trial for new businesses. I’m defining trial as getting people in the door to visit your shop and/or getting people to visit your website. You must give people a compelling reason to visit your business, especially if you are competing in a crowded marketplace.

The strongest call to action marketing activities are designed to get customers to BUY NOW. Examples include using marketing activities that offer the following: Money Back Guarantee, Free Shipping, Free Trial, Free Download, Offer Expires Today, 50% OFF, etc. These marketing offers all work to get people to visit your business and to buy something when they visit that day.

Hopefully, the people who buy from you that day will be so impressed and buy from you again and again and again that you’ve just turned a new customer into a customer who now prefers your business over others.

Well-Known Brands
Once trial has been gained and customers have made known their preference for your business, its time to switch marketing activities and messages to remind people what your business does.

For example, brands advertise on National Public Radio (NPR) programming through underwriting spots and not through produced radio commercials. These underwriting spots are copy only, 10-seconds long, voiced by an NPR employee, and are prohibited from having a call to action.

In these 10-second long placements, the message cannot include: mentions of Price, Discount Offers, and Directional Information for listeners to act upon.

When I was at Whole Foods, we ran many underwriting spots with NPR nationally and locally because they were used to remind people of Whole Foods natural/organic food values. We felt these soft sell marketing activities would appeal to people who’ve shopped at Whole Foods before and hopefully nudge them to visit again.

All marketing activities do not need a strong call to action, especially for well-established brands. Sometimes marketing is more about reminding people who you are and what you believe in rather than aggressively getting people to visit your business.


#01 | How Should a Brand be Defined?
#02 | What’s the Difference between Branding and Marketing?
#03 | Is there a Difference between a Company Name and a Brand Name?
#04 | Does every Brand need a Unique Selling Position?
#05 | Do Consumers Really Feel Emotional about Brands?
#06 | How should “Brand Personality” be Described?
#07 | Are Taglines Important? Why or Why Not?
#08 | Are Logos Important? Why or Why Not?
#09 | Can a Brand be Built without a Large Budget?
#10 | Why is a Brand Style Guide important?
#11 | What are Key Components to Include in a Brand Style Guide?
#12 | How Rigid Should a Brand Style Guide Be?
#13 | The Brand Style Guide is Built. Now What?
#14 | What Matters Most to Consumers: Brand, Price, or Convenience?
#15 | Does a Company’s Mission Statement Play a Role in Marketing the Brand?
#16 | How can Business Operations Support the Brand Promise?
#17 | How do you get Employees to “Live the Brand”?
#18 | Do all Marketing Activities need a Strong Call to Action?