Digital Marketing vs. Digital Branding: What’s the Difference?


As a brand and marketing manager, you no doubt have to spend a considerable amount of your work and time thinking about optimising your brand and marketing strategy. From the effectiveness of your brand assets (the images, videos, and other materials that make up your brand) to how efficiently your employees are working, there are a large number of factors to consider when building a brand.

But one major factor to acknowledge to succeed in your marketing and branding is that both processes have massively shifted in recent years. DIGITAL marketing and DIGITAL branding are now the names of the game. This blog will take you through what that even means, from what these new ways of working involve for brand managers and what they must do to stay ahead of the game.

Suggested reading: Want to learn more about how branding has evolved over the years? Give our blog, The Evolution of Brand Management | Lessons from the Past and Visions of the Future, a read!

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What’s the difference between marketing and branding?

It may seem an obvious question to ask and one you would’ve covered very early on in your branding career, but it is worth revisiting to get a sense of how to make both works better — significantly as they’ve evolved. Here’s a little recap:

Marketing: The process of communicating your brand to others. This typically and primarily is for your target audience and customers, but it also significantly influences how you come across to your stakeholders and competitors.

Branding: Developing and conveying the essence of your brand on both an internal and external level so that everyone involved knows what your brand stands for. Your brand assets are the result of this process.

While branding and marketing are fundamentally different, they’re often thought about simultaneously because they heavily inform each other. If your brand is not considered during your content creation,  your marketing strategies will have no solid brand identity to base them on. Vice versa, if your marketing is not targeting the right people or isn’t catered well enough to digital channels, your branding strategies won’t benefit from knowing what works and what needs improvement.

The world’s gone digital

Having a think about how primed your branding and marketing strategies are for digital channels is critical to seeing success because — as our handy title suggests — the world has indeed gone digital. The broad reach of the Internet means that consumers benefit from having a large variety of brands to choose from, while brands have a large variety of customers to promote their products or services to.

It’s worth noting this extensive variety of brands also means there’s more competition than ever. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While it can be daunting to attempt to optimise your strategies to keep up with other brands that are ahead, there are now plenty of tools and software available to make your branding and marketing efforts all the more effective. Simply put, digital problems need digital solutions.

👉 Take control of your digital assets with The Brand Consistency Toolkit today 👈

So how do you get the best out of both?

So we’ve covered why you should cater your marketing and branding to the digital age to see real success… but how can you do it?

Though we’ve clarified that there are plenty of software solutions available to do digital marketing and branding simple — and even growth-enabling for your brand — you shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that any and every tool out there will help. More doesn’t mean better. In fact, taking on too many digital solutions can become its own problem, as you have to deal with convoluted, overflowing MarTech stacks.

Here’s what your software solution of choice needs to be able to do to make it worth the cost: 

  • Make branding consistent: Brand consistency is critical to any business’s survival. It’s what guarantees that you have solid brand awareness in your industry and that your internal workflows are running smoothly. Look for software that makes things like storing, accessing, creating, and managing your brand assets as seamless as possible.
  • Work with existing tools: There are likely already quite a few tools in your arsenal that are so crucial to developing your assets that removing or replacing them would break down your marketing and branding altogether. So take up software that recognises this and can effectively integrate with your tool stack.
  • Be multifunctional: This feature will ensure a great return on investment. Brands of all sizes would benefit from a single-platform solution that you can rely on to cover various branding and marketing needs.

These may seem like tall orders to expect from the one tool — but not from brand management software (BMS). An effective BMS platform will help you stay on track of and improve upon the moving pieces of both your marketing and branding, enhancing work processes, driving business revenue, and opening up paths to growth. To see the above goals in action, look for a BMS that has:

  • Digital asset management (DAM): An efficient DAM system is what will supercharge how you manage all of your digital marketing and branded content at its best — after all, it’s in the name! A DAM effectively centralises all of your approved, on-brand digital assets within a single, accessible platform. This means that productivity barriers like different employees dealing with different assets, disparate workflows, and outdated assets are solved with the one system. Almost all BMS platforms like Brandworkz allow you to tailor permissions on your DAM to ensure people only access the assets they need to.
  • Integrations: You can create a single repository for all of your digital assets through a marriage of your MarTech applications and a BMS platform. Brandworkz Integrations ensures that it works perfectly alongside marketing and branding mainstays like Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.
  • Digital & Print templates: Editable templates are a great way to keep consistency in your assets. These not only help in making sure that brand assets look the way they’re supposed to across different departments and channels but also in fulfilling specific compliance requirements from the beginning.
  • Approvals processes: Maintaining control over your marketing and branding is crucial but easier said than done when you have to work with multiple brand assets, departments, employees, AND distribution channels. Automated approval processes allow you to plan, track, and approve of workflows in an instant. You get complete visibility over what goes into your production and the benefit of getting to market quicker.
  • Reporting and analytics: Knowing which of your brand assets are providing the most value to your marketing and branding is essential to finding out what works and what doesn’t. Your BMS platform should give you insights into how your content is being used, by who, how often, for what, etc., to help you make better-informed decisions around your management. 

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Get your digital marketing AND branding up to speed

Don’t let the name fool you: brand management software is primed to enable both top-notch branding and marketing across the board. What’s really ideal about this kind of software is that it ensures your assets, strategies, and workflows will be prepared for the long-term when it comes to developments in the industry — or if you just want to go for a rebrand! You can rest assured that streamlining and growth-enabling functionalities like effective integrations and editable brand guidelines will be there to assist all of your digital marketing and branding needs.

That’s why we developed our brand management software solution, Brandworkz — our expertly-backed solution enables brand consistency and more efficient workflows. With critical features like a centralising DAM, editable templates and brand guidelines, and smooth-running integrations with your existing tools, Brandworkz acts as a safety net and growth enabler for all things marketing and branding. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Feel free to book a demo with us today to see Brandworkz’s capabilities for yourself.