A billboard in the middle of the desert seems like a silly way to sell jackets. In the same way, a billboard in the middle of Times Square that fails to tell your story is a silly idea too.

There is a true science to tactical marketing. There are metrics and statistics. Measurables and vectors. Tactical marketers are skilled, well, tacticians. They can tell you where to place your message, for how long and how to measure whether you should do it again. What tactical marketing can’t tell you is why to say it.

As marketing executives we are judged by our tactical wins and losses. We live in a world that defines our success based on terms like ROI, CPI, Copy Testing and Market Penetration. As a result, we spend most of our time thinking tactically, not relationally.

Branding is not about our tactical genius. Branding is about authentic, consistent and intentional relationship building. Branding is about the why.

That’s what makes brand spends so much harder to sell up the chain. There aren’t true metrics that you can use to judge success. There is only a belief that brand thinking can influence your relationships with your customers.

Sure, agencies throw around terms like awarenesssaturation, and affinity; but these metrics judge more of what’s happening on the surface than what’s happening where the relationships matter the most – deep in the gut of our customers.

Branding can’t be tactical, it has to be relational. Spending the time to develop a relational brand strategy can help answer all of the why questions.

Once the why is articulated, the tactical who, what, when and where questions all fall in place.