June 25, 2024

What Digital Marketing Is – What It Is Not

Why branding is important - Judy & Trudy
  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    • On-page SEO
    • Off-page SEO
    • Technical SEO
  2. Content Marketing

    • Blogging
    • Video production
    • Infographics
    • E-books and whitepapers
    • Case studies
    • Webinars and online presentations
  3. Social Media Marketing

    • Organic social media marketing
    • Paid social media advertising
    • Influencer marketing
    • Social media management
  4. Email Marketing

    • Newsletter campaigns
    • Drip campaigns
    • Transactional emails
    • Email list segmentation
  5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

    • Google Ads
    • Bing Ads
    • Social media advertising (e.g., Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads)
    • Retargeting/remarketing
  6. Affiliate Marketing

    • Partnering with affiliates
    • Performance-based marketing
  7. Mobile Marketing

    • SMS marketing
    • In-app advertising
    • Mobile search ads
  8. Marketing Automation

    • Automated email sequences
    • Customer relationship management (CRM) integrations
    • Lead nurturing workflows
  9. Online Public Relations (PR)

    • Online press releases
    • Influencer outreach
    • Digital PR campaigns
  10. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

    • A/B testing
    • User experience (UX) improvements
    • Landing page optimization
  11. Analytics and Data Analysis

    • Web analytics (e.g., Google Analytics)
    • Social media analytics
    • Campaign performance tracking
  12. Voice Search Optimization

    • Optimizing content for voice search
    • Structured data markup
  13. Interactive Content

    • Quizzes
    • Polls and surveys
    • Interactive infographics
  14. Online Reputation Management

    • Managing online reviews
    • Responding to customer feedback
    • Building positive brand sentiment
  15. Video Marketing

    • YouTube marketing
    • Live video streaming
    • Video ads
  16. Podcast Marketing

    • Podcast production
    • Podcast advertising
    • Guest appearances

These tactics can be used individually or in combination to create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy tailored to specific business goals and target audiences.

The Problem

Why branding is important makes sense when one considers “First Healthcare Products,” a family-owned medical supply business in Tacoma, Washington. The generic name did not work as three decades passed without the business creating brand recognition with customers. As its marketing manager, I was to rebrand “First Products” so it could be as memorable as a hospital’s good cup of coffee.

The Action Plan

Knowing the importance of branding, I knew we needed to go with something sticky. Introduce two cartoon characters “Judy & Trudy” to serve as the fresh faces of “First Products.”

Creating the Characters

Knowing why branding is necessary, we designed “Judy,” a cheerful Caucasian nurse, and “Trudy,” an equally upbeat African American nurse. Beyond drawings, these must reflect professionalism while being fun and engaging.

Collaboration with an Illustrator

Finally, to bring “Judy & Trudy” to life, I hired a great illustrator who instinctively grasps why branding is essential. Hours of work went into perfecting their looks – ensuring they wore the warmest smiles and the most inviting uniforms.

The Bobble-Head Revolution

I had to make “Judy & Trudy” memorable. I had a bunch of bobblehead dolls made up. Really cute little things, given away at medical conferences and trade shows and straight to hospitals and clinics.

Imagine the scene: doctors and nurses receiving bobbleheads instead of the usual pens or stress balls. These dolls quickly became the talk of the trade shows, bringing a smile to the faces of busy medical professionals. Who knew that branding is essential and could be illustrated with bobbleheads?

The Results

It was brilliant to create “Judy & Trudy” to really explain, for real, just why branding is so important:

Memorable Brand Identity

This was amply illustrated by the fact that “Judy & Trudy” became inextricably coupled with “First Products.” That is one of the reasons why branding is important : have the smiling faces of our animated nurses entrenched in our customers’ minds, making our brand far more visible.

Increased Customer Engagement

The bobbleheads served as constant reminders of our products, which shows why branding is essential. Hospitals and clinics began to equate their positive experience with our characters.

Increased Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty

Results came in and were resoundingly positive and validated why branding is crucial. The hospital purchasing agents’ feedback them, the nurses loved them, and the doctors raved about them. All this time, Judy & Trudy, in their nursing stations administrating offices, won a sense of brand loyalty and familiarity with our brand.

Sales Boost and Market Positioning

This visibility and engagement became accurate results and further proved why branding is essential. As more hospitals and clinics chose “First Products” over the competition, this visibility and engagement steadily improved sales. The fun and friendly image Judy & Trudy had was a unique edge in the marketplace.

The Humor Behind the Strategy

Today, a great marketing plan does not always have to be about hard work and serious planning. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of humor to work great wonders in simply making your point as to why branding is important. The whole concept of using bobblehead dolls might have seemed whimsical at first, but it was this very whimsy that caught people’s attention. One memorable trade show was when a doctor picked up a Judy bobblehead and asked, laughing, if she could handle his appointments. We laughed, too, but knew instantly that we had done something special: we’d created an emotional connection between our brand and our customers. That’s the magic of branding.


What made the “First Products” rebrand strategy a success, ultimately, was making our brand unforgettable. This illustrates why branding is important.

With Judy & Trudy, we gave our customers something to smile about and remember—to engage with. As I said, this is not a story about how to bump up sales or recognition; it’s about creating one connection that took a very cookie-cutter medical supply company and morphed it into a beloved and memorable brand.

So, next time you find yourself up against a branding challenge, take heed of what makes branding so crucial. Because sometimes the power of a friendly face, maybe even a bobblehead doll or two, makes all of the difference.

Because, in business, just like in life, sometimes a little humor and a whole lot of heart can make all the difference.