I'm sitting here at a restaurant called Tengda in Darien, CT a stone's throw from my office just thinking about how I came to know about this restaurant. You see I've eaten at Tengda before - but I didn't know they had a location right by my office. In fact when the weather is warmer I often walk here - its probably just over a mile away from TMC's River Park headquarters.
The point is I found out about this location through one of the daily deal sites - it was likely LivingSocial but perhaps Groupon. I didn't respond to the offer but the email has caused my company and family to spend at least $1,200 over the year plus since I started coming here.
And the interesting thing is this restaurant will never know (they may of course be reading this) I started to come to this location based on an ad which was designed for direct response but instead generated awareness. Better yet for management - I didn't take advantage of any cut-rate offer to come here. I always pay full price.
The advent of the Internet has made many companies advertise solely on a per-lead or per-inquiry basis but as I order my sashimi I am reminded of the importance of generating awareness - the success of many businesses in-fact depends on it.