Published on October 10, 2013
Inthisedition Volume 6, Issue 3 Ad Research Faces the Future The Meaningful Brand - Read an advance excerpt Point of View Book excerpt Video Content Published Articles Knowledge Points Smartphone Wars: Swapping Strategies, Winning Consumers The Value of Modern Targeting Approaches What Marketers Are Learning From Neuroscience and More Does Humour Make Ads More Effective? How Big Data Liberates Research The Unbearable Lightness of Brand A Focus on Brand Building Makes UK Businesses Stand Apart Digital Is Powerful. Handle with Care Corporate Citizenship, Why Brands Are Taking Action Repurposing TV Ads for Effective Online Use Creative Quality in Mobile Matters More than Ever Acknowledgements
The world of marketing is infinitely more complex than it was when I started my career over three decades ago; that much is indisputable. But the essential process by which marketing builds a brand and adds value to a business has not changed. Why? Because human nature has not changed. And that means the potential to build strong, valuable brands is as great now as it was then—perhaps even more so. In spite of this continuity, the value of marketing as a practice is under greater scrutiny today than ever before. Marketers are constantly asked to prove their return on investment and to do more with less. My own observations suggest that instead of rising to the challenge, the marketing profession is shooting itself in the foot. At a time when brands are more valuable than ever, bought and sold for many times their annual revenues, we are losing sight of what makes brands enduring, valuable A Crisis of Confidence in Marketing An excerpt from “The Meaningful Brand” By Nigel Hollis Share Buy the Book Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Available October 22, 2013 Amazon.com Kindle iBooks Barnes & Noble 800-CEO-Read From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
assets. We ignore what makes people want to buy brands and be willing to pay a premium for them. Why? Because so many day-to-day tasks demand our attention. We are so busy executing that we have forgotten why we are doing what we are doing, and we rely on metrics to guide our actions without judging their relevance or utility. Consumer motivations have not changed, and neither have the ways that brands make money. There are five basic ways to create more value from a brand: Unfortunately, many marketers and CEOs appear to be fixated on the first and last of these strategies to the exclusion of the middle three, and they particularly overlook the strategy of justifying a price premium. The ultimate role of a strong brand is to command a price premium over comparable products. All too often I observe brands chasing additional volume at the expense of their price premium and future profit stream. It is debatable whether such tactics pay off in the short term, and all the evidence suggests that they undermine long-term value. Again, what is brand building about if not creating sustainable financial value, a reoccurring profit stream over years, not just months? “THE ULTIMATE ROLE OF A STRONG BRAND ISTO COMMAND A PRICE PREMIUM OVER COMPARABLE PRODUCTS” From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 1. Encourage more people to buy the brand 2. Encourage people to buy the brand at a price higher than that commanded by the alternatives. 3. Encourage people to keep buying the brand. 4. Encourage people to buy the same brand but for new occasions or in new categories. 5. Do all four, but more efficiently.
That is where this book comes in—to provide a clearly documented roadmap to make sure that your brand is adding sustainable financial value to your business. The roadmap is based on a conceptual framework called ValueDrivers, jointly developed by Gordon Pincott, chairman of global solutions at Millward Brown, and myself. Our framework for building brand value is not informed by experience alone. We have been fortunate to be able to draw on all the resources at Millward Brown’s disposal, including access to some of the best marketers in the world today; insight from colleagues with specialist knowledge in neuroscience, brand equity research, and brand valuation; and analysis of the world’s largest brand equity database, BrandZ™. Since 1998, Millward Brown has interviewed people around the world about their attitudes toward brands, and the database now includes data on over ten thousand brands from over two hundred product categories and over 40 different countries. In addition to these company resources, I have drawn on a number of other sources of information. Most important among these are our A Roadmap to Building Financial BrandValue From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
clients. Gordon and I have discussed the framework detailed in this book with some of the most experienced marketers in the world. We have used the ValueDrivers workshop to explore specific brand issues in-depth for a wide variety of international clients, and in preparation for writing this book, I interviewed senior marketers in China, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States. Last, but not least, in order to illustrate specific ways in which brands have created demonstrable value, I have drawn on case studies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and winners of the Effie Awards sourced from the invaluable Warc knowledge bank. Euromonitor has also proved a useful source of information on trends and market share data. By drawing on all of these resources, I aim not only to illustrate what makes a strong brand but also to document its impact on the bottom line. In the first third of this book, I will lay out our general knowledge about brands, specifically why and how they create value for consumer and brand owner alike. In the remainder of the book, I will condense that learning into a set of guidelines for generating financial value growth from any brand. Amazon.com Kindle iBooks Barnes & Noble 800-CEO-Read From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
POINT OF VIEW
However, since then, they have found out that turning cognitive science theory into concrete marketing actions is really difficult. Many attempts to borrow ideas from psychology, such as using metaphorical and projective scales or enhancing so-called “emotional” questions with icons or pictures of faces, are failing to live up to their billing; ultimately, these approaches yield the same results as more traditional measures. And as I have observed before (initially in my November 2006 Point of View “Neuromarketing: Beyond the Buzz”), neuromarketing’s hardcore exotica simply don’t operate at the scale and price point that are necessary in the day-to-day marketing world. Thusmanypractitionershavenotseenthevalueofgivinguponthevalidation, norms, and benchmarks provided by established tools. And yet, having seen the possibility of tapping into consumers’unmediated responses, they can’t help but struggle with the nagging thought that they are missing some crucial insights. Fortunately, the mainstream research community now seems to be taking a new direction. We are seeing an explosion in the use of two approaches, automated facial coding and implicit association techniques, that directly measure unfiltered responses. By integrating these techniques into existing platforms, researchers are obtaining the rounded and holistic view they need to measure all facets of advertising response. As the only major research agency with a global neuroscience practice dedicated to bringing these tools to market, Millward Brown is observing this shift first-hand. What follows are the reasons why we think these methods are being embraced. Cracking the Facial Code While the coding of facial expressions to measure immediate emotional and cognitive responses was first established in the 1970s, it was not suitable for scale application in advertising research until recently, when companies such as Affectiva developed accurate software to automate the process. In partnership with Affectiva, Millward Brown has integrated this approach into standard Link copy testing surveys. After participants give their consent, a webcam films their reactions as they watch an ad; their responses are then coded and analyzed against more considered measures, yielding a full understanding of viewers’ immediate reactions and the consequences for ad effectiveness. Surprise! Men Prefer a Sexy Woman to a Small Car A recent analysis of automotive advertising in the United States was refined and enhanced with the nuance provided by facial coding analysis. One of the ads researched was a spot for the Fiat 500 Abarth titled “Seduction.” In the ad, a man walks down the street and is distracted by the sight of supermodel Catrinel Menghia bending over in the road. Spotting him, she angrily remonstrates with him in Italian for looking at her. Then she approaches him and, seductively stirring his coffee with her finger, whispers in his ear. As he leans forward for a kiss, she disappears, and he realizes that he was in fact looking at the Fiat 500 Abarth. The voice-over suggests that you will never forget the first time you see the car, and the ad ends with shots of the car in motion. Men, who tended to focus on the model and her seductive behavior, found the ad highly engaging and enjoyable, but only moderately motivating and relatively weakly branded. Women were less positive about the spot; some expressed concerns that the idea was demeaning and sexist. Facial coding helped clarify the conclusions by highlighting two key points. First, while women were less positive about the ad, they did find it funny, and they did like the sequence where the model catches the man looking and denounces him. Facial coding made it clear that concerns about the model’s depiction being sexist were secondary and more considered responses. Second, facial coding suggested that the spot’s lack of persuasive power rested with the car itself. Viewers who, according to their survey responses, struggled to “get” the spot frowned and showed other clear expressions of distaste when the car was revealed. In the North American market, which is skewed more heavily toward large vehicles, the small and fiery but largely unknown Abarth appeared to be a disappointment to some viewers— especially men—compared to the idea personified by the model. Hence the ad was more limited in its motivational power than its high levels of engagement might suggest. This sort of case illustrates the way in which direct measures of viewers’ responses can yield a much better understanding of what makes the creative idea work. Clients have built upon this type of insight to evolve and extend their campaigns, refine edits, and make better decisions about creative direction. The Predictive Power of Facial Coding In addition, we have found increasing evidence that facial coding can indicate an ad’s likely in-market effectiveness. We have already been able to relate viewers’ expressions while watching an ad to the ad’s subsequent sales effectiveness (as measured by econometric sales modelling). We have observed this relationship in two different markets in two different countries. In both cases, facial coding data added predictive power to Link. The main learning seems to be that negative expressions can be key indicators; if viewers looked disappointed by an ad, especially on the second viewing, the potential sales effectiveness of the spot was limited. It didn’t matter if the disappointment stemmed from a poor reaction to the creative idea, or to the product claim, or to an incongruity between idea and brand—the key seemed to be that disappointing viewers is a really bad idea. Facial coding can effectively highlight that reaction. Real-world Communication Like facial coding, implicit association techniques have gained significant traction in recent years. Using these approaches, we measure the time it takes for people to react and make decisions when faced with particular stimuli. Using these measurements, we make inferences about the strength of associations based on the fact that decision times vary depending on whether someone’s automatic (“fast”) processing is consistent with or in opposition to their more considered (“slow”) processing. Millward Brown has found two approaches particularly useful, and has used them in hundreds of projects. The first approach, “emotional priming,” is an adaptation of the implicit association test developed by Harvard University that measures the strength and direction of people’s gut-level emotional responses. The second technique, a response-latency method we refer to as “intuitive association measurement,” measures the relative ease with which people associate ideas with brands or ads. Associations that are made automatically are the most intuitive; those that are made only after consideration are less so. When we apply the intuitive association technique to advertising, we ask people if an ad conveys particular ideas. Then we measure their response time in milliseconds. Using this data, we identify the responses that are faster or slower than we would expect for an individual to determine the most intuitive associations from the ad. This approach allows us to address a criticism that is often leveled at advertising research: that the measurement of ad communication is overly rational. There is some justification for this concern. For example, in conventional research, to understand what an ad may be able to do for a particular brand, we ask people to think about the ideas conveyed by an ad. This gives us a clear picture of where an ad might be able to move a brand— if people are willing to invest some effort into it. However, as the critics rightly point out, in real-life situations, people tend to engage with advertising superficially, if at all. Implicit association measurement shows us the associations that are made most readily, enabling us to predict which ideas will be registered by the ad, and which ideas are likely to have a role in real-world decision-making. In the Fiat example cited previously, “sexy” was the dominant association. Car-related ideas such as “sporty”and“stylish”alsocamethrough,butweremoreconsideredresponses. We also applied implicit association measurement to the recent Google Chrome ad “Dear Hollie,” in which a father uses Google Chrome to send his newborn daughter a series of emails throughout her childhood, in anticipation of the time when they can read them together. The technique allowed us to identify“love”and“caring”as the most instinctive associations that people made with the ad. Other more generic brand associations such as “personal” and “innovative” were also made, but with a bit more effort. Clients have used these approaches extensively in copy testing to get a more realistic understanding of the direction in which their campaigns are likely to take their brands, and in brand tracking work to understand the impact of those campaigns on the brand’s instant meaning for consumers. The Truth About “Fast” and “Slow”Thinking The essence of the science of“fast”and“slow”thinking is that both processes occur all the time; therefore, it is not realistic to believe that surveys and qualitative research measure only ”slow” thinking. People’s answers are influenced by fast processing as well, and we now have the scalable and pragmatic tools to tease out these influences. Intuitive association measurement allows us to sift through the full range of considered and less-considered reactions and extract the ideas that are most likely to have meaning when consumers are not motivated to think. Facial coding allows us to interview people with conventional surveys while also measuring their spontaneous responses, moment-by-moment, as the ad unfolds. Ad research has evolved to encompass the measurement of people’s gut reactions while also giving such reactions a practical and realistic role in ad evaluation and development. With thousands of projects being conducted using these approaches, measurement of fast thinking has gone mainstream. GRAHAM PAGE EVP, Consumer Neuroscience firstname.lastname@example.org Point of View Share Intuitive association measurement measures the relative ease with which people associate ideas with brands or ads.The ideas that are made automatically are the most intuitive AdResearchFacestheFuture Ad researchers should be forgiven for feeling a little beaten up in recent years. In the face of compelling evidence from the cognitive sciences that points to a less rational, less idealized consumer than conventional economics has assumed, they acknowledged the need to measure emotion and other“fast” reactions as well as people’s“slow”or more considered responses.
Out of this cacophony of commentary, one of the most hotly contested topics in our industry is whether big data will replace traditional market research and perhaps make primary research obsolete. It’s not as crazy a question as it sounds. BEFORE BIG DATA Let me begin with a story. A few years ago, I ran a training class for mid-level researchers about innovations in research. I began by asking the group, “Have you ever responded to an RFP or client request for brand or communication insights by recommending something other than a new survey?”The participants looked at me, puzzled. Finally one of the attendees said, “But we use surveys to measure brand health and communications impact. For every new situation we need a new set of data. How could we not recommend a survey?” This was the usual thought process in what could be called the “before big data” world. Whether the research objective was to segment consumer needs to improve targeting or to evaluate the impact of advertising on brand health, it was reasonable to assume that we would need to generate and analyze a new set of data on each occasion. But that assumption is no longer valid. In today’s big data world, nearly everything is passively observed and managed in a digitized fashion; thus we have the ability to use data assets that were previously untapped or nonexistent to quickly and deeply address these same topics. Big Data isn’t really a brand-new phenomenon; for years now, large data sources have included information on customer purchases, credit scores, and lifestyle information. And for years, data scientists have used this data to help businesses evaluate risk and anticipate customer needs. The difference today is twofold: more sophisticatedtoolsandmethodsareavailabletoanalyzeandcombinevarious datasets, and these analytic tools are now augmented by an avalanche of new data sources ignited by the digitization of nearly all data collection and measurement. The range of content now available is both inspiring and intimidating to researchers raised in the structured survey environment. Consumer sentiment is captured on websites and the variety of social media outlets. Exposure to advertising is recorded not only by set-top boxes but also by digital tags and mobile devices communicating with TVs. Behavioral outcomes such as call volume, shopping patterns, and purchases are now available in real time. Thus many of the insights that were previously provided by survey research can now be discerned through big data sources. And all of these data assets are generated on an ongoing basis, independent of any research process. These are the changes that motivate the question of whether big data will replace market research. IT’S NOT ABOUT DATA—IT’S ABOUT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Before we sound the death knell for survey research, we should remind ourselves that it’snot theexistenceofanyparticulardataassetthatultimately matters. What matters is our ability to answer questions. And the amazing thing about the big data world is that the findings from our new data assets generate more questions, and those questions tend to be best addressed by traditional survey research. In this way, as big data increases, we see parallel growth in the presence and need for “small data” to explore and answer the questions it raises. Consider a setting in which a large advertiser has constant, real-time monitoring of store traffic and sales volume. Existing research designs, in which we probe survey panelists on their purchase motivations and point- of-sale behaviors, help us better target certain shopper segments. Those designs can be expanded to pull in a wider range of big data assets, to the point that big data is the passive monitor and surveys become the focused, ongoing probes into changes or events that require exploration. This is how big data will liberate research. Primary research will not have to focus on what is happening—big data will do that. Primary research can focus instead on explaining why we are observing certain trends or deviations from trends. The researcher can think less about generating data and more about analyzing and leveraging it. At the same time, we see big data allowing us to address one of our biggest problems, that of excessively long surveys. A wealth of research on research demonstrates that bloated survey instruments have negative effects on data quality. While many have recognized this issue for a long time, the default answer has remained “but I need that information for my senior management,” and long surveys have continued apace. In a big data environment, when survey metrics can be provided by passively observed measures, the issue is moot. Again, think of all the surveys with a focus on consumption. If big data assets are providing insights on consumption via passive observation, primary research via surveys will not have to collect this type of information, and we can finally deliver on the vision of shorter surveys instead of simply providing lip service to that goal. BIG DATA NEEDS OUR HELP Finally, the“big”in big data is just one characteristic of these new data assets. “Big” references the massive size and scale of the data, which, rightfully, should be front and center, as the scope of big data is beyond anything we have worked with before. But other characteristics of these new data streams are also significant: they are often raw in format, unstructured or, at best, partially structured and riddled with uncertainty. A growing area of data management, aptly named“entity analytics,”has developed to help manage the noise in big data.This practice is dedicated to parsing through these data sets and figuring out how many observations are of the same individual, which observations are current, and which are useful and complete. This kind of data cleaning is necessary to remove erroneous data or noise whether dealing with small or big data assets, but this is not enough. We also need to create context around big data assets based upon our prior experience, analytic strength, and category expertise. In fact, many analysts are pointing to the ability to manage the uncertainty inherent in big data as the source of competitive advantage, since it should result in better decision-making. And this is where primary research is not just liberated by big data, but contributes to the content creation and analysis within big data. The application to social media data of our new meaningfully different framework of brand equity is a prime example. This framework is validated to in-market behaviors, is implemented on a standardized basis, and is easy to extract into other marketing operations and information systems to support decision- making. In other words, our equity framework, powered (though not exclusively) by survey research, has all the properties needed to overcome the unstructured, unconnected, and uncertain nature of the big data. Consider data on consumer sentiment provided by social media. In its raw form, the peaks and valleys of consumer sentiment are often minimally correlated with offline metrics of equity and behaviors; there is simply too much noise in the data. But we can reduce that noise by applying our constructs of consumer meaning, differentiation across brands, dynamism, and salience to the raw consumer sentiments as a way to process and aggregate the social media data along these dimensions. Once the data is organized in alignment with our framework, the resulting trends typically align with offline metrics of equity and behavior. In effect, the social media data could not speak for itself; it required our experience and constructs around understanding brands in order to be leveraged to that purpose. Social media brings us full circle when it provides unique findings on the language consumers use to describe brands, and we then bring that language back into our survey designs to make the primary research that much more effective. THE BENEFITS OF LIBERATED RESEARCH This brings us back to how big data is not replacing research but rather is liberating it. Researchers are liberated from having to generate a new survey on each new learning occasion; ongoing big data assets can be leveraged for many topics, allowing subsequent primary research to go deeper and fill in the gaps. Researchers are liberated from needing to rely upon bloated surveys and instead can keep surveys short and focused on those variables that they are ideally suited for, resulting in better data quality. Once liberated, researchers can use their established first principles and insights to impart accuracy and meaning into the big data assets, leading to new areas of survey-based exploration. This cycle should lead to deeper insights across a range of strategic issues, ultimately moving toward what should always be our primary objective—to inform and improve brand and communications decisions. WILLIAM C. PINK Senior Partner, Creative Analytics email@example.com POINT OF VIEW HowBigDataLiberatesResearch There is a tidal wave of conversation about big data.The conversations range from simply defining what big data means, to the business applications of big data, to the societal implications of living in a big data environment. A quick Google search on“big data”provided 1.66 billion results, and I’m sure that number has increased since I wrote this Point ofView. Share In today’s big data world, nearly everything is passively observed and managed in a digitized fashion. The ability to manage the uncertainty inherent in big data may be a competitive advantage.
With people spending so much time in the digital world, marketers need to be just as effective there as they are in traditional media. But so far, many marketers have yet to see a good return on their digital investments. For all the successes, there are many more failures. Most video does not go viral. Few fan pages garner many fans, and those that do are often simply collecting “likes,” not building brands. And according to our research, many digital ads are ineffective, ignored or, worse, have a negative effect. One problem is that marketers often rely on faulty assumptions about people’s online behavior. Too much digital marketing is informed by naïve beliefs such as these: • If people “like” my brand, they will recommend it to their friends. • If people forward my video, they will remember who made it. • To succeed with digital marketing, I need to get people to interact with my brand. Before marketers throw money behind ill-conceived digital efforts, they need to understand all the ways people behave and respond in the digital space and set clear and realistic goals for what they hope to accomplish. THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT: DIVERSE, COMPLEX, AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS The digital realm is not one monolithic universe; rather, it consists of a wide variety of distinct domains. This seems obvious, but the implications are huge because consumers approach each domain differently. Someone who is searching for the best price for a specific product has a different mindset than someone who is hanging out on Facebook. But at least two commonalities do exist across the various digital domains. First, in almost every digital environment, users find a rich and complex array of options for becoming informed or finding diversion. And second, whether they are seeking facts or amusement, users are in control, choosing their own routes through the online territory according to their moods and objectives. Therefore, the potential to irritate people with online marketing must be taken seriously. A user who is looking for information is on a mission and will not appreciate an ad that gets between him and his objective. People who are checking out content for fun may be slightly more tolerant of ads, but even so, our research shows that of all the ads that move purchase intent in a noticeable way, 27 percent have a negative effect. The implications of this are frightening: could a lot of online advertising actually be damaging brands? THE RESPONSE TO DIGITAL: QUICK AND INSTINCTIVE Whether they are purpose-driven or kicking back, people make quick, often split-second decisions about where to click in the digital environment. They are not necessarily going to follow a predictable or linear path. And while online users enjoy being in charge of their experience, being constantly in control is demanding. To cope with the demands of the very choiceful environment found online, both our instinctive and our deliberative decision-making systems are forced to work overtime. Content is quickly judged as being relevant or irrelevant. Work conducted by Carleton University in Ottawa demonstrated that it takes one-twentieth of a second for people to make a decision about the visual appeal of a web page, less time than it takes to form a conscious thought. We can assume that people make the same instinctive judgments about online ads. Our eye-tracking database suggests that, on average, only 41 percent of people let their eyes rest on an online ad for as long as three-tenths of a second. When people do look at ads, they look for an average of just 1.3 seconds—not a long time, but long enough to make an instinctive judgment. Video ads get more attention online than other ad types; they are looked at by 70 percent of online users. But even with video, people make quick decisions—the overall video dwell time is just 1.8 seconds. THE MEASUREMENT: EXHAUSTIVE YET MISLEADING The web has been sold through the numbers, the eyeballs, the clicks, the case studies, and other research data. It is often called the world’s most measured medium. But we have reason to wonder if all of the measurements are truly meaningful.Ted McConnell, Executive Vice President, Digital, for the Advertising Research Foundation, reported on an experiment in which he and some associates ran blank ads in different sizes and colors. The average click-through rate across half a million impressions served was 0.08 percent. (For a brand campaign, this would be good; for a direct-response campaign, so-so.) But when asked why they clicked on blank boxes, only half of the “clickers”said they were curious to see what might be behind the blank box. The other half admitted to a mistaken click. So if half the people who click on an ad do so by mistake, what does that imply about the value of online advertising? As Ted said, “At a minimum, the data suggest that if you think a click-through rate of 0.04 percent is an indication of anything in particular, you might be stone-cold wrong.” ROI calculations based on click-through start to look even more dubious. THE GOOD NEWS: IT’S ABOUT MEMORIES, NOT CLICK-THROUGH Fortunately, we know that people don’t have to click on ads to be influenced by them. While digital marketing can create valuable interactions between brands and consumers, these don’t have to occur for a digital campaign to be successful. It’s great when people do want to engage with your digital content, but the people who will play your online game, download your app, or create and submit a video number in the thousands at best. You need to plan for that level of engagement while also making sure that the rest of your exposures—which may number in the millions—are not wasted. The good news is that digital advertising can build brands the same way traditional advertising does—by creating and reinforcing brand associations that strengthen a person’s predisposition to buy the brand. This has been obvious right from the beginning of our online ad testing in 1996. Indeed, if we look at more recent data from Dynamic Logic, we see that increases in purchase intent are 14 times higher than suggested by click-through alone. This is also evidenced by the fact that people who are merely exposed (i.e., those who don’t click) generate a significant portion of the sales effect of a piece of online communication. APPLYING WHAT WE KNOW Our understanding of the digital environment and the ways people behave there leads us to make some simple recommendations on how to succeed in the digital space. MAKE AN INSTANT CONNECTION Online communication needs to connect instantly and make a great first impression on the many who see it, not just the few who may engage with it. Make it simple for people to judge whether an online ad is relevant to them or not. Don’t make them think; enable them to simply respond. STRONG BRANDING IS ESSENTIAL A TV ad has the luxury of time to develop its story and integrate the brand; online doesn’t. If a brand is not front-and-center throughout the execution, exposureswillbewasted.Eventhelocationofthebrandintheadisimportant. We tested a rich media banner that had action moving from left to right while the brand was static on the left-hand side. Thus viewers’ eyes were consistently being pulled away from the ad. In this execution, the brand would get more attention if it were placed on the right-hand side. THINK ABOUT CONTEXT AND MINDSET The mindset of online users will vary with context. You need to understand the motivations of online users in the various spaces where you want to play. For example, people are not on Facebook to be unpaid promoters of your brand. Some of them become fans just because they want to get coupons and offers, while others“like”your brand because they believe that signals something positive about them. They are using your brand for their purposes, not yours. So think about what they want, and deliver it to them. THINK ABOUT PLACEMENT Context and mindset also come into play in determining how ads might best be deployed, as when deciding whether a video should be placed in-stream or as an on-click execution. Table 1 shows AdIndex data on the average response to these two types of ads. (The numbers represent the difference between those who saw the test ad and those who saw a control ad.) In-stream advertising is over twice as memorable as click-to-play, but does not produce the same gains in purchase intent. This points up something about how users process these different viewing experiences. The in-stream ad makes an impression at the time it is viewed (because all events make an impression on us, automatically, at the time they occur). But people don’t pause to reflect on the message because, as soon as it finishes, they become engaged with the content they really wanted to see. However, when the click-to-play ad is finished, nothing happens until the viewer makes another click; thus the viewer does have a chance to process the message he or she just saw. On-click ads, therefore, are more effective at delivering explicit messages. In-stream executions deliver implicit impressions, much like many commercials seen during TV viewing. KNOW WHAT TO MEASURE Behavioral metrics should not be relied upon on their own to optimize spend. Click-through, search, and liking depend as much on things that happen elsewhere as on the immediate online circumstances. Set expectations about what your digital marketing is meant to achieve, and judge effectiveness against those goals. CONCLUSION The digital space, in all its diversity, represents a huge opportunity with the power to engage people in new ways. But we need to remember that even activity that is “free” has both risk and opportunity cost. The risk is that it will be negatively received and undermine brand allegiance, and the opportunity cost is in the allocation of precious resources to activities that may be ineffective or even largely unnoticed. NIGEL HOLLIS firstname.lastname@example.org www.mb-blog.com GORDON PINCOTT Chairman, Global Solutions email@example.com POINT OF VIEW DigitalIsPowerful.HandlewithCare. Billions of dollars are spent on digital marketing each year, and for good reason. Digital media has enormous power to reach and influence people. Over 2 billion people—about one-third of the global population—now access the Internet. Facebook alone reaches one-seventh of the world’s population. Smartphones are the dominant means by which people surf the web in India. Share Content is judged quickly; it takes one- twentieth of a second for people to make a decision about the visual appeal of a web page. Table 1 In-stream vs On-click Video: Key Measures % Change In Stream On Click Online Ad Awareness 5.8 2.6 Aided Ad Awareness 2.6 1.4 Message Association 1.8 0.7 Purchase Intent 0.1 0.8
Courtesy of Beet.TV, www.beet.tv Share Tap the video to watch Juan Lindstrom, client analyst at Millward Brown Digital, recently presented findings from a Millward Brown Digital study on improving the online performance of repurposed TV ads. Developing web original content is not always feasible to produce or in-budget for marketers. Repurposing TV ads or other content can be very effective when interactivity and strong branding elements are added to develop online ads. To view the full presentation go to www.millwardbrown.com.
First aired on ET Now, India’s No. 1 Business News Channel, July 19, 2013. Copyright The Economic Times 2013, www.ecomnomictimes.indiatimes.com Share A conversation with Gordon Pincott, Chairman of Global Solutions at Millward Brown and Sonali Krishna, host of Brand Equity, produced by The Economic Times. The two discuss the truth about consumers’ true interest in brands, what marketers are learning from neuroscience, and where Indian brands will be on the world stage over the next 10 years. Tap the video to watch
e consumers are a savvy bunch -- without being told a thing, we quickly form perceptions about brands and companies via their communications, products and innovations. This is particularly true in the technology space, where consumers have traditionally viewed Apple as the revolutionary market innovator, and Samsung as the fast follower. This is borne out by what we see: Apple was the first to successfully market products in the MP3 (iPod), touch screen smartphone (iPhone) and tablet (iPad) categories. Samsung would follow suit quickly with similar products, with slight improvements at a comparable price point. For example, Galaxy S4 offered a larger and higher resolution screen, higher resolution camera, increased RAM, and superior battery life than the iPhone 5. For the most part, I think these strategies have been working for both companies. Apple innovation maintains the respect of technology aficionados globally, allowing the brand to charge huge premiums, while Samsung, with its more mass-market strategy, is now, according to IDC, the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, capturing 30% of 2Q13 global market share. In the fiercely competitive smartphone market, these two leaders are undoubtedly watching each other -- very, very carefully. The mutual respect for -- or perhaps fear of -- the other likely feeds into corporate strategy. So much so, perhaps, that recent announcements from both companies are pointing to the two giants taking a “strategy swap,” each taking a page from the other’s playbook. By unveiling the first-to-market Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Samsung has taken the lead in what could potentially be an entirely new consumer electronics category. With the $299 watch, which will hit shelves later this month, you’ll be able to make calls, take photos/ videos and run apps. But perhaps more groundbreaking than the features is the fact that it is from Samsung, now proudly shedding a “copy-cat” reputation and asserting itself in front, calling its new Galaxy smartwatch an “iconic fashion accessory.” All this, in what techwatchers were certain would be Apple’s next big rollout. In February of this year, The New York Times speculated, “the smart watch might soon become a reality, in the form of a curved glass device made by Apple.” According to a Bloomberg report in March, Apple had already assembled a team of more than 100 product designers devoted to a possible smartwatch device and filed more than 79 patent applications that included the word “wrist.” Is the team in Cupertino now smarting from having been beat to the punch? But before the Korean tech giant gets too confident, Apple is borrowing a lesson from the folks in Seoul as well, and Apple’s highly anticipated mid-market iPhone 5C is its first big move. By eschewing its super-premium strategy and producing items that are aspirational to the mass market, Apple is now looking to gain share by offering a broader product range that brings in mid-tier priced products too. Is this a response to declining market share in the mobile category and large emerging markets with more price- sensitive appetites? In China, for example, Apple is out of reach for many consumers and, according to consulting firm Analysys, accounted for only 4.6 percent of smartphone market share. The 5C might also be a way to do what Chinese brand Xiaomi did recently: drive seven million orders for its new, freakishly cheap ($130) Android device within two weeks of announcement. While offering different products at varying price points is something that Samsung has understood well, it’s a big departure from Apple’s “one top-of-the-line product in each category” strategy. It sure isn’t the Steve Jobs way, but perhaps it is the new norm in the competitive world in which these brands play. In either case, we know both Samsung and Apple are perhaps adapting the best pieces of the others’ strategy for their own purposes. It remains to be seen what it means for the fortunes of each, but we do know one thing for sure -- it will put our perceptions of each brand in flux. What do you think? Apple and Samsung have come out of their corners -- is this the new normal? W By Oscar Yuan, Vice President, Millward Brown Optimor First published in the September 11, 2013 edition of Wired Magazine, www.wired.com SmartphoneWars: SwappingStrategies, WinningConsumers Share
f your day job involves creating, defending or presenting a media plan featuring seven or eight digits in the bottom right cell, chances are you truly believe in branding. And you live in a strange, strange world. Direct response campaigns bring in new customers, move the inventory and are held accountable to hard business KPIs. Branding is about creating awareness, perceptions and attitudes. Direct response results are evident from campaign data itself. However, figuring out the impact of a multimillion-dollar branding campaign can require custom research done by a bunch of Ph.Ds. If this was YOUR money, where would you rather put it? Counterintuitively, close to 90% of all media spend is in branding - and 84% of branding budgets are spent via traditional channels (Kantar Media Intelligence, January through April 2013). Although televisions are just one of the several glowing rectangles consumers use on a daily basis, it is still the main branding medium. However, television commercials struggle to draw viewers’ attention away from their mobile devices. For many advertisers, online and mobile still squarely equate to “direct.” But any digital ad worth its pixels challenges this traditional dichotomy. A flashy video ad for a new coupe concurrently raises brand awareness, prompts consideration and requires only a few clicks to schedule a test drive. In digital media, branding and direct response converge. So why are marketers slow to embrace digital channels as branding vehicles today? Certainly there is no shortage of evidence to show that branding works online as hundreds of studies have been conducted by the companies such as Dynamic Logic, Marketing Evolution, Insight Express and others. Neither can it be the inherent superiority of the 30-second TV spot over a banner ad, as online video ads offer innovative and engaging formats as well. And with next generation TV sets, digital video content and ads appear on the same screen as traditional programming, right in the heart of a living room. Until recently, the lack of a “single currency” for TV and online was typically brought up as the main reason why advertisers had been holding back from moving more branding dollars into display and video advertising. That point is becoming moot quickly as companies such as Nielsen, Millward Brown Digital and comScore have developed tools that make online ads accountable in traditional ways - reach, frequency and rating points. However, the online share of branding dollars has yet to pick up. So, here is an uncomfortable thought: Perhaps digital media is simply too measurable for branding? Branding is about future return on today’s investment. While some measures are necessary to show advertisers that they get their money’s worth - GRPs, brand tracking surveys, and anecdotal memories of a particularly cool ad - its main allure is the promise of greater rewards to come. Over the years, brand awareness and favorability have become key indicators of success largely because of the measurement gap between exposure to advertising and actual sales. What happened with a consumer after seeing a car commercial and before kicking the tires in the showroom was up for heavy debate. Surveys attempted to fill the gap by capturing and analyzing the changes in consumers’ attitudes and intent.The most popular theory explaining this, the hierarchy of advertising effects, went like this: Consumers like the ad, which transfers into awareness and positive attitudes toward the advertised brand, which in turn stimulates purchase intent, which could translate in purchase behavior sometime in the future. Digital campaign data fills that gap. Meaning, if an advertising message is considered effective, the branding effects would manifest directly through rich-media interactions, site visits and blog posts before conversions generated by the campaign start to occur. The distinction between “direct response” and “branding” campaigns is purely the time it takes to convert: shorter for the former, longer for the later. It is a continuum, not a dichotomy. Digital removes the excuses to optimize campaigns halfway. When an entire customer journey is visible, the impact of all ads -- branding or otherwise -- on the eventual transactions can be quantified. This brings financial accountability to the area of advertising that was previously exempt. And that is something traditionally minded advertisers may not yet be ready to see. I By Yaakov Kimelfeld, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer, Millward Brown Digital First published in the August 27, 2013 edition of MediaPost, www.mediapost.com TheUnbearable LightnessofBranding Share
n a city of congested subways, surly cab drivers, and pushy pedestrians, an unlikely candidate has championed a new solution. Citibank, known derisively by some New Yorkers as “Sh*tty Bank,” has been working to shift consumer perceptions of its brand beyond the institutional provider of financial services, to an active, aware and concerned corporate citizen. Arguably, it has done that with its sponsorship of Citi Bike, a new bike-sharing system that has revolutionized transportation for many New York City commuters. Citibank shelled out $41 million to sponsor the program, which, while not the first, is the largest of its kind in the nation. For a low daily rate, or annual $95 membership fee, users unlock a bike, ride to their destination, and return the bike to any docking station. Since its May launch, New Yorkers have traveled more than 5.5 million miles on Citi-branded bikes. By impacting the lives of New Yorkers in a tangible and meaningful way, this approach to branding has engaged and energized consumers beyond the abilities of more traditional promotions and sponsorships. Today’s consumers are numb, having developed a tolerance to traditional marketing tactics— fast-forwarding DVRs through commercials, mindlessly walking past billboards, and blocking online ads. To meet this challenge, brands must move beyond getting logos and messages in front of eyeballs. It is about understanding and addressing consumers who are asking, “I know what your brand does. Really, though, what can you do for me?” By answering that question, Citibank, as an example, demonstrates an understanding of the lives of New Yorkers. Already, consumers’ feelings towards Citi have begun to shift. In our research, one consumer, who has ridden more than 100 times, told us, “I have never paid much attention to Citibank’s advertising and a commercial certainly would not make me change my bank. But now I would definitely look at them as a possibility in order to support them for what they have done to change my life.” Of course this strategy is not without risk, and Citi’s sponsorship investment has brought with it many real-time marketing challenges. More than a few New Yorkers were unhappy to find bike stations installed in front of their apartment buildings, blocking taxis and eliminating valuable parking spaces. Many users have been frustrated with system glitches, including malfunctioning docks. If they didn’t like Citi before, this doesn’t help. Citi’s efforts, though, highlight another example of a tectonic shift in marketing and branding: moving from a communicate-comprehend model to one of demonstrate-interact. Traditional marketing and branding efforts rely on a communication effort (advertising and PR for example), which then in turn drives some sort of comprehension in the mind of the consumer about the brand. The hope is that this comprehension spurs brand preference. In this new model, rather than telling consumers a message, brands demonstrate their values, beliefs or intentions. This action gives consumers the chance to interact with the brand in a non-committal way, which then helps consumers see the brand in a different light, which will, it is hoped, spur choice. This is a model that has proven true in academia, and professors have long known that students learn more effectively when actively engaged. In a Harvard University study, Professor Eric Mazur found that interactive learning triples gains in knowledge and increases knowledge retention, compared to learning through traditional lectures and readings. Samsung is leading the charge, literally, by alleviating another consumer pain point: the flashing one-bar battery signal, indicating a few minutes left on your phone, tablet or laptop. In response to this anxiety-inducing moment, Samsung has outfitted 13 major airports, several college campuses, the Mall of America and the Las Vegas Convention Center with more than 500 free Samsung-branded charging stations. This demonstration of an understanding about modern consumer life has been applauded by the same technology blog communities likely to offer purchase advice. Engadget praised Samsung for “giving a nod to the little guy.” Even categories as basic as toilet paper are beginning to understand how solutions can drive consumer sentiment more than any advertising. Procter & Gamble’s Charmin recently launched the “Sit or Squat” smartphone application to helps consumers find the nearest clean public restrooms, mapping them out and displaying consumer-generated reviews of each. Unsanitary bathrooms are designated as “squats,” while more acceptable ones are designated as “sits.” Consumers who may not pay much attention to an ad featuring fluffy bears may take note of branding efforts like these. One consumer told us: “‘Sit or Squat’ is one of my favorite go-to apps. Clean bathroom options can be scarce, and I love that Charmin has really acted on its mission rather than just telling people how it can improve their lives.” While it may sound trite, these brands are acting on the old cliché that actions speak louder than words. Traditional communications may help improve brand awareness and drive certain beliefs, but what Citi, Samsung, Charmin and other successful brands know is that playing an active role in consumers’ lives can get into a consideration set that purely communicating cannot. When it comes time to make a purchase decision, the brand’s proximity in the lives of their potential consumers is unmatched by traditional marketing. Brand builders, let this be a call to action: How will you start moving from communicating to demonstrating and participating? Oscar is based in Millward Brown’s New York office. He leads client engagements in marketing and brand strategy, and brand extension and growth. His client experience spans the travel, financial services, health care, and CPG industries. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School degrees in Economics and International Relations from Stanford University. I By Oscar Yuan, Vice President, Millward Brown Optimor First published in the September 4, 2013 edition of Forbes, www.forbes.com WhetherProvidingBikesor CleanBathrooms,Here’sWhy BrandsAreTakingAction Share
s the modern media landscape continues to fragment,advertisers are presented with a multitude of media choices. It can be a challenge to understand which media to employ, and understand how these fit in a wider communications plan. Leonie Gates-Sumner analyses how targeted media can help deliver the brand impact of multimedia campaigns. Striking the right balance between delivering sufficient reach for your campaign to make an impact, and targeting your message to your most receptive consumers is an on-going challenge for media planners. From the hundreds of campaigns evaluated by Millward Brown we have seen that there is often a focus on using multiple channels to deliver incremental reach. Our latest insight, however, is telling us that on a plan which already features high reach TV (which the majority of campaigns do), the power of smaller channels can actually be more in the duplication and the reinforcement of campaign messaging, which these channels can deliver to a key target audience. While there is no such thing as the ideal media plan, there is clear evidence for the inclusion of targeted, niche media in multi-media plans as these channels tend to deliver strong brand impact for relatively low cost. Perhaps the most traditional targeted media channel is the magazine. Where magazines hold a unique position among the traditional media channels is their ability to deliver targeted reach, with a creative specifically designed to appeal to that audience, in an environment where consumers are primed to be receptive to advertising about that type of product. Whether it’s an FMCG brand using women’s weeklies to deliver mass reach among an audience of females aged 35-54, or a lower reach, highly targeted plan utilising technology titles to access a niche audience of IT professionals, magazines can deliver. This strength is evidenced in Millward Brown’s CrossMedia database, where we see magazines outperforming other media on both awareness and consideration measures in terms of their impact on those who they reach. In some ways the ability of digital to deliver high reach and effective targeting mirrors that of magazines. However, online as a channel holds a unique position in the media landscape, offering sites that are often even more targeted than magazines, behavioural targeting that can reach consumers who are at the right category involvement level, as well as high reach sites and networks for mass reach. So what does this mean for how and when to include digital on a media plan? Just because digital CAN deliver mass reach, is this how it should best be used, or should the main focus be taking advantage of the opportunities it offers to reach the right audience? The answer to this depends on what role you want digital to play within your campaign. For a digital only campaign it may be that delivering reach to drive awareness of your brand is the key objective, and therefore utilising a broad plan featuring large portal sites and network buys is the right approach to take. On the other hand, if you are using digital as part of a multi-media plan where other channels such as TV and Outdoor are delivering mass reach, then taking a more focused approach to your digital activity by making the most of behavioural or contextual targeting to communicate with a smaller group of specific consumers may be a more productive use of the digital budget. This varied approach to digital planning also raises questions around the best use of digital creative. Is the same creative approach going to work for a broad reach campaign as for a campaign delivering more targeted reach? Probably not – as with other media, broad reach digital creative needs to have mass appeal and a simple message which will cut through with less engaged consumers. For a targeted campaign you will be reaching more engaged consumers, who already have a degree of knowledge about the brand or category, and therefore you need to tailor your message to their specific needs and interests. In this case you can probably have a certain expectation about how interested they are likely to be in your campaign, allowing you to deliver more targeted messaging or make the most of interactive elements to maximise these core consumers’ engagement with the activity. This can offer up great rewards – taking reach out of the equation and putting all channels on a level playing field, our CrossMedia database shows that the brand impact (per person reached) of low reach digital activity (e.g. microsites) far exceeds that of higher reach digital activity (e.g. online display) and other traditional media, justifying this trade off of less people seeing your message with more powerful impact on those that do. Opportunities for making the most of low reach, targeted media are not limited to just digital display or specialist magazines. Many of the newer, low reach media channels are showing promising potential as ways to deliver meaningful impact among small groups of niche consumers. Online video is one such channel. Despite significant growth in recent years, online video is still a small channel relative to other more established media, yet it would be a mistake to underestimate the value it can add to a multimedia plan. Millward Brown has tested over 300 online video campaigns, and has seen many examples of online video delivering additional impact above and beyond traditional channels. Breaking this down further we have found that videos which have been created specifically for the online environment and which are used to target specific consumers with content which is relevant for them tend to be more persuasive than videos which are re-purposed from existing TV spots – so just using online video to deliver an already high- reach TV creative may not be the best use of this media. However, on the flip side of this we have found that online video can be a good way of reaching lighter TV viewers, making it an efficient addition to a more moderate TV plan. Mobile advertising is also a huge opportunity for targeted media plans. Although mobile ad spend remains a small proportion of media budgets, it now accounts for almost 10% of digital spend, compared to just 1% 4 years ago, and accounts for over 50% of digital growth in the past year (source: IAB UK). Technological developments allowing ever more sophisticated targeting via mobile devices are likely to fuel this growth further in the coming months. Location based services allowing brands to target consumers near or at point of purchase, combined with mobile companies’ vast databases of information on their customers, offer brands the chance to engage with the right consumer at a time and place relevant to them – and those which get this type of communication right will have a real impact on their brand. Getting it right means respecting how consumers feel about their mobile phones, and taking the time and resource necessary to deliver them mobile content which is relevant, engaging, entertaining and offers a perceived value exchange. Gaming, microsites and social media properties offer yet more chances for brands to experiment with targeted media campaigns. Millward Brown research has shown strong brand impact for all these channels, and a lot of that is down to their ability to reach the right people with tailored content which they will want to engage with – something which is a lot harder to do for the diverse mix of consumers delivered by more mass reach channels. The challenge here is balancing the sometimes substantial production costs of developing such content, with their limited reach – something which can be overlooked in the excitement around experimenting with new types of content. So next time you are thinking about your communications plans, take a moment to think about how targeted media could work for your brand. The wealth of channels now available and the ability of many of these channels to accurately target a specific audience means there is a real opportunity for all brands to find new ways to communicate with the consumers who mean the most to them, and experimenting with these channels – both creatively and from a planning perspective – is likely to deliver significant rewards. The main challenge is to reach these consumers creatively in a channel that often has a lower portion of media and creative budget. For most brands the key focus remains on making a great TV ad, with smaller channels often being secondary to this. To truly deliver brand impact in a changing media landscape, there needs to be a readjustment of focus on to the importance of delivering tailored messaging and creative to those consumers you value most. A By Leonie Gates-Sumner, Senior Research Manager, Media and Digital Practice, Millward Brown First published on millwardbrown.com, July 19, 2013. SharpeningtheArrow: ThevalueofModern TargetingApproaches Share 0.0% 2.5% 3.0% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% TV Cinema Radio Newspapers Online Outdoor Magazines Source: Millward Brown European CrossMedia Database Average Impact per Person Awareness Consideration Source: Global Market Norms data, Q4 2012. (data from the last 3 years) Bars show average delta shifts (i.e. difference between control and exposed groups’ responses) Brand favourability OverallPurchase intent/ consideration 0.6 1.4 0.8 1.4 Repurposed TV n=22 Made-for-web n=87 Average Delta Shift Consideration • Preference • Intention 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Online 70% 80% 90% 100% Impactperperson Reach Source: Millward Brown European CrossMedia Database XM Database Finding PR Online Display WOM Low reach digital gaming organic SM video search mobile microsite 0.0% 2.5% 3.0% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% TV Cinema Radio Newspapers Online Outdoor Magazines Source: Millward Brown European CrossMedia Database Average Impact per Person Awareness Consideration Source: Global Market Norms data, Q4 2012. (data from the last 3 years) Bars show average delta shifts (i.e. difference between control and exposed groups’ responses) Brand favourability OverallPurchase intent/ consideration 0.6 1.4 0.8 1.4 Repurposed TV n=22 Made-for-web n=87 Average Delta Shift Consideration • Preference • Intention 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Online 70% 80% 90% 100% Impactperperson Reach Source: Millward Brown European CrossMedia Database XM Database Finding PR Online Display WOM Low reach digital gaming organic SM video search mobile microsite 0.0% 2.5% 3.0% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% TV Cinema Radio Newspapers Online Outdoor Magazines Source: Millward Brown European CrossMedia Database Average Impact per Person Awareness Consideration Source: Global Market Norms data, Q4 2012. (data from the last 3 years) Bars show average delta shifts (i.e. difference between control and exposed groups’ responses) Brand favourability OverallPurchase intent/ consideration 0.6 1.4 0.8 1.4 Repurposed TV n=22 Made-for-web n=87 Average Delta Shift Consideration • Preference • Intention 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Online 70% 8
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