The customer journey and path to purchase has changed from a linear process to a more convoluted route, a change that can be largely attributed to digital technology. Digital and mobile technology means that consumers are ‘always on’ and have the ability to shop and buy, anytime and anywhere. Thus these channels are critical engagement platforms in the customer journey.
Amidst all the new content we've recently added (like Esomar Congress papers, Jay Chiat case studies and the shortlisted cases to our own Innovation Prize) here are my must-read picks – five stimulating, enlightening articles on topics as diverse as hybrid consumers, total video and winning boardroom-backing for brand investment.
The Brand in the Boardroom
What's it about and why is it interesting?
In Warc Editorial, we are huge fans of the Atticus Awards – clever thinking from across the WPP network on all kinds of topics. The Grand Prix winner from Ogilvy RED is lengthy but provides extremely useful instruction for valuing brands and demonstrating the real commercial benefit of marketing – essential reading for any marketer fighting for investment. As well as introducing the different methods of brand valuation, Ogilvy & Mather go beyond them to highlight the necessary principles and the steps that should be followed when valuing brands. As well as defending and increasing marketing budgets, brand valuation can also help decide where to allocate budgets, determine brand strategy development and develop brand benchmarking.
Yesterday, we published a new long-term trend analysis: Global Ad Trends, a summary report which draws upon the data stored in our adspend database.
To provide some background, Warc has conducted an annual survey of global advertising expenditure since 1980, issuing questionnaires to monitoring organisations and/or ad industry bodies in each of the 88 markets we track. The survey covers TV, newspapers, magazines, internet, radio, cinema and out of home adspend. You can find a full list of our coverage here.
Once all markets are in, we harmonise the data (net of discounts, including press classified adspend and agency commission but excluding production costs) to give a more accurate, comparable picture of each country's ad market. This then allows us to identify meaningful trends in long-term advertising expenditure.
This post is by John Drake, vp of brand strategy at Drake Cooper. He blogs regularly on campaign planning.
For years Red Bull has used the tagline it "gives you wings". Recently, a long-time Red Bull drinker sued the company because, despite drinking the brand for years, it had failed to give him wings or improve his athletic or intellectual performance. The consumer won and Red Bull settled for $13 million.
This post is by Jan Gardner, Marketing Director at Jaywing.
Ofcom's eleventh annual Communications Market report investigates how we use various devices, from TVs to smartphones. This year, the report looked more closely at the habits of different generations, identifying a clear generation gap.
However, it is clear the digital revolution continues to change all behaviour. Multi-tasking and second screening was evident, with younger groups far happier to switch seamlessly between devices and leave more traditional media behind.
None of this will come as a huge surprise to most marketers. However, we continue to grapple with what it means. Perhaps our improved economic environment gives us a little more freedom to explore. So where should we turn our attentions?
This post is by Grant Allaway, Group Managing Director at ad2one.
Programmatic – it's the buzzword of the moment, but there's a reason for that. All sorts of brands have publicly declared their commitment to programmatic recently, from eBay to Coca-Cola to Kellogg's. It seems that brands who weren't keen to use programmatic are now on board – we know this through the recent launch of our premium marketplace, where brands can operate as publishers in their own right. But why is this and how can publishers ensure they get the most out of programmatic?
Firstly, addressing the issue of why publishers are suddenly joining the programmatic party, recently questions around brand safety and best practice have been answered in more detail, meaning that issues around inventory quality and transparency are no longer as much of a concern.
This post is by Mark Hawkins, Chief Executive of ONE TWO FOUR.
One of our ways to engage with audiences is through Advertiser Funded Programming (AFP), a form of Branded Content that has been around since the 1930s. With new waves of brand experiences AFP broadcast deals can include combinations of many different elements, so here are our top ten things to remember if you're considering AFP:
If you're looking to move the dial, AFP is an ideal platform to stand out from the crowd – whether your objective is awareness, consideration or reaching new audiences.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the idea that budgets don't matter
Recently, we were given a task by a big multinational. Could we review their research data and look for insights to help them grow market share? We read a mountain of material – everything from packaging semiotics to obscure product usage in emerging markets. But something was missing. In over 2,500 pages of research, there was only one mention of budgets.
To us, this is symptomatic of a trend. People obsess about the architecture of their brands, and the content of their communications. Meanwhile budgets get remarkably little attention.
This post is by Keith Lammie, Regional Director at Primesight.
Can billboards change the future of Scotland forever… It was September 2013 when this conversation really began and we engaged with both the Better Together and the Yes campaigners on how we could support them and plan campaigns that would help deliver the crucial support that they both required.
Both meetings took a similar but unusual and unexpected direction where the clients themselves were convincing us, the out-of-home media owners, of all the benefits that outdoor advertising can offer and how they both must have the best locations. I guess looking back when you have two brands that are lined up for a duel on a single day and an advertising platform which is a finite resource (it's billboards not oil that I am referring to) this really starts to create a sense of urgency. Of course one major reason that the clients quoted behind their choice of outdoor was that it lives in and is owned by the community, with frames having been there sometimes for generations; with local communities witnessing for years every new soap powder, car launch or community message appearing and changing every two weeks. It would seem that the frame itself has built huge credibility of displaying messages that are believed. When you compare this opportunity of stand out and ownership with that of other media that carries content, you can start to see why outdoor is 1st on the pick list for marketing teams responsible for political campaigns.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like treating music as an afterthought
Recently, we were working on a pitch. A number of teams had come up with ideas which we were honing over the weeks prior to pitch date. One team's idea was a big emotional story about a family set in a South American city. There was no dialogue. At the top of the script were the words 'music: suitably epic'. This creative idea was debated and evolved by the account team, alongside other ideas over a number of days. It wasn't until a week before the pitch, however, that we realised that 'music: suitably epic' was still on the scripts and hadn't been discussed at all. All the chat had been about the action.