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Depth is more effective than reach

News, 12 January 2015

LONDON: Marketers prepared to look beyond the traditional reach approach can generate a greater return on investment using a depth strategy which creates greater and more sustainable impact by generating advocacy and driving repurchase.

These are the conclusions of Omaid Hiwaizi, chief strategy officer, UK at Geometry Global, and Dan White, chief marketing officer at Millward Brown Europe, who explain their findings in the current issue of Admap.

They have developed a mathematical equation to address the primary and secondary marketing effect of a brand activity and to understand the reach of each and their impact per channel: effect of activity = (Reach of activity × impact per encounter) + (Reach of advocacy generated × impact per encounter).

Inputting Millward Brown data revealed that, for a mainstream consumer brand with a target audience of 10m, a reach strategy yielded a 2.1% brand impact, while a depth strategy returned a figure of 2.6%.

They argued that such results challenged conventional wisdom around marketing communications approaches.

Depth strategies drive the effects of advocacy and brand video-sharing, but the authors conceded that much depended on the quality of the creative.

"Just 15% of word-of-mouth campaigns reach over 42% of the total audience, they noted. "Brand videos do have the opportunity to achieve significant reach, with the 15% most viewed videos achieving an average of 454,000 views."

Red Bull is a striking example of a brand built through depth of engagement, with last year's Red Bull Stratos event – where Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier with a freefall jump from 128,000 feet above the Earth – something that will continue to be talked about and distributed socially for a long time afterwards.

"By reimagining success in terms of brand impact, the spotlight shifts to the unquestionable power of great creative ideas in driving greater returns," they write, while suggesting that there is an opportunity for agencies and brands to change their ways of working to increase the frequency of these 'hit' ideas which work across multiple channels.

"As broadcast media continues to fragment, this new standard will cease to be 'nice to have', and become mandatory for work to generate a return."

Data sourced from Admap