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Effectiveness requires balance

News, 25 January 2017
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LONDON: Marketing effectiveness requires striking the right balance between close targeting and mass reach, and between short- and long-term strategies, according to a Warc report.

Toolkit 2017 explores the issues raised by Procter & Gamble's decision last year to cut back on targeted advertising on Facebook. (Non-subscribers can download a sample of this Toolkit chapter here.)

Global Brand Building Officer, Marc Pritchard, revealed that its Tide detergent brand had increased media reach by 10% to 20% in the US by shifting to more broadly appealing television shows and higher-reach digital platforms.

But reaching the masses and targeting with precision do not have to be mutually exclusive events, according to Julie Coleman, Manager, Deloitte Digital, who suggests three things for marketers to consider.

First, does the brand have well defined customer journeys, with carefully sequenced messaging throughout?

It might use TV for premium-impact messaging at scale, then follow this up with a digital campaign, supporting awareness over a longer period of time and broadening the audience, or using pockets of targeting to make the message bespoke to relevant high value or impact groups.

Second, with so much focus on 'audience', a brand should ensure it is not overlooking the value of 'context' – there may be higher value to a campaign if an ad can be shown in a premium context where the user is dwelling longer on the page.

Third, a brand should consider how it might combine mass reach and precision targeting to move beyond brand recognition into positive brand sentiment, as Coca-Cola has done by putting names on bottles.

The Toolkit also observes that as budgets shift towards digital, brands are increasingly adopting a short-term outlook, in part simply because short-term metrics are common in the digital space.

Marketing consultant Peter Field has conducted research in this area and concluded: "The inevitable result of short-term measurement is a drift to strategies that deliver better in the short term. These deliver poorer long-term performance and so short-termism ultimately undermines long-term effectiveness."

Field's work with Les Binet further suggests that, while the optimum ratio of brand-building to activation work is 60:40, in recent years advertisers have begun to spend considerably more than 40% of their budgets on activation.

Data sourced from Warc

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