Why share of voice matters

By Robert Whiteford

Marketing ROI Director (Europe), The Nielsen Company

Nikki Clarke

Marketing ROI Consultant (Europe), The Nielsen Company

Peter Field

Marketing and IPA dataBANK Consultant

It is fitting in an awards year dedicated to smaller budget campaigns, that the challenge of working with smaller budgets is explored at the outset of this Advertising Works volume. And this is a good time to do so for other reasons. Recession has forced many marketers to work with reduced budgets, with no clear idea of the likely impact on the longer-term sales and profitability of their brands. And whilst in the pre-digital era it was widely accepted that if a brand's communications budget was cut, then so too would be its business performance, many now doubt this is still true in the digital era. The belief grows that powerful digital ideas can be relatively low cost to execute, yet yield comparable results to traditional offline broadcast campaigns. The perceived currency of success has shifted from money to ideas. But the Nielsen analysis of packaged goods brands examined in this chapter reminds us that share of voice (SOV) still matters. It also puts some hard and irrefutable numbers to the relationship between share of voice and share of market (SOM), and how this varies across brands and categories.