By Maren Seitz, Head of DACH, Analytic Partners
Changes in cookies, personalisation, targeting and inflation have made the lives of marketers more complex than ever before. Marketers are now having to navigate the needs of their customers and the tactics to reach them, without having much idea of what to expect next. And, with ever-evolving advertising offerings, platforms and new ways to reach consumers, it’s difficult for brands to decide what will drive the best business performance.
Luckily, there are some things that brands can control. In fact, long-term planning and brand strategy will tide you through the most challenging of times.
Marketers need to ask themselves: what’s the best way to measure links between your customers’ experience with your brand; how can you best leverage factors such as spend and creative; and how agile is your marketing strategy?
Here are the three ways to evolve your brand in times of change.
There are multiple reasons why brands should measure holistically. Most important for marketing is the closer connection with the customer’s full brand experience. As they don’t experience your brand in a single channel but across many touchpoints, brands should measure that impact the same way and optimise accordingly.
The most successful programmes holistically capture all controllable and noncontrollable business drivers, as well as marketing impact. When you put the consumer at the centre of your focus, it is easier to see the full picture. Brands will be able to understand synergies and more accurately forecast total business performance.
This said, it will also result in greater business impact across all key investment areas: Marketing, Operations, CRM, product launches and ultimately also Finance will benefit. By presenting one single version of the truth, business leaders are better set up to both foster organisational adoption of analytics and make better, faster decisions that will lead to organisational success.
More recently, the cookieless future is also impacting this approach. With the loss of the cookie, many single source solutions or deprecated solutions such as MTA (multi-touch attribution), will lose their sparkle. Brands must put data strategies and holistic measurement solutions in place that don’t rely on user-level data but still tell the whole story – one version of the truth.
Stick to Your Everlasting Principles
Many of your marketing principles should stay the same – even in times of change. Keeping your customers front of mind is a principle that is steady and sure, especially with growing privacy concerns and constantly changing consumer behaviour; knowing how, when and where your customers shop or interact with your brand will always be key.
A few principles also apply when looking at measurable business impact. As one may expect, the amount of investment is the number one driver of marketing performance. Larger brands often have the advantage of spending more on their marketing activities, across more channels and therefore reaching more people. Smaller brands on the other hand need a more holistic approach to effectively spend their budget. Re-evaluating and optimising their activities frequently is key to that approach.
Creative quality is the next key driver of advertising performance and campaign effectiveness. Our ROI Genome indicates that two thirds of the impact of a video impression is due to the quality of the creative itself. It is critical to evaluate message quality and incorporate that within your campaign assessment, for current market conditions as well as for future planning. Given the significant impact of creative quality, raising average creative to good creative can have a significant effect.
Halo, which is the impact from an advertised product onto other brands within the portfolio, should also stay the same. Advertising a product within a brand’s portfolio will generate sales for the advertised item as well as creating a halo effect on other products within the brand’s portfolio. Our ROI Genome shows that halo typically contributes half of the impact of marketing but when effectively executed, halo can increase an ROI by up to 10x. Halo has a strong and reliable, impact on performance and taking advantage of strong halo can drive stronger business growth and greater ROI at any time.
And finally, brands should be layering their channels for effectiveness. The golden rule here is: more is more. Our ROI Genome shows that a combined multi-channel approach is a reliable driver of campaign effectiveness. For example, we have found that combining offline and online channels in a combined approach is 45% more efficient than either offline or online alone. Particularly now, a multi-channel strategy will be your friend – with media likely to see an overall 4% rise in costs this year. Marketers should ensure their campaigns incorporate multiple channels and then layer for synergies to support their growth.
Sticking to tried and tested methods is a smart way to ride the waves of change. But brand survival relies on a certain amount of agility, too. Experimentation actually compliments a holistic measurement programme. It better positions brands to face market challenges, adapt strategies and improve performance. Brands will have to find their way within the breadth of possibilities that they offer.
Test and learn approaches are essential to business growth and survival – using testing for immediate hypotheses, proven results and to react and make decisions quickly.
As uncertainty becomes increasingly certain and change is inevitable, marketers must assess and adapt to achieve the best business performance. This will involve some trial and error but it will also strengthen the brand’s strategy and position.