The industry has seen a massive shift in the last decade, with more media channels to push messages across, but no associated spikes in marketing budgets to use them.
Our analysis for clients, which has covered hundreds of billions of dollars of marketing spend over 19 years, shows the returns for almost any media type, which we feel has been validated with Forrester naming us the only leader in the field of mixed media measurement across Asia Pacific.
Whilst there obviously is a lot of variation between different marketers, it’s fair to say that in Australia the typical campaign still has some way to go to become “optimal”.
One of the main problems we see is that marketing departments and agencies aren’t set up for success at the moment.
Channels are still being planned in silos, and few brands are rolling out coherent campaigns across enough channels.
There are also issues with the way creative is used.
So, what is the optimal media mix to help you get the most from your brand marketing dollars?
Put simply, the more media channels you have as part of your campaign, the better the return on investment for you.
The best campaigns start with moving pictures. Our data shows video (be that TV, Cinema, or online video) creates the greatest emotional engagement, and done right offers the greatest long-term return on investment – the return in year two and year three.
So normally the best starting point for most brands is TV, specifically prime time, to create the mass reach you need to create momentum for brands.
A burst of 30-second TV commercials at the start of the campaign creates the right neural pathways and memory structures to support your brand.
After two weeks it is usually optimal to switch to 15 second ads (unless it’s a launch, for example).
Having said that, because of the competition for this time, we’re constantly having to warn clients not to over-invest in prime time TV.
There’s also a lot of noise in market at the moment about the value of digital channels for delivering return on investment.
Our data shows that online video and paid social drives the highest return on investment when done correctly, especially once TV or out of home have been laid down.
Obviously, there is a lot of variation beneath this total level but we’ve kept this at a high level for simplicity- as even this level is not yet optimised in Australia.
If you’re not supporting your offline marketing with quality digital executions then you are leaving money on the table, and missing out on the biggest multiplier you can have.
So the next stop for optimising ROI for your campaign should be digital video including social.
Our data shows this serves as a very efficient method to remind people of the brand and build on the emotional resonance of the initial TVCs.
This provides a synergy that increases campaign ROI by 20 per cent, purely from the combination of the two mediums.
Our analysis shows 6-second video ad executions provide the most efficient ROI.
However, in general, this does not work as well unless there is the emotional connection of the longer-form TV ad to work off.
Social and video platforms are the perfect place to deliver these messages efficiently.
These shorter-form videos should not be cut-down versions of the TVC, but work to ladder into the concept and remind people of the original.
This means we need to have the creative made at the same time, to ensure that the key components of the TVC that are being encoded into memory are touched on in the shorter duration video.
From here, where budgets permit, we layer on the other media, a mix of auditory advertising and out of home.
If you can have a strong retail OOH outside the supermarket which supports your overall brand message you are sending shoppers in store with more of a connection to buy your brand.
It does this by unlocking the subconsciously stored brand message and recall and bringing it front of mind, taking the competition of all those price promotions at the shelf.
This provides a lift of up to 15 per cent onto your campaign ROI.
Of course, we also know TV has a price barrier to entry which is prohibitive to some smaller budget campaigns.
In these instances, you should look to replicate the mass-reach element of the campaign by leading with out of home.
From there the message remains the same, digital video and social will deliver the biggest multiplier for the media investment, then other media as you can afford them.
In many ways, this isn’t new thinking.
These lessons are backed up by the recent work of advertising industry luminaries Les Binet and Peter Field in their recent and already seminal paper The Long and Short of It, whilst Professor Mark Ritson also uses our data in his presentations.
This data is obviously based on averages, and your brand will vary as there is no “average” brand, but we believe the combining of media channels will add success to all campaigns.
But if you’re not considering these basic rules when planning your next campaign, you’re leaving money on the table.