Digital. It has a lot of explaining to do. Or, perhaps, we do….for getting a bit overly-focused on the shiny measurements this marketing approach gave us. 

When we look at the biggest thing that digital gave advertising it is real-time campaign feedback. We can find out all sorts of things: targeting, recency, reach and context. And there isn’t an advertiser out there who doesn’t appreciate measurement of what so often feels like talking into a void.

Yet many advertisers have realized that this focus on the short-term behaviors of digital has led to losing sight of two of the most critical things they need for long-term survival: creative quality and brand building. 

Targeting, recency, reach and context contribute to 38% of sales; creative quality and brand building contribute to 62% of sales. Yet today creative award-winning campaigns are half as effective as they were in 2011. Focusing exclusively on the short term prohibits brands from realizing the long-term benefits of brand building and learning from campaigns over time.

Learning

Most importantly, shortermism keeps brands from becoming true learning organizations. Learning organizations are 17% more likely to be a market share leader, and 34% faster when it comes to responding to customer needs. Brand building means knowing what is on our targets’ minds and what creative messages move them. It means continuous learning, not simply continuous metrics.

This makes a brand’s market research partner more important than ever before.

True research partners move at the speed of business today, bringing both tech and traditional. Research partners combine the speed and affordability of tech-based methods with the proven and comprehensive business solutions of consultants. And, critically, solutions that address the health of the brand and the power of creative that connects customers to their choice.

“To really be of service to clients, optimizations must be available at every stage of creative development and for any channel.”

From uncovering what brand positioning is best at the strategy stage and what the ideal media mix will be, on to understanding which idea is strongest, through to how to make the content stronger—this all leads to being able to choose the best rotation at launch and to evaluate the brand impact in market. These comprehensive approaches result in the strongest creative and the healthiest brands.

It is a renewal of a real commitment to research that will lead to creative quality and brand building. It is that learning strategy that will future-proofs brands.

In short...

  • Focusing exclusively on the short term, also called shortermism, prohibits brands from realizing the long-term benefits of brand building and learning from campaigns over time.
  • Brand building means knowing what is on our targets’ minds and what creative messages move them. It means continuous learning, not simply continuous metrics.
  • Research partners combine the speed and affordability of tech-based methods in order to build brands and prevent shortermism.
Source: Nielsen, 2017, Study of 500 campaigns across all channels; IPA “The Long and Short of It;
Source: Balancing Long and Short-Term Strategies,” Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness, adam&eve DDB and Peter Field, Marketing Consultant

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