Marketers made three critical effectiveness mistakes in 2014, leading to 75% of marketing strategies and ad campaigns under-performing last year, says marketing performance measurement and management company The Fournaise Marketing Group.
The findings came from a study through its 2014 Global Marketing Effectiveness Program in which it measured the actual effectiveness of 2.5+ million B2C/B2B marketing strategies, campaigns and ads across all media channels (traditional, digital, direct, mobile) across 20+ countries worldwide during the year – to identify what worked, what did not, where, when and why, and advise Marketers on what they should do to deliver better results, performance and ROI.
Mistake #1: Weak and Unattractive Customer Value Propositions (CVPs) – 88%
In 88% of the cases Fournaise performance-tracked that marketers (and their agencies) built and developed their strategies, campaigns and ads around CVPs with little triggering effect on their target audience segments. Like in previous years they again wrongly prioritised the “how to say it” ahead of the “what to say”, which means that:
a) They kept on focusing on “style”, “look”, “feel”, “digital” and “social” and did not pay the proper scientific attention to first ensuring their strategies, campaigns and ads were directly answering the most relevant pains, needs, wants and expectations of their target audience, in the right order/hierarchy
b) They failed to build their strategies, campaigns and ads around sound, scientifically-structured, audience-triggering CVP Architectures.
Mistake #2: Under-Performing Creative Executions – 70%
In 70% of the cases Fournaise performance-tracked that the ads deployed (regardless of the media: traditional, digital, mobile) creatively failed to build a high enough level of audience engagement to generate solid incremental customer demand for the products/services advertised. With marketers’ and agencies’ ongoing over-reliance on “creativity” as the saviour, Fournaise particularly measured that ads under-performed in three critical KPIs in 2014 – message relevance, appeal and action/engagement – which is no surprise given the lack of scientifically-structured, audience-triggering CVP Architectures around which these ads were built.
Fournaise also noticed that in 2014 marketers and agencies:
a) Continued to focus on linking ad performance to soft “fluff” engagement KPIs such as Likes and Tweets – KPIs for which they struggled to prove any business ROI.
b) Continued to believe that having high ad awareness is enough to call an ad (or campaign) a success – even though hardly any (or no) incremental customer demand was proven to be generated by these ads and their high awareness.
Mistake #3: Incorrect and/or Incomplete Data – 67%
In 67% of the cases Fournaise performance-tracked that marketers were swamped with a mountain of big data and reports, but kept on asking for more from all types of research, analytics and automation providers. Ironically Fournaise tracked that:
a) Marketers and their agencies often used the wrong data collection/analysis methodologies for the wrong purposes, which in turn led them to take the wrong decisions and deploy under-performing campaigns. As an example, it came to Fournaise’s attention that numerous ads that marketers/agencies claimed tested “positively” using qualitative methods (with small, non-statistically representative audience samples) ultimately delivered poor effectiveness and ROI results when deployed.
b) Marketers and their agencies often developed the strategies, messages and/or creative ideas first and thereafter rummaged through their research to pick the data that they thought best justified what they had already come up with. This is called “retrofitting” and effectiveness results showed it’s the perfect recipe for under-performance.
“To deliver results, effectiveness and ROI, there is a formula: you first optimise what you say, to whom, why you say it (and in which order), and then you optimise how you say it (and where) – using the appropriate science and tools. We tracked over the years that there are two types of marketers: the ROI marketers (the top 20% of marketers out there) faithfully apply the formula and usually succeed at delivering true business performance and at climbing the management ladder; the balance 80% traditional marketers doesn’t (or incorrectly) apply it – for these under-performance is a chronic disease that will forever affect their ability to prove their business worth, regardless of the technology, agencies and partners they work with” said Jerome Fontaine, Global CEO & Marketing Performance Chief of Fournaise.