The Communications Council has launched a new report into advertising effectiveness in Australia, providing the first look at the new Australian Effies Database.
Co-authored by Rob Brittain and Peter Field, Australian Advertising Effectiveness Rules was unveiled at special “Effies Work Behind The Work” events in Melbourne and Sydney this week.
The report marks the only time anywhere in the world outside the UK that a report on advertising effectiveness has validated the conclusions of Field’s research work with fellow effectiveness guru Les Binet.
Key findings of the report include:
- Broad targeting remains the most effective approach in delivering larger impacts on brand profit growth
- Longer duration campaigns are more effective in driving business measures;
- The impact of longer duration campaigns builds cumulatively over time, therefore longer campaign evaluation periods reveal stronger campaign effects, and;
- Emotional campaigns are more effective at impacting long-term market share growth.
On the launch of the report Brittain said: “This is the first of a series of paper developed with Peter using the new Australian Effies Database, deriving learnings from some of the most effective Australian marketing campaigns.”
He said that with Australia in a low economic growth climate, marketing budgets are at greater risk of being cut to meet bottom line targets.
“This environment creates more pressure for marketers to prove the effectiveness of their investment and can lead to a shift in focus towards efficiency. However the answer lies in understanding effectiveness, and through this understanding, marketing investment works at its hardest, delivering the future revenue growth that businesses need.
Field commented that the new report is “an important addition to the evidence base about how advertising works”.
According to the report, the most effective campaigns are those with a broad target market because brands need to acquire new customers to grow.
The larger target audience results in broad campaigns being more effective in driving impact in brand response metrics such as earned viewing of content and getting the brand in conversation on or offline.
Critically for the long term, stronger effects are also seen in creating distinctive associations for the brand.
Given only a small percentage of potential new customers (or users) are in market at any given time, campaigns which are in market for longer benefit from being able to communicate to greater numbers at a time when they’re close to making a purchase decision.
In doing so, they deliver a larger cumulative effect over the duration of the campaign. These results are reflective of the differences between the objectives of longer and shorter duration campaigns.
Shorter duration campaign objectives are more likely to focus on business metrics such as driving a short-term sales response and less likely to focus on longer term metrics such as market share growth and brand profit growth.
Campaign evaluation period
When looking at the impact of campaign duration, the difference in brand effects observed between short and long duration campaigns was relatively small.
However, the difference is larger when comparing short vs long evaluation periods. The difference in brand effects is driven by the longer-term metrics related to brand memory structures.
Changes to brand memory structures occur slowly, therefore a longer evaluation period enables these impacts to be more clearly seen. Whereas impacts on brand response metrics, which move quickly and are readily available, remain stable between the two time frames.
Amongst business metrics, the longer evaluation periods reveal stronger impacts on brand profit growth, new customers and long-term share growth.
On the surface the impact on overall business measures is very similar between emotional and rational campaigns, but there are some differences underneath. As seen with brand metrics, the impact of emotional campaigns on business metrics is also more long term. The individual business metrics reveal two key differences.
Emotional campaigns show greater impact on long term market share growth; rational campaigns show greater impact on acquiring new customers. Both are critical to brand profitability but work over different time horizons.