Effectiveness: Payback Matters, But Do You Care?

The brutal truth is that too many people don’t care when it comes to proving media effectiveness. Jo Kenrick, Marketing Director of Homebase, spoke at Media360 of a key but often overlooked aspect of an agency relationship: the importance of providing evidence of advertising payback and being able to speak the language of business.

Mediatel recently reported that a huge proportion of marketers are not trained in marketing performance and ROI. There is therefore a real opportunity for agencies to help their clients be better prepared in the boardroom when it comes to explaining the value of advertising.

So with this in mind, it was a pleasure to hear Les Binet, the IPA’s guru of effectiveness, talk recently at an event organised by the Outdoor Media Centre. Presenting research from the excellent IPA study, ‘The Long & The Short Of It’, Les delved into the data from almost 1,000 effectiveness case studies in the IPA databank.

The first point made was that brand building is far more profitable in the long term than a strategy based on short term sales activation. But therein lies the problem – the “long term”. In my experience, long term planning is often overlooked due to the pressures of delivering for the “here and now”. The effects of brand building are slow and results take time to see – where as sales activation has a big direct impact, but crucially decays very quickly and can often result in a negative effect directly after the activity. Further work clearly needs to be done in educating clients to the benefits of a long term communication strategy.

OOH Excels at Brand Building

The good news for OOH though is that our medium excels at brand building. That’s not me saying it, that’s the results from the IPA effectiveness data-bank. Contradicting widespread popular belief, the research showed that broader reach campaigns, rather than targeted activity, were more profitable. So for those that didn’t attend the event, here are my four key facts:

1. OOH increases profits – campaigns that used OOH were more profitable than those that didn’t

2. Fame is a key driver of profit – and using OOH doubles the chance of a brand achieving fame

3. The broader the campaign reach, the bigger the profits – and OOH has the broadest reach of all media

4. OOH is the top performing media channel, joint with TV, for its ability to lift brand metrics

Here at Rapport we are doing more to understand the effectiveness of our work. Have a look at our ‘Is Route Fulfilling Its Potential?’ blog which includes a case study for a telecoms brand, showing that OOH played a crucial role in changing consumer attitudes and behaviour. There will be plenty more case studies to follow so keep your eyes peeled.

With the IPA revealing that the average client-agency relationship now lasts just over two years, perhaps it’s time to consider whether client relationships would last longer if we could prove the effect of their media spend? Just a thought.

Paul Sambrook, Marketing Director, Rapport UK

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