Ben­jamin Braun

Half the money you spend on ad­ver­tis­ing is wasted. Now, we know which half

Campaign UK - - CONTENTS - By Ben­jamin Braun Mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, Audi UK

Why it’s time for mar­keters to get sci­en­tific or risk los­ing out to the num­ber-crunch­ers

When agen­cies come knock­ing with a great cre­ative idea, it’ll be me, as the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, who opens the door. I’ll take a look at what they’re propos­ing and say “yes” or “no”. When elite man­age­ment con­sul­tan­cies come knock­ing on the com­pany door, it’s not the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor who opens it. It’s an­other board mem­ber who will of­fer them their ear, such as the fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor or man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. They will be told a story in a lan­guage they un­der­stand, be­cause they are num­bers peo­ple. The big man­age­ment con­sul­tan­cies, such as Ac­cen­ture and Mckin­sey, are mak­ing ma­jor in­roads into the mar­ket­ing and dig­i­tal in­dus­tries. These or­gan­i­sa­tions are look­ing for new ways to grow, and one point they will have ob­served is that mar­ket­ing still strug­gles to quan­tify ob­jec­tively the worth of a cam­paign or me­dia in­vest­ment. But the Mck­in­seys and Ac­cen­tures of this world are math­e­mat­i­cally skilled and can use their knowhow to prove it. And sud­denly the power will have shifted from the world of mar­ket­ing to those crunch­ing the fig­ures. They will have cir­cum­vented the mar­ket­ing depart­ment. Times are chang­ing. Fast. Sci­ence has met mar­ket­ing. Econo­met­ric modelling pro­vides ob­jec­tive and in­de­pen­dent proof as to whether cam­paigns do or do not work. Use econo­met­rics your­self, and you will have noth­ing to fear. You know your busi­ness bet­ter, and mar­keters and their cre­ative and me­dia agen­cies have been pro­duc­ing ex­cel­lent work for years. The dig­i­tal age, and the con­comi­tant rise of big data, is forc­ing the world of mar­ket­ing to ma­ture and prove its worth. If you fail to ac­knowl­edge this, you are at se­vere risk of be­ing left be­hind. Mar­ket­ing needs to be as nu­mer­i­cally lit­er­ate as the worlds of fi­nance, ac­count­ing and sales. Econo­met­rics is a process worth its weight in gold. Con­sider per­haps the most fa­mous (and in­fa­mous) quote in the his­tory of mar­ket­ing: “I know that half of my ad­ver­tis­ing dol­lars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.” Leg­endary US mag­nate John Wana­maker’s quip is a cen­tury old, and per­haps it’s time to recog­nise it no longer rings as true as it did. Be­cause if my man­ag­ing di­rec­tor tells me to­mor­row that we need to sell an­other 10,000 Audi cars, I can run the num­bers and let him know how much it will cost, how long it will take, what me­dia to buy and the mes­sage to use. I can pro­vide him with the de­tails of the re­turn on ev­ery sin­gle pound spent on mar­ket­ing. All this data is pro­vided by an in­de­pen­dent agency. There’s no point giv­ing kids home­work if you let them mark it them­selves. My six-yearold son would get 100% ev­ery time, and while that might make him happy for a lit­tle while, what will he have learned? So it is with mar­ket­ing. If you ask the cre­ative, so­cial or me­dia agency to as­sess the ef­fec­tive­ness of a brand’s cam­paign, chances are you’ll get a big com­fort­able tick. You need to use a com­pany that has no vested in­ter­est in the cre­ative or me­dia worlds. It must be a to­tally ob­jec­tive ob­server; no bonus to sway it here or there. That in­de­pen­dence and ob­jec­tiv­ity gives its data le­git­i­macy. And that com­pany’s data gives power to me and my team; help­ing us make more in­formed – and ma­ture – de­ci­sions. The model con­sid­ers a mind-bog­gling num­ber of fac­tors, both in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal. What me­dia chan­nels did we use? What mes­sage? What cre­ative? What hap­pened po­lit­i­cally on any given day? What was the news head­line that day? What were the ex­change rates? The weather and tem­per­a­ture? These fac­tors just scratch the sur­face. But as you re­search more vari­ables, over a longer pe­riod of time, the model gets more ro­bust and the er­ror rate be­comes very small. Wana­maker would surely be im­pressed. For this to work, it re­quires a change of at­ti­tude and leap of faith by all con­cerned. You need the agen­cies that are work­ing with the brands to be on board; we need ver­i­fied data to make the econo­met­ric model as ac­cu­rate and ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble. Agen­cies must also be pre­pared to hear things that might raise an eye­brow or two. Ul­ti­mately, this process ben­e­fits ev­ery­body. By shar­ing the data with ev­ery agency work­ing on the cam­paign, we are all em­pow­ered to make the cor­rect de­ci­sions. And I can go to the board­room and ask for funds, backed by the sci­ence to help me make the case. But please re­mem­ber the dan­ger of “anayl­sis paral­y­sis” – analysing your busi­ness to such an ex­tent that you sti­fle your cre­ativ­ity and for­get the next big idea. At some point, op­ti­mi­sa­tion has di­min­ish­ing re­turns. You still need a trans­for­ma­tive idea in tan­dem. There’s no doubt that econo­met­rics will get your foot in the door, but great ideas will bring down that door. @ben­jam­in­braun

‘When the man­age­ment con­sul­tan­cies come knock­ing, it’s not the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor who opens the door – it’s the MD or FD that has their ear’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.