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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing transparency’

ImageAccording to single source studies, 50-70% of advertising effect on propensity to purchase is generated after the first exposure. Each subsequent exposure has a rapidly diminishing return on investment. This is a really scary statistic for any marketer still developing 5-8 plus media plans. So what’s happening?

The answer seems to be that in today’s bite sized, twitter headline world, we’re looking for ‘news’. Once we’ve received it, we are becoming increasingly skilled at shutting out unnecessary repetition.

This insight has potentially a profound impact on how future marketing campaigns should be devised. If news rules and pushing the repeat button on advertising copy is no longer enough, marketers need to start thinking about how they can generate more. How can they build more newsworthiness into the DNA of their products and their communications plans. This will impact NPD processes (think Apple), brand narratives (think Yeo Valley) and brand activities (think Red Bull)

The move to a more news orienatated agenda will also have an impact on the way clients buy services from their agencies. Increasingly, as we do at Good Relations, clients will want Brand Newsrooms set up to support the generation of a constant flow of authentic stories and content, for online and traditional channel consumption.

A ‘Brand News’ strategy requires broad company alignment and support to run effectively. Authenticity is a key component in it’s success. It does however have the potential to enhance the return on investment on traditional marketing plans.

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I’ve written about the criticism that Unilever has faced with the Dove and Axe brand before on this blog. Two modern day “conversational brands” that sit in different markets, have different target audiences, yet are taking flack because they both have the same Parent, Unilever. How can Dove credibly champion the cause of real women, when it comes from the same stable as Axe some cry?

Personally I don’t see this as a dilemma. Unilever has created two conversations in the market and consumers are clearly free to join or reject either. I do think however that it raises interesting questions for all Brand/Communication Directors who are trying to adapt to our increasingly transparent world.

As the Unilever example demonstrates, product brands and corporate brands no longer live in different worlds. They cannot be managed as individual challenges. The corporate brand can no longer be constructed solely for internal/financial audiences. It must be a living and visionary manifesto – a public declaration of the core intentions of the business, its guiding principles and policies.

I therefore suggest that a 5th P is added to the classic 4P’s of marketing. In addition to Product, Price, Promotion and Place, should we not add Parent (the Corporate Brand)?

If you believe, that the strongest brands in future will be those who best engage their audiences in an open two-way conversation, doesn’t it make sense for the corporate brand to be considered at every stage of the brand planning process?

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