Kantar Millward Brown has released a new study that examines the global state of multichannel advertising campaigns. It revealed that marketers miss huge opportunity to boost brand effectiveness by not getting their multichannel campaigns right.
The study, AdReaction which looked at Art of Integration further reveals key learning to help marketers design integrated and customised campaigns and avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation
The study based on quantitative research which surveyed more than 14,000 16-65 year olds between August and November 2017 in 45 countries (at least 300 per country) states that the Art of Integration guides marketers on how to best navigate the myriad channel choices and ad formats, while delivering effective, integrated campaigns, well understood across channels by consumers.
It found that while the benefits of well integrated and customised ad campaigns are substantial, boosting campaign effectiveness by 57%, this unfortunately represented fewer than half (46%) of all campaigns tested.
What’s more, the study revealed that marketers and consumers have different views on whether campaigns successfully fit together. Most marketers (89%) surveyed believe their campaign strategies are integrated, but just over half (58%) of consumers agree.
“Consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles while marketers struggle to make the most of ad formats and channels to best reach consumers, and the latest AdReaction report unveils a disconnect between how marketers and consumers perceive campaign success,” said Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, Media and Digital, Kantar Millward Brown in the report.
It said that even without any customisation, integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands, yet still one in four of the campaigns analysed were not well integrated. “Consumers expect multichannel campaigns to deliver basic connective elements like the same logo and slogan. However, the study shows that consistent characters or personalities are the individual cues which most help brand impact, often differentiating the best campaigns. The report also found that all channels benefit from synergies, but some channels work particularly well with each other. The strongest overall synergy combinations are between TV and Facebook, and TV and outdoor”, it said.
On key learning, the study advised marketers to start with a strong campaign idea: The idea is the most important component of the campaign. Great campaigns need a strong central idea to act as connective tissue across all content, and integrated content needs to cue this idea. Campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand KPIs (+64%), especially brand image associations (+91%), as well as across all channels.
“Make each ad in an integrated campaign amazing: Within the multichannel pretesting, we see a campaign is defined most closely by the average of all executions, even more so than the best or worst individual execution. Unless media spend will be skewed towards one execution, every piece of content matters and contributes to overall success and brand building.
Marketers were also told to invest only in channels that have a clear role in the campaign: “Marketers need to choose channels wisely – only using those which have a clear role in the campaign and in reaching the target audience. It’s also important to understand what each channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost. For example, online ads are cost effective in extending TV reach and building brand metrics from awareness through to purchase intent. However, consumers’ attitudes are more positive to traditional media than online advertising and people are more likely to recall negative online targeting experiences than positive ones”.
Marketers also need to customise content for each channel: There is a sweet spot between integration and customisation. A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together, it said.
The report said marketers struggle to find balance between integration and customisation. Twenty nine percent of the ads tested were integrated but not customised while 26% of the ads were not sufficiently integrated.
Kantar Millward Brown is foremost global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research.