The simple steps that set ‘winning’ brands apart
Despite the wealth of insight available to marketers, many don’t heed it, so research shows brands can gain an advantage even by just linking KPIs to business outcomes or applying marketing theory.
‘Winning’ brands understand the importance of creativity when it comes to growth, listen to the science and their customers, and stick to their marketing plan during a crisis.
As Luca Hulsebos, CEO at marketing research and analytics agency DVJ Insights, told the Festival of Marketing, there are significant differences between companies that outperform their competitors and those that do not.
SPONSORED By DVJ Insights
BACK TO top
BACK TO HUB
watch ‘What it takes to make brands grow’
at the Festival of Marketing on demand
Find out more about gaining simple competitive advantages. Watch DVJ Insights’ session, ‘What it takes to make brands grow’, at the Festival of Marketing on demand now.
to do and stick to the plan,” said Hulsebos. “Of course, creativity is a broad term and is not just about advertising. A brand’s website, its packaging and point of sale material are all part of the creative process.” He added that creative performance is also linked to a focus on sales and brand KPIs, and that the effect of creativity is closely connected to media and media investments.
DVJ found that 37% of UK CMOs at winning brands believe the impact of creativity on campaigns has actually decreased in recent years, with 68% accepting that creatives should be adjusted for different media as much as possible.
Hulsebos said all brands can become winners if they follow the science and listen to leading marketing practitioners when planning their marketing strategy.
For example, he said marketers should adopt adam&eveDDB head of effectiveness Les Binet’s 60/40 rule between investment in brand-building and short-term sales activation respectively.
He also cited Binet’s work around share of voice and the correlation with market share, and how this could be a secret weapon for growth for many organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There are a lot of lessons from practitioners such as Binet and Professor Byron Sharp at the Ehrenburg-Bass Institute in Australia, plus lots of scientific data and insights, that are not followed,” said Hulsebos. “We see that 20% more winners than losers apply scientific and academic work in their brand, media and creative strategy.”
Ask the customer
There are other reasons why creativity does not always reach its potential, and these include how brands obtain customer feedback.
“We found that successful companies do ask consumers for feedback around creativity but 25% of UK marketers think that doing this is a nonsense, which is strange. Why would you gamble with shareholders’ money if you could optimise ads by asking for feedback?” He reiterated the importance of testing to improve ad optimisation and conversion rates and said brands should gather comments at the most effective stage in the process, which is just before launch.
Hulsebos also explained how winning brands understood the benefits of continuing to advertise during the Covid-19 pandemic, including increasing their spend on ecommerce. “Another learning from the academic world is that the brands that can invest during a crisis come out stronger than those that do not.” However, he warned marketers against adjusting their messaging or the medium too radically, although they should adapt their creative during a crisis.
“Keep your vision consistent and support the memory structures that have been built up over many years.”
Taking these simple, insight-led steps is an easy way to gain a competitive advantage of those who are not aware or astute enough to put them into practice. ■
The winners tend to define marketing success by setting KPIs linked to the business, such as lead generation and revenue, and they understand there is a strong link between creative strategy and commercial success.
“What we have found from our research is that creativity is connected to the vision and consistency around the brand. Marketers need to keep doing what they are supposed