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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 00:00

The Value of Taking a Risk

Yes, the world is changing. Macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions are in flux, industries are being disrupted, and millennials and, yes, centennials are demanding new things.

But is this really new? James Belasco’s 1991 bestselling book, Teaching the Elephant to Dance, implored leaders to empower change. Belasco opens, “We are in trouble. Business as usual is out.”

More than 25 years later, does this sound familiar? So how do brands and especially established ones continue to embrace change that drives brand value? A startup is created to take risks; its investors embrace and encourage it. For a large brand, though, where even a small quarterly miss may rattle investors, it’s tempting for leaders to hunker down and rely on tried-and-true recipes for success. But to what end in the long term? We know risks— smart ones—can drive brand value, and there is much to learn from some of the world’s most valuable brands. Despite small, nimble competitors and disruptive forces, there are large, strong brands that continue to lead the way. A common characteristic among these large, growing brands is a willingness to experiment and take risks. It seems the biggest threat may be the slow, steady decline caused by taking no risks at all.

Microsoft has overcome missteps during the early days of the Internet and smartphones and re-emerged as an open, more collaborative company. Disney’s focus on its customers and willingness to try new things in their parks resulted in innovations like MagicBand, which allowed the brand to boost customer satisfaction and operating income. Starbucks’ commitment to living its purpose is clear through its leaders’ passion and willingness to close locations and eliminate efficiency-minded processes contrary to the desired experience. CVS saw millennials thinking differently about health and an aging population focused on healthcare, and placed a purposeful bet by eliminating tobacco products from its stores. This was a significant risk in support of its purpose. GE explicitly trains and hires for curiosity so that its employees challenge the status quo and evolve. Verizon’s CMO seeks out sessions where experts outside of his industry challenge him to think about the business differently and try new things.

If large, global companies like these can take risks, other large brands can too, using strategies that foster a culture of smart risk-taking and experimentation. Among them, they can:


Risk-taking starts at the top. Leaders must have ideas challenged by both external and internal parties to avoid tunnel vision and blind spots. Don’t surround yourself with “yes” people, but instead create an environment where everyone is encouraged to think differently. When meeting with your team, don’t say, “Everything’s OK, right?” Ask, “Where should we improve?”


Pioneered by GE, reverse mentoring is a practice in which junior employees mentor senior executives. In a win-win situation, senior executives keep a pulse on emerging trends ("Show me how Snapchat works—wait, you’ve never owned a TV?"), while junior employees gain exposure to senior leadership.


Curiosity is both innate and learned. Screen potential hires for latent curiosity that can then be further developed with training and coaching.


Put your money—and time—where your mouth is. A workforce of curious employees, eager to take risks, will be frustrated without the resources they need to test ideas. Budgeting money and time for experimentation enables employees to act on their ideas rather than default to tried-and-true tactics to hit quarterly targets.


Silicon Valley lives by this mantra, but few within a large organization are likely to scrap a multi-million-dollar, year-in-the- making project or campaign. Large corporations need to create space, both physical and mental, where the objective is to experiment quickly with clear rules. The recipe for success is no longer plan, plan, plan, launch big, and (hopefully) win. It now needs to be try, fail, try, fail, try, succeed, scale, and win.


Often, only success is rewarded, while the act of taking a risk, even when it was true to purpose, is not. Rewarding risk encourages experimentation and fosters a culture of risk-taking that results in breakthrough ideas. Rewarding only success, paradoxically, creates an organization where employees play it safe and can only achieve incremental success from proven tactics.


Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas. Startups and large organizations can work together to commercialize innovative ideas. Large, established companies can provide startups with a client base and resources, while the startup can bring innovative ideas and inject fresh thinking. Above all, startups don’t have a monopoly on risk taking or innovation— and the given the right environment, even elephants can dance.


Written by Kevin Singer at Kantar Consulting

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 00:00

The Pathway to Greater Marketing ROI

As marketers seek greater accountability in today’s increasingly omnichannel shopper landscape, demand for outcome-based return-on-investment (ROI) measurement has become more important than ever across a variety of sectors, including media, retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), apparel, automotive, digital and more.

Attribution also holds tremendous promise to deliver both granular measurement and speed that brands, retailers and publishers can lean on to understand marketing and advertising effectiveness—regardless of the platform.

But in this complex, connected landscape, how should marketers address the state of data and the challenges that the industry is faced with in order to work responsibly across data sets? Accessing data from various data sources to accurately measure ROI for each touchpoint along the customer journey is complex, but one that can be overcome by leveraging gold standard data collection and measurement methods.

When it comes down to it, being really good at building strong algorithms or attribution models is necessary, but not sufficient; the true challenge for marketers lies within the need for better data. Access to high quality granular data can help marketers achieve a more accurate understanding of consumers’ realistic purchase behaviors, whether those behaviors are influenced in-store, online, from a mobile device, across social media platforms, on TV, through an email marketing campaign—or a combination of them all.

For marketers, it’s important to remember that the shopper’s journey has multiple touch points across the path to purchase from upper funnel brand building to lower funnel stimuli at the last mile or last click to influence incremental conversion. In order to more effectively measure incrementality to drive ROI, marketers should keep in mind four key data considerations:

Delivery: It’s important to ensure that the target audience for a campaign sees the marketing message, validated with data from real consumers. As marketers rely on data models, they need to realize that they cannot simply rely on machine-based data, but hone in on data tied to real consumers and their real-life behaviors. 

Onboarding: As omnichannel continues to expand, the need to merge metrics for both offline and online content is more important than ever before.

Devices: The average consumer has three devices, but how should the industry treat each view? Should marketers count three points of reach for each device, or one point of reach for the consumer with three times the frequency? 

Ad blocking: As it becomes increasingly harder to reach consumers in today’s marketplace, data owners need to think about the value in third-party verification. To do this, marketers should use data in its original source to avoid privacy concerns and better define the description around the data itself to provide context and make attribution models run more intelligently and faster.

In an effort to overcome these current challenges, Nielsen is focused on seeking out better data and is making significant strides to acquire data and partner with other companies in the space. Nielsen is striving to tackle the de-duplication of devices to better analyze ROI, data hygiene and privacy compliance, so as to insure an attribution model that better allocates marketing dollars.


Written by Matthew Krepsik, Global Head, Marketing ROI Products, Nielsen

Diljit Dosanjh, the multi-talented sensation, who has been flooding the social media with his swag succeeded in gathering Punjabi music lovers in Gurugram last evening for the RED LIVE- SWAG Fest 2017.

The crowd displayed high-energy at the venue, with an overload of swag. The evening was hosted by 93.5 RED FM under its live entertainment division RED LIVE to celebrate the love for Punjabi music. The show was packed as over 15,000 fans from Delhi NCR thronged to the venue. Fans kept sharing various pictures and videos on their social handles expressing their excitement for Diljit’s performance that took place at Leisure Valley, Gurugram on 23rd December. The performance was so electrifying that the audience couldn’t stop dancing on their favourite kind of music.

Speaking at the occasion, Diljit Dosanjh’s said, “There was a high voltage energy throughout the RED LIVE Swag-Fest which felt amazing. For any artist it is the biggest moment to watch the crowd sing along. I have always said that I love performing live as it gives me the chance to connect with the audience and fans who have made me what I am today. It has been a pleasure to perform at the RED FM’s Swag-Fest season 2.”

Nisha Narayanan, COO, 93.5 Red FM said, “It is a high moment for RED FM to be able to deliver the kind of music that the Delhities most enjoy. The no.s at the venue are testimony to the fact that we are on the right track in terms of understanding the pulse of our listeners! It was a delight to see our listeners groove to Diljit’s performance. I am personally a big fan of Diljit Dosanjh. He is a perfect fit for our brand that stands for all things cool & quirky.”

Diljit Dosanjh is one of the most talented and good looking actors. Being multi-talented in the fields of singing as well as acting, the singer-actor is known to be very grounded and humble. His social media is a proof that his fans are like his family. He is Punjabi Cinema’s heartthrob, one of the leading artists in Punjabi music and now Bollywood too. He made his debut in Bollywood film as an actor with Udta Punjab, which has been amongst the most loved films by the audience, winning many awards.

When the primary focus for marketers was on TV advertising, ad testing was baked into the creative development process.

In the digital environment, however, marketers have been less concerned with creative testing. Is this because smaller budgets have been allocated for digital or due to the race to develop content and the pressure to execute quickly?

Not so long ago, digital was only a small percentage of a brand's overall media spend – it was viewed as 'experimental', therefore not necessary to test. Fast forward, and digital is predicted to account for 34% of total media spend this year – more than 50% in some markets.

As digital budgets grow, marketers are facing increasing pressure to prove ROI. This raises the question: how can marketers afford not to test their digital advertising?

If we reflect on this, we might compare how most of us operate in our personal lives, and the actions we take to ensure we make good decisions and spend our money wisely. Most of us don't book a hotel room – for business or vacation - without looking at reviews on one or more travel sites. If we do this ourselves, why not for our brands and businesses?

The Blame Game

Many marketers are pointing their fingers at publishers, specifically questioning measurement and viewability. Even if it was a guarantee that genuine, human impressions would be delivered with greater accuracy, in many cases, the creative would let the brand down. Great creative may deliver ROI with an average media plan, but the best media plan in the world won't make up for a poor creative.

Marketers that are getting digital right have moved beyond testing individual ads to help them decide whether to deploy them. They understand that each ad they test is building a data vault for much broader, future learning about what works best for their brand and category.

While many marketers still have doubts about testing digital ads, there are a few things they should consider:

Don't depend solely on metrics that show in-market performance

Data on interactions and even brand lift may be reassuring but it doesn't offer the insight needed to improve future ads that will deliver ROI.

Customise ads for each platform

Ads need to be tested in context, and agile tools enable testing in a viewer's personal Facebook page and on YouTube.
Avoid misfires that can have a negative effect on brand
Kantar Millward Brown data shows that weak digital creative can hurt brand favorability and purchase intent. What's more - test results are available in hours, which addresses the speed issue.

Learning for the Future

The most sophisticated digital marketers are focused on the future. Kantar Millward Brown and Zappi are helping marketers use ad testing to form dynamic learning systems. Reviewing patterns of success from digital campaigns over time allows marketers to replicate what worked to increase ROI going forward.

Knowing what resonates with consumers (types of content, length of content, tone of voice, and even strategy) is what leads to improved digital campaigns.

A good example of a forward thinking, global consumer goods brand that has embraced dynamic learning is RB. Working with Kantar Millward Brown and Zappi, the brand rolled out a fully automated creative testing process that leverages sound methodologies and a normative database, enabling them to increase the number of ads tested per year by 77%. RB increased the number of portfolio brands evaluated from 25 to 32, and have seen an overall jump of 14% in the number of creatives achieving top performance.

Here's what Mathilde Levy, Senior Consumer & Market Insights at RB Europe had to say:

"Automation is also about removing barriers internally. The research we provide is not always as timely as marketers want it to be and we can be regarded as blockers. Automation changes this. Instead of serving as a validation function and being the policemen, we become more of a consultant, providing insight that can help to drive the business forward."

Those who aren't testing their digital advertising should build this into their creative development process. And as for the marketers out there who haven't yet shifted to a more dynamic learning environment - move quickly to gain a competitive advantage.


Source:Kantar Millward Brown


Sunday, 24 December 2017 00:00

The Changing Face of Beauty

In an era of selfies, video calls and photo-based social media, the need to look good is no longer confined to special occasions.

In fact , both men and women, young and old are equally drawn into this momentum of social banter, and consequently, the beauty industry in India is growing in scope and breadth.

Today, the beauty segment is being redefined, and concepts and notions that were steering business strategies yesterday may not be on target anymore. To get a better understanding about this evolution, we took a deep dive – analysing data and insights from across retail measurement, consumer neuroscience (syndicated as well as customised studies) and learnings from industry experts to gauge some of the dominant trends that indicate what beauty is morphing in to, thereby influencing the landscape of personal care.

Age no bar for Beauty Consciousness

Children today are reaching puberty as early as 10-12 years, resulting in a beauty-consciousness that’s typically associated with adults. With a desire to look attractive at a much younger age than in previous generations, brands and products that target women closer to 18 years old now need to engage with a much wider market. This signals opportunity and a need for responsible marketing. At the other end of the spectrum, the upper age for the market is extending too. With the thinking that ”30 is the new 20” and “40 is the new 30,“ grooming is no longer restricted to 18-35 year-old female consumers. And “anti-ageing” may not be the mantra for the older generation that is striving for an ageless look.

The Man in the Mirror cares how he looks

Some favourite stereotypes about the beauty industry are no longer applicable. The conversation around beauty is evolving. Male grooming is growing, and data confirms that the sales of men’s face creams have more than doubled, while the use of face cleansing products among men in India has jumped a massive 60 times between 2009 and 2016. An analysis into the motivations underlying this surge in the adoption of male grooming products points to two key drivers: confidence and to achieve a competitive edge over other males in career growth rather than to attract females.

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