MediAvataar's News Desk
Marketers have been perennially faced the question of whether to drive short-term financial growth or build long-term brand equity. This debate has gained momentum with the recent growth of online advertising, which is typically geared toward driving more short-term purchases. We can think of this debate as having two archetypal figureheads: a company’s CFO (the steward of financial performance, responsible for reporting quarterly results) might look at the short-term performance of online advertising and want to allocate more spend toward these channels; while the CMO (the steward of brand identity) might want to invest in growing more long-term brand equity.
Now that we’ve set up our CMO and our CFO figureheads and set them arguing across the boardroom table, we have to pause and ask the question: is their debate really valid, or is it just the product of a false dichotomy? In other words, are financial growth and brand growth really mutually exclusive? We looked to our analytics to find out.
To be able to answer the long term vs. short-term debate, it is first important to understand the factors that drive the short-term and long term growth. Are they different, or is there some synergy that can be leveraged?
Our past work on the impacts of different media and media inputs does prove that some inputs favour boosting short term sales while others favor building long-term brand equity. It is therefore important to a brand to have a balanced media and marketing approach. A short-term uplift of sales driven by limited-time promos may make some stakeholders happy, but if these efforts are not balanced with investment in long-term growth, then brand equity will likely erode. When that happens, the brand becomes more vulnerable to competition and market dynamics.
Which media inputs favor the CFO, and which favor the CMO? Activations have historically been more powerful in driving short term sales effects, while TV is seen to excel in building brands in the long run, as well as in serving as the cornerstone of 360-degree campaigns that facilitate multiplicative media synergies.
Digging deeper into TV media options, “promo”-style TV advertising is more efficient than “thematic” ads in driving short term sales. Campaigns that appeal to rational concerns are also seen to be more effective in driving short term growth. However, thematic TV advertising is seen to be more effective in building brand equity. This brand-building impact amplifies if the thematic spot’s creative is especially powerful (i.e., a creative magnifier), if messaging remains consistent, and if campaigns are supported with optimal investment. Hence, promo TV advertising should be leveraged if the intent is to drive short-term sales, while thematic advertising should be leveraged if brand building is the key objective.
Another point to note is that while the short-term strategies don’t typically impact long-term brand building, the reverse may not necessarily be true. Higher brand equity is known to impact sales over the long run, and efforts to boost brand equity may also produce some short-term effects. (In fact, for especially strong brands, the contribution from base equity to sales is as large as 90 percent.) Brands that have invested in brand building do reap the benefit in terms of uplift in sales, especially in the long run.
Given the differential time frame in which the impact is noticed for short-term and long-term strategies, it is also important to measure the effectiveness in the right context. Measuring the effectiveness of long-term strategy in context of short term uplifts in sales is bound to yield low effectiveness for all of its elements. Likewise, measuring the effectiveness of elements constituting short-term strategy in context of brand building will yield low effectiveness. Hence, it is important for marketers to be well aware of the objective of each element of their strategic plan, so that they can measure it with respect to their right objective.
Ideally, both short-term and long term considerations should be included when considering concepts like “return on investment.” Short term ROI rankings of media types is a commonly used tool that can be further improved by adding in measures that approximate long term ROI of media types on brand performance. With this fuller short and long ROI picture (as seen in the nearby chart), we can prioritize media and activation with a clear vision of their impact. In conclusion, different levers impacting short term and long term growth imply that short term oriented campaigns will not drive long-term business outcome and equity growth. However, the reverse may not necessarily be true: strategies aimed at long term brand building may also lead to more near term boosts to sales. To succeed in a competitive landscape, it is therefore important to have a strategy that strikes a good balance between brand building and short-term growth. It is also equally important for marketers to have a clear understanding of what elements contribute toward each type of growth, so that they can measure the effectiveness of each element with the correct framework in mind.
In essence, then, the data shows CFO and CMO are right in their perspectives. And in the best of times, one would hope that they could work side by side and both get what they want. However, the data also shows that even when there may be temptations to focus solely on realizing short-term gains – say, at a time of financial crisis – the kind of media that most typically accompanies long-term brand building efforts should not be neglected in favor of putting all of a company’s eggs in the short-term media basket; investments in brand equity can also play an important role in sustaining short-term sales.
Source:Kantar Millward Brown
Marketing Leaders Report They Struggle With Management, Relevancy and Measurement
Fifty-eight percent of marketing leaders believe brand is a critical driver of buyer behavior for prospects, and 65% believe it is a critical driver of buyer behavior for existing customers, according to Gartner, Inc. However, the Gartner Brand Survey 2019 revealed that 35% of marketers struggle with managing a global brand (see Figure 1).
“Managing a global brand is a complex, multidimensional task,” said Chris Ross, vice president analyst at Gartner. “Even brands that may not see themselves as global are operating in a more tightly connected global ecosystem. As a result, the challenges of being a global brand extend to a large number of marketing leaders today.”
Many marketing leaders also express frustration about keeping the brand relevant and aligned to the changing needs and interests of their target audiences, while demonstrating their brand is tuned in with what is happening in the world.
“Brand relevance and resonance can be extremely fluid based on a polarized marketplace, new disruptive business models and ever-changing consumer requirements,” Mr. Ross said. “Marketers who want to stay relevant must be highly attuned to their customers, competitors and larger cultural and economic trends.”
Marketers are also challenged with accurately tracking their brand investments. Despite technology advancements and the creation of more sophisticated attribution models, not every brand expenditure can be precisely valued.
To overcome these challenges and improve brand performance, Gartner recommends that marketing leaders:
Watch for new competitors launching in other parts of the world, and be aware of regional or cultural trends that may impact their category or products — no matter their size or reach. Marketers must find the right balance between maintaining brand consistency while also being responsive and adaptive to individual market needs.
Commit to the ongoing pursuit of relevance by actively monitoring the marketplace to remain tuned into the trends, preferences and cultural factors that shape the collective mindset. It is important marketers have a pulse on how their brands resonate across the environment via their own research, customer insights and diligent measurement and observation of the impact of brand activities.
Measure every brand investment possible, but be open about what can’t be measured. It is critical that marketers be equally ambitious about quantifying brand initiatives and realistic about brand spending that cannot be easily assessed.
Verizon Media, home to widely-used consumer brands like Yahoo Cricket, Yahoo Mail and HuffPost India has launched MAKERS India.
The launch follows the success of MAKERS, a digital and video storytelling platform, that has accelerated the women’s movement in the US.
MAKERS India will be the gateway to powerful stories from trailblazing women in the country, influencing a narrative that can drive real impact and change. The launch comes at a pivotal moment in the women’s movement in India, championing issues like gender equality and inclusivity in the workplace. Through visual storytelling, podcasts, live events, documentaries and award-winning digital content, MAKERS India will lead conversations that nurture an inclusive, empowered community of women in the country.
The inaugural event launched the campaign #OurTimeIsNow. MAKERS India will power this campaign that urges Indians to take a stand and collectively raise their voices, both online and offline, to accelerate the women’s movement in India. #OurTimeIsNow will amplify the voices of women breaking down cultural and societal barriers. It will give a powerful voice to women who have till now gone unheard or not had the opportunities to make bolder choices.
As it expands its footprint, MAKERS India has entered a strategic partnership with start-up media platform YourStory to help connect the MAKERS India community with women changemakers both online and on the ground.
“From the moment we founded MAKERS, the vision was to harness the power of storytelling and sharing real life experiences to inspire action. We are thrilled to take the MAKERS mission to India to celebrate and support all women who are speaking up, speaking out, and using their voices to drive equality forward,” said Dyllan McGee, Founder & Executive Producer, MAKERS
“We see compelling opportunities to serve India’s expanding audience of women, who now comprise over 42% of Internet users in the country. Now more than ever, women in India are raising their voice for change. Given the digital revolution unfolding across the country and the Government of India’s push for women’s inclusion, especially at the workplace, this is an exciting time for us to launch MAKERS India. Together with YourStory, we want to empower this growing community of Indian women to propel change and shape a new narrative for women in the country as it takes forward the innovative, powerful storytelling MAKERS is known for in the US,” said Rose Tsou, Head of International and eCommerce, Verizon Media.
“Bringing together YourStory’s content expertise with Verizon Media’s leading-edge tech will create an unparalleled platform to connect women in India and catalyze change. Together, we have an incredible opportunity to drive impact with MAKERS India, to advance the women’s movement in India,” said Shradha Sharma, Founder, CEO and Chief Editor of YourStory.
MAKERS India will create new avenues for women to come together as a community. It will also offer brands the opportunity to engage meaningfully with women audiences in India through relevant, interactive forums and events, on themes that matter to women here.
Weber Shandwick Continues to Build Strategic Expertise Hiring Hin-Yan Wong in Singapore
Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and marketing solutions firms, today announced the appointment of Hin-Yan Wong PhD as senior vice president, planning and analytics, Singapore. He will report to Vanessa Ho Nikolovski, managing director, Weber Shandwick Singapore & chair, client services, Asia Pacific.
Wong will focus on further building the insights offering within the highly regarded Weber Shandwick APAC analytics team. Responsible for driving strategic excellence throughout the agency, Wong will foster a deeper understanding of the value of insights among Weber Shandwick teams and enable work that delivers business impact for a diverse clientele in Singapore and across the region.
Having previously developed research programmes to drive brand, marketing and e-commerce strategy development, Wong has significant expertise in both quantitative and qualitative techniques.
Wong’s experience spans many global brands and industries, including commercial, governmental and impact sectors. Most recently he was CMO for clean energy, and social impact startup, One Earth Designs, from California, before which he devised and delivered a programme that transformed the communications capability and effectiveness of UK Ministry of Defence.
“Hin-Yan comes with the kind of experience that is vital in navigating today’s massive industry transformations,” said Vanessa Ho Nikolovski, managing director, Singapore & chair, client services, Asia Pacific. “He has an exceptional understanding of the data-driven insights functions that sit at the heart of our business and is able to unlock insights and intelligence from their ever-expanding data sources. Hin-Yan has a proven track record of inspiring the kind of creative, business-driven strategies our clients depend on in an era of continuous change and disruption.”
Value, Expertise & Trust- VET’ model unveiled for healthcare industry in latest study by SPAG
A healthcare specialised independent communications and advocacy firm, SPAG revealed its inaugural and ambitious report, ‘Pave the Wave: APAC Healthcare Communications Outlook’, amidst an august gathering of senior professionals in the healthcare industry. The event, co-hosted by KPMG on 2nd October 2019, was well attended with leading experts and media from the industry.
Based on conversations with leading communication experts across Asia-Pacific, the special report unveils a new communications framework for healthcare industry called the ‘VET Model’. Through this unique report, SPAG highlights the dire need to build narrative that considers Value, Expertise & Trust as three key drivers and a cohesive proposition for each stakeholder. The report also talks about the changing dynamics of different stakeholders in the ecosystem as well as how communications is gradually moving from the periphery and taking a centre stage in the business strategy.
“We are extremely delighted to share this special report that analyses the ongoing changes in the ever-evolving healthcare communications, especially in the Asia Pacific region, focusing on its maturity and integration with the business strategy and how Value, Expertise and Trust are gradually defining the framework of communications in the healthcare sector. We believe that the next decade will be even more exciting for the healthcare industry and healthcare communicators alike compared to all that we have witnessed so far,” says Aman Gupta the Co-Founder & Managing Partner of SPAG.
The report showcases the radical changes in the healthcare industry and consumer behaviour. It acknowledges that how healthcare has gone beyond ‘pill’ which has led to paving path for newer ways of treating people. Communication around treatments has also seen a dynamic shift, leaving a huge task at the hands of healthcare communicators in the Asia Pacific region.
Data show that healthcare sector is currently growing at12% (more) than the rest of the world. From the developed markets of Singapore to emerging medical hubs of Indonesia and Vietnam and others, and rapidly prospering economies complimented by increasingly sensitive public policy environments and its aging population, Asia is witnessing a transformation in the scope of healthcare in the region.
“Within the transforming dynamics of healthcare communications, the role of communicators is no longer restricted within the confines of an advisory. They are now strategic partners, who not only create narratives to drive the business agendas but also protect, build and enhance business reputations. From a counsellor to a business partner, it has been a long journey for healthcare communicator. Today, healthcare comms experts are becoming drivers of sustainable business”, says Ritika Jauhari, Senior Director, SPAG.
The APAC Healthcare Communications Outlook report aims to present the paradigm shift in perception of the healthcare communications, thereby helping bridge the gap between medicine and public health in a manner that facilitates large-scale healthcare interventions. The one-of-its-kind report also discloses the increasing influential role of healthcare communicators to help develop more engaging and clear communication steeped in domain expertise to help deliver greater value for patients.