Smart Marketing

Smart Marketing Is A Good Thing

Our Goal = Run Smart Marketing.

If you were an advertising agency client of mine in 2017, we would have sharpened your positioning; created a plan to deliver brand-building thinking via a content program and then wrapped all that in a marketing plan led by the critically important objective of being Unignorable.

A fine example of an advertising agency actually doing just that is BBH London and its BBH Labs care of their ‘white paper’ Most Marketing Is Bad Because It Ignores The Most Basic Data.

Here is a review of BBH’s thinking plus my thoughts on how to apply their 11 data-points to your business and its business development program.

BBH = Smart

BBH Labs is smart. In fact, being smart is precisely its positioning.

Being smart is a real good thing and clients want and need lots of smart in 2018. Today’s marketing world is simply too chaotic to not need smart, focused and experienced thinking. Plus, in a world of advertising services commoditization, being really smart about advertising is something most clients do not have or can get in-house or from your average freelancer.

  • More smart. BBH is not reporting on expensive proprietary research. They have taken research data that already exists from other sources and putting their own spin on it. Um, kinda like what I am doing here and you could do as well.
  • More smart. BBH has amplified this information on the web, via LinkedIn, on Twitter (where I first found it) and in a SlideShare which has garnered over 28,00 views as of this writing.
  • Really smart. BBH is being Unignorable. More on this later.

Here is some copy from BBH plus my take as it relates to your business development program.

You can read the BBH paper here and see the SlideShare at the end of this missive.

“Most Marketing Is Bad Because It Ignores The Most Basic Data.”

 Point 1: Start with the number 0 in mind, or start wrong.

For most brands, the biggest opportunity for growth comes from taking people from buying it zero times to buying it once in a typical purchase cycle. Starting with zero means you’ll start from the right place – a place which assumes most of your customers don’t often buy your brand, don’t think much or care about it and certainly don’t give a s**t about your advertising.

My Take. I like starting from a place where you assume that your future client does not give a shit about you or what you have to say. Most agencies think that clients actually like to read your shit (by the way, kudos to Steven Pressfield and his book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It).

You must keep this in mind where you deliver thinking that you want people to read.

Point 2: 84% of advertising is wasted.

Start wrong and you’ll end up making some of the 84% of advertising that doesn’t even get past the first hurdle of being noticed and remembered.

Only 16% of advertising is both recalled and correctly attributed to the brand (according to a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of 143 TV ads suggesting 84% of ad spend could be going to waste if that’s replicated in the real world. It’s another sobering reminder that your audience don’t care about your advertising, so you’d better make it distinctive enough to make an impact and well-branded enough so people remember who it’s from.

My Take: Actually three takes. First, you thought that only 50% was wasted. Second, make sure you tell your clients that most advertising is wasted (they already believe this) then show them how your agency can beat these odds. OK, one more: note that most of your own marketing will be unnoticed too.

Point 3: Please, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Don’t expect customers to notice you, remember you and remember more than message.

An analysis by Millward Brown of their Link test database provides evidence of something advertising people have always known instinctively: the more messages you try and communicate, the less likelihood there is of any single message being communicated (‘throw people one tennis ball and they’ll catch it, throw them lots and they’ll drop them all’). And remember this is from people who are being forced to watch your ads in pre-testing research: real people in the real world will remember even less.

My Take. I grew up knowing that most people can barely grasp one point, let alone multiples. My first agency’s Creative Brief was called the FACTS statement: Focused Advertising That Sells. Keep this in mind for both what you do for your clients (who usually want to dump the kitchen sink into their messaging) and your agency’s business development messaging (yes, many of you want to dump the kitchen sink into your biz dev messaging).

Point 4: Emotion Sells

Emotional campaigns are 2x as likely to be effective as rational ones in achieving all this.

 According to Binet & Field’s work, emotional campaigns are twice as likely to be profitable as rational campaigns, more than twice as efficient at driving market share, and work especially well over the long-term

My Take. You know that emotion sells, right? How much emotion do you put into your agency’s messaging? Emotion triggers can be as simple as discussing the issues related to customers leaving e-commerce shopping carts before they make a purchase. Not all exits are rational. Understand the emotions of buying online. Tell your potential e-commerce clients this and discuss solutions.

Point 5: Yes! Be Unignorable.

Campaigns that aim for fame work 4x harder than the average. Fame-driving campaigns are 4x as efficient as the average campaign, driving 4x the market share growth per 10 points of extra SOV. In fact, the data in ‘The Long and the short of it’ supports a long-held belief at BBH which is that fame is a magic ingredient that can massively enhance the performance of your campaigns.

My Take: Being noticed is a good thing. Even better – make being Unignorable a goal. Me-Too marketing that looks and sounds like the agency down the street will not grow your agency. Do I have to say more? Example: You may not love Gary Vaynerchuck but you cannot ignore him. His brand’s Unigonorabilty helps to grow his business. Don’t be afraid to be a bit outrageous.

Point 6: Creative Rules.

Creative execution matters a lot: it’s the 2nd biggest driver of ROI. Market and brand size are together the biggest driver of advertising profitability, but the 2nd biggest factor is the quality of creative execution. In fact it can impact ROI by a factor of 12. Creative execution is not ‘colouring in’: it matters more than nearly everything else.

My Take: Wow, who knew that brilliant creative drives great advertising and marketing?

Being creative is why you are in business. Make sure your prospective clients understand the power of creative and how you deliver – this is something they cannot do in-house.

Point 7: Fame Is Good.

Fame-driving campaigns are 4x as efficient as the average campaign, driving 4x the market share growth per 10 points of extra SOV. In fact, the data in ‘The Long and the short of it’ supports a long-held belief at BBH which is that fame is a magic ingredient that can massively enhance the performance of your campaigns.

My Take. Go out and do award-winning work. That means, strive to do outstanding, attention-getting creative and then go and submit that work to award shows. See how LONDON Advertising does this to grow their client’s business… and their own.

Point 8: 60:40 Rules.

For maximum effectiveness you’ll need to find the right balance between brand-building and sales activation, which is on average 60:40.

Getting the balance right between long-term brand-building and short-term sales activation, between creating memories and activating them, is important for maximum commercial effectiveness. You’ll have to experiment to work out what’s best for your brand, though.

My Take: Many agency business development programs forget that they are sales programs. This means that you need to employ & add sales activation to your wonderful, handsome websites, messaging and sales materials. You have to add in that 40% of sales activation. Getting to winning is not just a beauty contest. How to do sales activation is not a skill that most consumer-based agencies have. Te=hey should study the principles of B2B marketing.

Point 9: Shout!

Perhaps the most often ignored data-point is this: 10%pts of excess share of voice drives 0.5% market share on average.

All of this theory has essentially boiled down to an argument for ‘doing bloody good work’ so far. And obviously that’s not enough: if you don’t put decent money behind it, it can’t work. The data supporting this comes from various IPA studies linking share of voice with market share. On average, a 10%pt difference between SOV and SOM leads to 0.5% of extra market share growth

My Take: I love this data-point. Tell your clients that they need to spend more for a high share of voice. Use this data. Then, think of your own marketing. Are you shouting? What do you think your agency’s share of voice is in your own agency vs. agency B2B marketing category?

Point 10: Be Consistent.

Once you’re seeing an impact on brand consideration, you’ve got to keep going as it will drop 15% per week on average following a campaign.

A study by Mediacom business science modeling suggests that on average improvements in consideration will begin to drop at the quite alarming rate of 15% per week, and will be back at pre-campaign levels after 4 months. Don’t be tempted to blow your media budget in ego-boosting bursts: reach your audience as continuously as possible.

My Take: Another good message for your clients. They like to start and stop. Spend on marketing and then stop too soon. Oh, you do that too. This is one of the biggest business development mistakes agencies make. They get bored or too busy to keep at it. Not keeping at it is bad for your bottom line.

Point 11: Marketing Works.

The good news is the impact you can see from even tiny shifts in brand consideration can be enormous: a +1%pt shift is worth on average 0.5-1.5% total sales according to Gain Theory’s analysis.

These 11 numbers take up just a few kilobytes of data. But employing the principles behind them could help transform the effectiveness of any brand’s advertising.

The average UK advertising campaign delivers £1.51 of short-term profit and £3.24 in long-term profit for every £1 spent, according to Thinkbox’s latest study of 1954 campaigns across 150 advertisers. And the strongest short-term profit ROI recorded for a single campaign in this analysis was a massive £12.96.

My Take: Marketing works. Make sure your skittish client understands this. Try to have real data (as in smart, ROI based case histories) that help demonstrate this fact. And, while you are at it, help yourself prove to your own agency that smart, consistent biz dev marketing begets more clients.

A Conclusion…

These are all great points. I want to reiterate that BBH did not go out and spend bucks on marketing research. They went out and found existing data that supports many of the things I bet they tell prospective clients in their business development outreach, RFP’s and pitches. BBH is smart. And, they prove it. And, they shout it.

Their Goal: Smart Marketing.

Lots of nice charts for you here.




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