The analytics community has never had a sufficiently robust set of data that captures creative impact. In ABX testing of 150,000 ads across 18 industries, creative is the largest contributor by far at 60-80% of sales lift. Without creative data factored in, it’s no wonder that it is hard to correlate advertising to business outcomes.
At present, insights directors and marketers use media spend data as inputs into their marketing mix models. As explained in the first resources page, “How do I know which half of my advertising isn't working,” spend data doesn’t perform well because not all ads are equal creatively! Some ads are effective, but at least sixty percent are not. Also, accurate ROAS, ROI or Predictive Analytics data can’t be produced from the small portion of one’s advertising that has been through pretesting.
Thus, for advertisers to see the results of a campaign in the language of management, they need to put ALL their advertising through creative testing. The creative scores are then married to ad spend data and the rest is history. Fortunately, new technologies for measuring all ads is making this strategy affordable.
Before jumping into the case studies, it usually helps to take a quick look at commonly-used measurement terms that management is likely asking for. The first, ROAS, is heavily searched today, which means it has become popular currency for estimating success.
Of course, everyone knows and uses the term “ROI.” However, ROI was really built as a measurement of an entire operation or business. It can be used at a smaller level, such as for a marketing or advertising department. But to do it right, one must factor in every cost - personnel, real estate, lights, computers. etc.
Whether management is looking at ROAS, ROI or Predictive Analytics through marketing mix modeling, none will tell an accurate story of marketing success without creative being factored in since it accounts for at least 60% of advertising success on average.
This study compares the effects of media buys versus creative testing scores on sales revenues for one of the world’s largest cosmetic brands. ABX provided a robust set of advertising effectiveness measurement scores for client ads across all media types over a period of 30 months, which were integrated into the marketing mix model. Insights included:
Second, in an ideal world, media spend on an ad by ad basis would align perfectly with ad sales lift, but this is not the case in this study nor in the real world. As we see below, the correlation between the quantitative ad spend-per-spot and sales lift had a very low correlation of r²=.1138. When we married creative testing scores as a qualitative measure to the media spend, the correlations soar to r²=.743.
If creative isn’t good, media buys are virtually wasted. As mentioned above, had the client used creative scores to allocate media budget, it could have generated an incremental +$26 million in revenue. Creative effectiveness drives sales whereas ad spend is a much weaker driver. (Courtesy Bottom-Line Analytics).
A similar approach was taken with one of the top carbonated beverages in the world. The marketing mix modelers weighted the media spend with creative testing data and compared it to sales revenues over a three-year period. A high correlation of 71.2% showed the weighted creative scores did very well against sales. (Courtesy Bottom-Line Analytics).
A large state lottery’s average creative score index over the past year was 91, which was short of the 100 “average” in advertising effectiveness. This case was particularly interesting because the marketing mix modelers showed how much sales revenues could increase as creative testing scores went up. (Courtesy Bottom-Line Analytics) Amazingly, for every single data point increase in the Florida Lottery average ad effectiveness score, the incremental revenue would be $715,000. This is predictive analytics as its best. In the chart below, as the Copy Score weighted average increases (horizontally), the incremental sales revenues also increase (vertically). The creative team has a great deal of power to positively affect sales results. (Courtesy Bottom-Line Analytics)