Whether the term “omnichannel advertising,” “integrated advertising,” or “integrated marketing communications” is used, they all challenge the marketer to speak with one voice and see all channels from a consumer’s point of view. Whether one seeks consistency between digital screens, between paid and earned media, or between digital and traditional media, the need is the same: communicate holistically and measure creative across the spectrum to ensure consistent messaging and quality. A new white paper linked below describes original research done to gauge the impact of news on creative scores. Interestingly, non-paid media really can change ad effectiveness scores. See link below for more.
Thus, advertisers who’ve been limited to creative testing in only Television or Video are greatly at risk in the other media types. Every ad that is placed impacts the reputation of the advertiser. Therefore, just because some ads don’t have a large media footprint doesn’t mean they won’t have additive effects on other communications from a company. The more ads and non-paid media channels that are part of an integrated marketing campaign, the better.
As discussed in "Advertising Effectiveness Measurement is Broken," one can’t afford custom pretesting on all paid and unpaid creative. The only solution is to use a syndicated advertising effectiveness measurement method that routinely tests ads in multiple channels such as various Digital screens, Television, Radio, Print, OOH, FSIs and other. If custom testing is still needed on unusual marketing materials (in-store or event signage, sponsorships, etc.), the cost shouldn’t be prohibitive.
First, a simple definition from Forbes January 16, 2018, “Integrated marketing enables a company to speak with a unified voice regardless of channel or device. It creates a surround-sound effect that amplifies your brand in an increasingly chaotic marketplace. The integration of marketing channels has never been more important or more challenging.” The full post is worth a read, “Why Integrated Marketing Needs To Be The Foundation Of Your B2B Strategy,” by Lisa Allocca, co-founder and president of award-winning Red Javelin Communications.
Second, if one prefers this term, don’t miss this definition video by ad agency BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Israel in 2012. The video vividly illustrates integrated advertising as “combining several media channels and tools under one big idea, in order to produce a greater experience for the consumer.” As you watch the video (just 3:40), think of the ramifications had any one of the various “channels” underperformed. A successful Integrated campaign means consistency of both creative and quality. (Click the image to play)
Two Case Studies of Integrated Marketing Campaigns
A great mini case study of Integrated Marketing shows the creative staff of a major beer brand used the same message across online video, OOH and radio ads. While the video and OOH did well in the campaign, the radio did not, so we knew the problem wasn't the campaign message. Comparative data showed competitor ads were successful with simple voice over and minimal background noise. The radio ad was remixed, retaining the copy but simplifying the sound. The remixed spot improved performance by 68%.
Another look at Integrated Advertising and Marketing is a new academic study done with the Institute for Public Relations, which studies whether non-paid media (earned media) affects ad creative testing scores. Indeed, it can as evidenced by a 9-month study on Hotels.com and AT&T PR and advertising results.The paper was written by Angela Jeffrey, ABX; Gary Getto, ABX and Sandra Duhe, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University. The white paper is available here.
If the advertising creative is good, a creative team can be confident integrating the message across media types since research on thousands of ads shows that almost any medium can be effective. A great example is the research study below on 25,000 ads, which initially compared AVERAGE creative scores across seven types of media for an e-book, “Four Key Performance Indicators to Decrease Advertising Investment Risk and Build ROI.” In the chart below, we see enormous differences in the creative scores, with Television in 1st place at an Index of 109 and Radio in last at about 92. On the face of it, some media types look like real losers.
However, the picture shifts dramatically during the second part of this research when a SUBSET of high-performing creative is used. In the chart below, the creative scores converge between all the media types, with little difference in the various KPIs. TV is no longer the best medium for everything and radio is one of the best-kept secrets, delivering strong results with lower investment spend. It all depends on good creative, though.
So, what are some tips for creating successful creative in different channels? The following links include ABX Advisory blog content as well as external sources sharing ways to make advertising strong across the board.