A couple weeks ago at the DMA &Then conference in New Orleans, we gave a sneak preview of our annual report on Marketing Truth and Marketing Hype. Beckon co-founder Jennifer Zeszut took the stage with marketing leaders from Bayer, Campbell’s and Scotts Miracle-Gro—all Beckon customers.
The report always makes for great talking points. It leverages the $20 billion in aggregated spend and performance data in the Beckon system to determine which marketing trends really produce results and which are mostly hot air.
Beckon co-founder Jennifer Zeszut presented the report findings, including a few surprises, some big success stories, and data-driven recommendations for how brands should navigate the trends. The brand leaders weighed in with stories from the front-lines.
If you weren’t with us in New Orleans, here are some of the highlights:
- Media pacing is a big issue.
- Media spend and impressions are, on average, within 1% of plan by the end of a campaign. But in any given week, the delivered impressions can be off by as much as 90% vs. plan.
- Jeff Rasp, Director of Digital at Bayer, weighed in: “When you’re making those media buys, your expectation is that there’s a balanced approach that you’re using to to achieve the objective. So, it’s concerning. The big thing we identified were these incredible spikes where we’re blowing through an incredible amount of [media] inventory in a day or a week. And for Bayer, we have seasonal brands and want a balanced approach across campaigns.”
- It’s time to change the way we think about content.
- Beckon data shows that brands are seeing 15% better engagement by producing two-thirds less content!
- Marci Raible, VP Global Media and Marketing Services for Campbell’s, shared how they’re thinking about content marketing: “When you think about the media spending you’re putting behind it for amplification, how much does that weight actually warrant? And as technology gets better, you no longer have to produce a unique asset for every message that you put out there. You can really develop a shell and tailor pieces of it to audiences so that you don’t have to produce five pieces—you can produce one piece to drive performance. I think it just continues to showcase why we need to measure and have a tool in place to actually look at it on a regular basis and see what’s working and was it worth the expense.”
- On the subject of media viewability, perspectives were mixed.
- Beckon data shows only 54% of impressions are “viewable.” but only 8.5% of brands are tracking it.
- Jeff Rasp of Bayer, had some recommendations for how marketers can improve their viewability numbers: “Have an aggregate platform that allows you to bring in [viewability] data from anything, structured in a way that’s meaningful. We now have it, my media agency has it, and there’s accountability to that viewability number in real time.”
- Conrad Bowman, Digital Analytics Manager at Scotts Miracle-Gro, said his company’s thinking on viewability is evolving: “We have some minimum thresholds for viewability that we put into all of our contracts. But as we shift to more direct-response advertising, especially in digital channels, conversion is really all that matters and [viewability] is starting to become a secondary metric. We care about it from our brand reputation perspective and a contractual perspective, but over the last few years it’s shifted in priority within our optimization mix.
- Agile marketing was a unanimous priority.
- Data shows brands that invest in agile measurement and spend optimization experience a 12.7% lift in MROI.
- Marci Raible of Campbell’s noted, “Agile definitely is the buzzword, and I think it’s what we’re striving for across all channels. Setting the KPIs correctly at the beginning is clearly important. You need to know what you’re optimizing against, that what you’re optimizing against actually matters. Then, make sure you’ve got KPIs that evaluate across channels as well.”