Host Glenn Engler is a Fortune 500 industry figure and has worked in the marketing and communications world for more than 25 years. He focuses on perspectives on social media and digital marketing, that will help you gain insight into the unique opportunities and challenges facing marketers and thought leaders today.
Glenn: Hi and welcome to Market Edge. I’m your host Glenn Engler, CEO of Digital Influence Group. A full service digital market agency that helps companies unlock the social potential of their brands and amplify its impact to drive results.
Today I’ll be talking about paid, owned and earned media with Randall Beard, the Global Head of Advertiser Solutions for the Nielsen company – a Global leader in media, marketing and consumer information.
Randall is an award winning marketing executive, speaker and author with more than 25 years of global experience across consumer package goods, financial services and high-touch service brands, including Procter and Gamble, American Express and UBS.
It’s great to have you on Market Edge Randall, welcome.
Randall: Hey Glen, thanks very much.
Glenn: So let’s start if you can describe and share a little bit for the listeners what your role is as Global Head of Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.
Randall: Sure Glen thanks. As you said, I’m the Global Head of Advertiser solutions at Nielsen. If you think about Nielsen simplistically, we measure what people watch and what people buy. And what Advertiser Solutions does is bring those things together on behalf of clients, be they advertisers or media companies to help them optimize their advertising and media return on investment.
Glenn: So you joined Nielsen in 2009 and before that you were on the marking side with a number of world class leading brands like P&G, American Express and UBS. What inspired you to shift from the brand marketing side to working in Advertising Solutions at Nielsen?
Randall: It’s a great question. I actually never thought about working on the other side of the table if you will. A recruiter called me and when she started talking about the opportunity at Nielsen and what the company was trying to do in bringing what people watch and what people buy together to deliver much more advanced and proven analytics for clients around advertising effectiveness, I started getting excited.
It’s a really exciting space to be in because I think right now there’s more change happening at any time that I can think of since the invention of brand management or TV advertising. It’s just a really interesting space to be in right now.
Glenn: So you have the luxury of getting to work with a number of CMOs across a variety of industries and media heads. What are some of the biggest challenges they share with you?
Randall: Yes, when I came to Nielsen a couple of years ago we partnered with one of the major consulting firms and went out and interviewed a large number of c-suite executives at major advertisers, agencies, media companies, and even some technology disruption companies and we asked them a really simple question, Glen, we said: what are your biggest pain points in the advertising and media effectiveness space?
There are about ten common themes that we heard but there were three that bubbled up to the surface as being the most important for them.
And the three were, number one: how do I figure out how much I need to spend next year? I have a business plan, I have a revenue target, a profit target but figuring out how much I really need to spend on marketing communications is still really hard, right?
Second is: how do I allocate that spending? If I know how much I need to spend, how do I allocate it? That is becoming more and more difficult as media fragments. It’s more complicated than simply, how much in TV, how much in digital and how much in print? Within each of those mediums where do you put your money and then there are all kinds of new things like earned and owned media as well.
Then the last pain point is everybody now wants to understand how their advertising in media is working in real time. So they can sense what’s happening and they can respond to that by optimizing inflight as opposed to waiting until after the fact.
I’ll tell you a little story, when I was in Japan years ago, working at P&G, we launched Charmin in Korea. We launched into the market and initially the first couple of months were pretty good in terms of sales and market share, but things started going a little slower after that.
By the time we got our tracking results and modeling results in month six to month twelve– it was too late. Whatever problems we had, it was too late, because we had already spent almost all of our money launching the product. That’s no longer good enough. What people want to know is within days or a week is how am I doing, what can I do about it, and how do I optimize inflight?
Glenn: Wow, so, how much should I spend next year, how do I allocate it and then how does it work real time? So give a sneak peak for the listeners some of the solutions and products your group delivers on behalf of or with your clients.
Randall: One of the things we hear from clients, beyond the three pain points is people are looking for an end-to-end measurement system for advertising and media that’s common across platforms. So first let me explain what I mean by end-to-end.
Traditionally when people think about advertising effectiveness they think of brand tracking or what’s the sales impact of the advertising, what’s the return on the investment. What we’ve done is we’ve created an end-to-end model that includes but expands on those notions. We have a framework we call the Three “R’s,” Reach, Resonance and Reaction.
Let me start with Reach. When we think about reach the first question is, who are the consumers who are most responsive to my advertising? There are tools now to identify those consumers who are most likely or have in the past responded best to your advertising. Then importantly, where do I reach them? What TV do they watch, what do they do online, and how do I build a media plan around that.?
So if you’ve figured out who the most responsive consumers are and how to reach them, the second question is, are you actually reaching them in the market? In TV that’s something that’s been done pretty well over the years but in digital there’s a lot to be desired. So how do you know that you’re actually reaching the desired target you want to reach, and we can now measure that on a daily basis, not only for a campaign in total but by individual website, to drive accountability and optimization opportunities. So all of that is reach.
So let’s say you’re reaching the right people. The second question is, are your ads breaking through, do people know the advertising is about your brand and is your advertising changing consumer’s attitudes and opinions about your brand so they’re more likely to buy? We call that resonance. Again, the news in this space is you can now measure this in real time. And you can make decisions in-flight to optimize how you get better results.
And then the last R is reaction. And reaction is, is the advertising driving behavioral change? Usually, that’s sales but it could be is the advertising driving people to go to your Facebook fan page or search for your brand. Or other desirable behaviors like that.
Glenn: It’s interesting; I’d heard that, I love the phrase reaction because in the past everyone would talk about optimization. Which sounds like a very mechanical, let’s start all over again. And your answers in the last couple have really been about real time, urgency and immediate, things like in flight just has to completely transform not only the marketing but from your stand point the measuring systems.
Randall: Yeah, absolutely, and I’ll give you a simple example. We measure every TV ad in every show, every day in the U.S. across about 70% of the audience. So we have about a million TV ads in our data base over the last 7 years.
So as we measure every TV ad in every show, every day we’re reporting to clients, typically on a weekly basis how their ad is performing. And importantly it’s not just how their ad is performing overall but how much of their performance is due to the quality of the creative, how much is due to media weight, how much is due to programming and how much is due to placement. And by disaggregating the performance into those areas you can actually make decisions in those areas to improve your performance.
So here’s an example, a typical engagement might look like this: A client may put a new advertising campaign on the air. Week two we come in and say, you’re running two ads, A and B. A is performing really well it’s well above norm. B is below norm. Even when we factor everything else out A is much better than B. Take B off the air and reallocate your weight to A.
Two weeks later we might walk in and say, your overall break through is trending up because you’ve moved your weight to your best ad, but brand linkage is a little soft. So in other words, the percentage of people who remember the ad, who know it’s for your brand is soft, so why don’t you work on editing the spot to improve branding. So the brand group and the agency might do that over the weekend, they put it back on air.
Two weeks later we walk in and say, ok, you’re break through is going up, your branding is now better, what we’re now seeing is that your ads are performing better in sitcoms than reality shows. But you have 30% of your weight in reality shows. Look at whether you can reallocate some of your media weight to the other show that performs better.
And lastly, maybe two weeks later we walk in and say, hey you’re running 15’s and 30’s, the 15’s are performing just as well as the 30’s — why don’t you move out of the 30’s altogether and move into 15’s, which is a more efficient use of your media dollars.
So, those are the kinds of things we work with clients on and those are examples of what real time optimization might look like.
Glenn: That’s amazing. Gone are the days of, to your point, every three months let’s huddle in a conference room and share the brand reports. You’re sitting there, literally, as you mentioned with the CMO with the media agency, with the creative agency, obviously an integral part of that leadership team.
Randall: Yeah, and I think what you’re going to see is an even more extreme versions of this in the future.
For example, today there are firms that will optimize digital advertising based on click through rates and so forth in a very highly automated way, where there’s not even a finger print from the client on it. It’s all being done on an automated basis.
Now that’s interesting for direct marketers but I think what’s equally interesting is very soon you will see the same capability in digital based on branding metrics, as well. So imagine you’re running a digital campaign and you’re doing constant polling to measure the general recall, the branding, the messaging and all those metrics by individual creative unit by individual websites and then that data is being fed back into the placement of new ads, so you’re figuring out which sites are working best and it’s completely automated, so the system is actually moving inventory around and placing your ads in the places they are working best.
That’s pretty much right in front of us, that’s going to be happening. TV it’s a little harder because the backend systems to do those kinds of things aren’t as sophisticated as digital.