The following post first appeared as “Paid, Owned and Earned Media with Randall Beard” on Market Edge on Webmaster Radio FM. This is Part 2 of a 3 part series. Part 1 covered Advertisers biggest pain points, end-to-end advertising measurement, and real time optimization.
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: Thanks, Glenn.
Glen: So it’s early February, I know you’re a Giants fan and I’m a Pat’s fan so we won’t talk about the game, but advertisers spent an average of $3.5 million or so for 30 second spots, and I know many this year there were 60 or more spots during the Super Bowl.
More and more the ads are integrating social in, whether it’s a twitter hashtag , an online channel or some drive to. How do you see that integration of social media impact the way brands are thinking about using traditional television spots?
Randall: Yeah, it’s a great question and there are a lot of interesting things happening in that space. First of all, let me just comment on the Super Bowl because we do measure a lot of things in the Super Bowl and I’ll share three things with you that I think are pretty interesting.
Number one, If you look at the audience at the Super Bowl, it starts out at the beginning of the game and the audience just grows gradually across the first, second quarter, half-time, third and fourth quarter and then peaks pretty much right at the end of the game. That’s when the audience is largest.
If you look at TV ad effectiveness, it actually declines throughout the game. The TV ads in the first quarter, on average are the most effective and they become less effective in the second quarter, less effective in the third quarter and they’re least effective in the fourth quarter.
I was on MSNBC and they asked me about this and I said, I think part of it is people are very hyped up and looking for the new ads because people watch the Super Bowl just as much for the ads as they do for the football. The other thing is the Super Bowl is a social event and people are standing around drinking so it’s harder to remember things later.
The third point, and it relates to social, is if you look at buzz, if you look at online buzz it’s fairly flat in the first couple of quarters and then there is this huge spike during half-time and then it comes back down again in the third and fourth quarter.
So one of the very simply things we said to our clients is, look, if you’re going to build a program around both paid advertising in the Super Bowl plus social, you want to be advertising in the first two quarters and driving people to talk about your brand at half-time. Because naturally when we look at the dynamics in the game that’s when ads work the best in the first half of the game and people do a lot of the online conversation, socially during half-time.
And yet we had clients that had been traditionally been advertising in the third or fourth quarter and tried to drive conversations. So that’s a really simple example. I have some other examples but I’ll stop and see if you have any thoughts.
Glen: No, share them all. This is great stuff. People love hearing these.
Randall: So another example is, we have a partnership with Facebook and we’ve done a lot of work with Facebook to understand the impact of social on paid advertising.
One very simple example is when brands advertise on Facebook they can just run a standard ad, so when you’re on Facebook, over on the side you might see an ad for Virgin America. You can also buy a version of that same ad, which is Virgin America, but below it, it might say, Alex K, Randall Beard, and three other of your friends like Virgin America.
If you just look at the performance of those two ads, side by side, where the only difference is one ad underneath says these friends of yours like this brand we can see that the ad with the social layer to it performs significantly better than the one without social. Which makes sense, right, because we all trust our friends and family and people we know.
So, I think what you’re going to start to see is more and more examples of where social and paid come together in that way.
The last example I’ll give you is a lot of times when we’ve look at paid advertising metrics, historically, we might look at two ads and say they perform pretty much the same.
Now, what’s really interesting is at Nielsen we have a panel that can not only look at what people watch on TV, but with their permission, we can also look at what they do online. And so we’re able to look at people who have seen an ad and what percentage of those people talk about the brand online, search for the brand, and go to the (brands) Facebook fan page, those kinds of things.
Very interesting, in some cases you will see two ads that perform exactly the same on TV metrics and yet one of them will drive much more desirable social behavior online than the other ad. So I think what you’re going to start to see is more and more clients, more advertisers, figure out how do I use paid advertising to drive earned media and social, and how does earned media and social reinforce and also improve the performance of paid advertising?
Figuring out that dynamic I think is going to be a really important challenge for marketers over the next few years.
Glen: And how do you start to see the whole concept of social search, if you will, impacting that customer process?
Randall: I think first of all, all the research to the point we’ve just been talking about shows that people trust friends and family members recommendations about brands more than they trust any other kind of advertising or marketing for that matter.
So I have to believe as social comes to search you’re going to see the same thing. You’re going to see that search behavior is going to differ and change based on whether or not people see that social layer and how that influences what they do.
Glen: Yeah I think that’s right. So the phrase of the year seems to be “big data”. And if there is a place that has a point of view and experience with “big data” I’ve got to believe it’s your would at Nielsen.
You had a recent blog post called “driving higher ROIs without big data” and a really interesting point-of-view where you talked about how CMO’s now have this explosion and wealth of data at their fingertips, yet because the explosion of data is so overwhelming they feel they can’t adequately, necessarily, measure ROI on their initiatives.
Talk a little bit about the three concepts you recommended using to simplify this assess the ROI. You mentioned the reach, resonance and reaction but talk a little about the forces that are facing the CMOs.
Randall: So earlier on, as you said, I talked about having an end-to-end measurement framework across reach, resonance and reaction.
A really simple way I think about this is, reaction is the outcome but it’s a function of reach and resonance. It’s almost like reach times resonance gives you reaction, so you really have to understand all three.
I think one of the disservices the research and analytics industry has done is to create all these different metrics that are different across platforms because it just increases complexity and makes it really hard to do an apples to apples comparison.
What I hear again and again from CMOs and heads of media and heads of research is comparability, “I want comparability across platforms so I can do an apples to apples comparison.”
I’ll give you an example: historically the way people have measured earned media or buzz online is just volume. So there were 20 million impressions, buzz about your brand. You look at that and you say some may be positive and some may be negative. You look at that and you say, what does that mean? Is that twenty million people each saw one impression or is that one person saw twenty million impressions?
For me it’s a much more effective way to think about that buzz volume if you translate it in to reach. So we can look at TV reach and say “your TV reach among your target consumer group was 83%. Your digital media reach was 23%. If you look at the buzz reach and it’s 1%, then it’s probably not that important, right? Or if your buzz reach is 50%, it’s probably pretty important.”
And so bring the metrics in line across the platforms: TV, digital print, mobile, earn media as well as owned media, right? Comparability of metrics is one of the best things we can do to simplify this kind of big data phenomenon. Because what’s happening is big data is overwhelming people, particularly, when you’ve got a multiplicity of different metrics by platform.
Glen: And add to that, what’s the average tenure for a CMO? Are we down to 20 months or something like that? There’s even more stuff going on, so I love the concept of comparability, that’s huge.
Randall: Comparability doesn’t mean you can’t also have some unique measurements across platforms, because there are some differences. But I think at the core of it you need comparability.
Next in Part 3: Retail, Mobile, QR Codes and more