Archive for February, 2011

Tracking & Measuring ROI

Friday, February 25th, 2011

With today’s tougher competition, market volatility, and greater individual and team accountability, you must prove that your marketing efforts are getting the desired results. Virtually every dollar you spent on marketing today must be justified as both effective and efficient in terms of Return Of Marketing Investment (ROMI). This increasing accountability has forced marketers to develop various measurement approaches. But first of all, what to measure?

Generally, measurements should be taken to track the effectiveness of expenditure, including marketing program components and budgets; as well as the quantity and quality of customer response, reactions, and behaviors. The difficulty of measuring is that depending on the particular industry or business category, up to 70% of marketing expenditures may be devoted to programs and activities that cannot be linked to short-term incremental cash flow/profits, yet can be seen as improving brand equity. Therefore measuring the long-term impact on consumers is crucial for assessing ROMI.

Jonathan Knowles argues that “for marketers to secure a seat in a corporate management team, they must go beyond financial ROI measurement to address whether brands enable the business to generate superior returns over time. ” Some of his advice is listed below:

  1. To qualify a brand as an asset in financial terms, marketers need to measure it in terms of its ability to generate future cash flow.
  2. Marketers can create value only by changing customer behavior, because changes in attitude don’t generate cash flow.
  3. Marketers should measure brand equity in a way that captures the source and scale of the emotional component the brand adds to the functionality of the product.

With these things in mind, the objective of ROMI measurement is to dis-aggregate brand marketing and communication programs into a more granular format and structure that enables assessing the individual pieces and their relative contribution to raising overall entire brand equity and financial value, as well as their collective impact.

The ideal measurement system would provide complete, up-to-date, and relevant information on the brand and all its competitors, to the right decision makers at the right time within the organization. Crucial to designing a brand tracking, measuring, and managing system is to understand how brand equity gets created. Similar to the business value chain that provides managers the insight to generate and support business value, the brand value chain is a structured approach to assessing the sources and outcomes of brand equity by which the marketers create brand value (Model can be found at Page 3 of Brand value chain).

If you recall, FiG recently talked about brand auditing, which can be used to set the strategic direction for the brand. As a result of this strategic analysis, a marketing program can be put into place to maximize long-term brand equity. Tracking studies and measurements can then be conducted to provide marketers with current information as to how their brands are performing on the basis of a number of key dimensions identified by the brand audit.

Finally there is no final stage of measuring ROMI. The goal of optimizing marketing effectiveness can’t be achieved through one single measurement approach. Success depends on the on-going adjustments and integration of brand management, all based on a common understanding of the marketing process.

Brand Navigation

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Give your brand direction

We’ve discussed the reason for and directions of brand management recently, and this time we’d like to revisit the topic.  We were distracted by something shiny last time, Super Bowl Ads, but we’re ready to get back on topic.  Today FiG is offering some specific means to help companies vitalize brands.

Developing Brand Awareness

With long-existing brands consumers still recognize the brand but may think of it only occasionally.  Consumers overlook certain brands they represent their product with too narrow a function; Gatorade used to be for replenishing yourself during exercise, now they market three separate products for pre, during, and post exercise. Two main ways to expand brand awareness are either to increase use of a brand or find new ways to broaden uses of a brand. Or both! (what Gatorade did)

  1. Increased Use: It is often recognized as the safest and easiest way to create new sources of brand equity, because it doesn’t require changes in brand image or positioning strategy. Let’s imagine FiG as a new juice brand, To increase the usage of the juice, FiG can either increase the amount of use (how much consumers use it)-Change FiG juice’s bottle from 500 ml to 700 ml; or increase the frequency of use (how often consumers use it)-Having a campaign to Drink FiG all the time: Drink it when you get up in the morning, after meals, during a workout, ect… (wow, that’ll make you regular). Some tips for a brand to increase the frequency of a brand’s use are
  • 1) improve top-of mind awareness-Link your product with a benefit, “Helping children get clean water”–Ethos Water
  • 2)tie into the culture of holidays, seasons, sports, and other events–Coca-Cola =X-Mas, just ask the polar bears or Santa himself
  • 3)illustrating better performance than the old model or your competitors
  • 4)making the product easier to use-like “Fun size” packaging

2.  New Ways to Use:  Companies can run new ad campaigns or merchandising approaches to promote the new usage. For example, a coffee filter company that wanted to sell more filters could run ads touting it as an item to polish shoes and windows, no really it was in a Cornell study. Companies can also use PR to educate consumers about new uses. Real Simple Magazine demonstrated 6 new ways to use toothpaste last year. Furthermore, companies can expand usage by researching current customer segments. Comparing loyal and heavy users with less loyal and light users usually provides insights into potential opportunities for further growth.

Strengthen Brand Image

Sometimes, revitalizing a brand requires more than just developing brand awareness. Marketers may need to create new marketing initiatives to improve brand image, which may include repositioning and brand element changes.

  1. Repositioning: One way to understand the repositioning approach is to consider it simply as a reminder for consumers of the virtues of your brand that they now to take for granted. Recall how Apple refreshed your awareness of reliability, counter-culture, ease of use, and being young and cool by running the Mac vs. PC ads. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes ran a successful ad campaign with the slogan “Try Them Again for the First Time”. In these successful cases, marketers used a “look at it again strategy” to connect consumers with these heritage brands.
  2. Brand Elements: Brand elements are those trademark-able devices that serve to identify and differentiate the brand, such as brand names, logos, symbols, spokespeople, tag-lines, packages, and so on. Some of them are easier to change, and they can be slowly modified and updated over time. Sometimes a brand needs a more immediate overhaul, in these situations serious consideration should be taken.  These changes should involve tons of market research and solid reasoning. Packaging is typical an easy type of element to change (“New look same great taste”). Brand names and logos are usually the ones which marketers need to take great care to preserve the most salient aspects of. If you remember, Coca-Cola tried to change itself with New Coke, which cost the company a lot of consumer loyalty. Recently, GAP had to get rid of its new logo due to the massive negative marketing responses, remember if you reduce the quality of your products to cut costs you can’t hold your old logo responsible for decreased sales. Right now Starbucks is under the spotlight for a series of changes, including products, price structure, logos- or I should say “Brand”. Whether you agree with this move or not, you have to admit it takes courage to change a brand. Just look before you leap! However, these examples don’t mean brand elements are too risky to change. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken abbreviated its name to the initials KFC in an attempt to convey a healthier image. And FiG has helped Amazing Moves successfully update its brand that conveyed the essence of their business while remaining recognizable to their existing clients.

After our three week discussion of brand management we hope you find something valuable to examine about your brand and some thoughts on whether you should and look into refreshing your brand equity. If your brand needs navigation, you know where to find FiG.

A great quote from Kevin Keller:

  • “Brands are like ships. A brand heading in the right direction absorbs a lot of mishandling before it stops dead in the water, or goes off course. A brand heading south takes effort and time to turn around. Think through all of the similarities and you’ll soon find yourself wondering why brands aren’t staffed like ships. True, most brands have a captain, several admirals, and assorted crew to run the engines and polish the brass. But all too few brands have a navigator whose job is to keep the ship on course towards a destination that is far over the horizon. “

Fight to Win MMA Events

Friday, February 18th, 2011


FiG Advertising and Marketing has successfully marketed several events from Fight to Win, including MMA.  Not only using radio and TV to sell tickets and fill venues but also to help companies reach their audience by sponsoring these MMA events.  If you want to advertise at a Fight to Win event get in touch with us to get a copy of the Media Kit.

Post Super Bowl Ad Post

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Why did FiG wait so long to discuss the Super Bowl commercials?

Well, we were trying to be considerate and wait until you were sober.  Now quit asking so many questions!

It’s no wonder that you’re able to find Super Bowl marketing/ad/commercial posts everywhere online. If you want to watch all of them, go here. But right now FiG offers you another angle to assess the ads, from a social effect point of view.

I guess we don’t need to re-iterate the advantages of putting a commercial up there during the Super Bowl, so long as you can afford it of course. This year’s was only the largest television audience in history with 111 million viewers.  But still, I would share a quote from John Rash, Senior Vice President and Director of Media Negotiations with Campbell Mithun, a media buying firm based in Minneapolis: “The Super Bowl is one of the few, if only, times of the year that viewers anticipate, look forward to and pay complete attention to commercials. It’s a one day reprieve from the challenges faced by broadcasters and advertisers.”

FiG’s thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl commercials:

  • Major Competition: This year there were over 30 brands (from Teleflora to PepsiMax to Kia to Groupon) the full list was longer than any single company would normally identify as its “major competitors.”
  • Super Bowl of Money: According to CNNMoney, the 2010 super bowl ads cost “a record $2.6 million for a 30-second spot”. Add that to the approximately 1 million dollars it takes to produce the ad. That is a tremendous amount of money to have to recoup with sales.
  • Real-Time Assessment: The reality of Marketing is that even though there is a high sense of immediacy and “real-timeness”, successful campaigns actually play out over time.
  • “Social Bowl” Effect: According to Advertising Age, two-thirds of viewers ages 18-34 would be using a smartphone during the game, putting overall buzz and social sharing at an all-time high. Although there were many voices saying “How the commercials aren’t good anymore”, they talked about it on twitter, they re-watched it on Youtube, and shared on Facebook. This was exactly what these companies were expecting!  They’ve counted views on YouTube. They asked their interns about what Twitter had to say. Their PR firms have been watching the Google Alerts roll in.

-But how long will all these last?

You may already think FiG’s late talking about it, and it’s only two days after the game!

-How many commercials do you still remember?

Maybe you already stopped talking about it, maybe you stopped talking about it yesterday. Maybe…

-Do you remember the Groupon’s Tibet commercial because you feel it was intentionally offensive?

FiG’s word of warning:  Marketers should never forget that what seems funny to them may not seem funny to other people.

-Were you disappointed about the VW Darth Vader ad, as it was “leaked” before the Super Bowl?

The truth is the idea of leaking VW’s ad a week before on its website, actually paid off and the ad went viral, gaining about 12 million views by Sunday.  By allowing momentum to build, the Volkswagen commercial became the most talked about ad on Twitter, beloved by fans and followers well before kick-off.

The Super Bowl brings in the broadest possible audience of any TV event, but the broadcast isn’t the end of a commercial. A smart social media message keeps some ads alive longer than others. Creating a strong feeling or emotion will stay with people far longer than the end of the game. And… if you really don’t like the commercials, then take your bathroom breaks more strategically.