Check in with us from time to time, see what we are thinking about, and who we are listening to as we search for new and better ways of doing business.
By Nick Stoltz, SVP, Strategy and Aaron Slotnick, Executive Director, MarketShare
When marketers talk about changing times for print media, it’s important to realize that not all print categories have fared the same in recent years.
That’s one of the key findings in MarketShare’s multi-year ongoing cross-industry analysis of advertising spend, focused on a $30 billion segment of North American client marketing budgets. The goal of that analysis is to get a clear picture of marketing trends amongst the world’s largest brands (the typical MarketShare client). The data have been both completely “blinded” and are reported in aggregate— which means researchers have no way to correlate information back to any single client, or to know the exact set of clients included in the analysis.
Recently, we narrowed in on the question of how print media budgets have fared over the past several years. To find out, we examined changes in average year-over-year spend for newspapers and magazines across the numerous clients included in our study, and compared them to the fluctuations we see in advertising spend overall. We looked at the years 2010 – 2013 (we haven’t used 2014 as the 2014 data set is still incomplete.)
What we found was surprising given typical narratives surrounding print media: newspapers and magazines seem to be taking very different paths. While spend patterns varied widely from client to client, on average newspaper spend shrank over the three years examined, while magazine spending has held strong. You can see that clearly from the following charts:
There are many possible reasons why print and newspaper spend patterns have diverged over recent years—and the specific, tactical reason will often vary from one brand to the next. However, one emerging theme is that, for many advertisers, newspapers—home to coupons, classified ads, circulars and the like— serve as a “lower funnel” or call to action medium. Magazines, by comparison, more often serve as broader awareness and branding vehicles (they’re glossy, in color and stay in the home far longer than daily newspapers do). Marketers may feel that data-rich digital media has offered a more effective substitute for direct response marketing efforts, and so have shifted much of their direct marketing spend out of newspapers in favor of online marketing media. By contrast, these marketers feel that magazines still “work” as an effective vehicle for awareness and brand-building, and have kept their existing magazine budgets largely intact.
Whatever the reason, it seems that many marketers don’t look at “print” as a unified medium—and are adjusting their spend patterns accordingly.
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The experts have spoken: the explosion of mobile advertising is upon us. Here are just a few of the predictions:
- Per eMarketer, “advertisers will spend $64.25 billion worldwide on mobile in 2015, an increase of nearly 60% over 2014. That figure will reach $158.55 billion by 2018, when mobile ads will account for 22.3% of all advertising spending worldwide.” [Emphasis added.]
- eMarketer forecasts that “Mobile’s share of worldwide digital advertising will surpass 50% in 2017.”
- As reported in Bloomberg, IPG’s Magna Global unit predicts that global digital ad spend will reach $163 billion—30% of total ad spend—next year. Within four years, Magna predicts digital advertising will reach 38% of global ad spend, putting it on par with television. Vincent Letang, Magna Global’s Executive Director for Global Forecasting, commented that: “if you do the math, almost all the growth is from mobile.”
- Bloomberg also notes that media research group ZenithOptimedia predicts that “mobile ad spending will increase by an average of 38 percent each year from 2014 to 2017.”
If mobile looms large in the digital future, then mobile ad measurement should loom large in the marketing analytics future. For many marketers, though, that’s easier said than done. Consider:
- Mobile is new, and it’s caught even some of the most best-known brands off guard. The IAB has found, for instance, that 17 of the 100 leading fashion brands do not have a mobile-optimized website. If they’re overlooking the basics, it’s unlikely they’re winning on sophisticated mobile measurement, either.
- Mobile is social, and social is hard to measure. A lot of mobile is social. Nielsen, for example, reports that “[a]pps make up the lion’s share of time spent using smartphones”—and that Americans are spending 28% of their app time on social media. But many marketers are unprepared for social measurement. The CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, for instance, found that “only 15% of marketers…can show the impact of social media using quantitative approaches.”
- Mobile is multiplatform The mobile media experience spans multiple browsers, and a large number of apps. None of these outlets inherently connect or share data with each other. That makes it hard to follow the customer journey across the full array of mobile touch points, and nearly impossible to track customers from mobile to desktop and back.
It’s not all bad news, of course. In fact, it’s mostly good. With mobile’s geotargeting, integration with the desktop Web, and proximity to offline and online points of sale, mobile is a true gold mine of marketing data.
As mobile takes an increasingly prominent place in the advertising mix, the key question for marketers is this: Can you mine the gold?
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As more companies move to embrace cross-channel marketing attribution, myths about what it can and can’t do keep hanging around—and holding marketing analytics programs back. If you want your analytics program to truly succeed, it’s worth putting these five myths aside today:
: Attribution is only a digital thing.
That was once true. But not now. That’s why the preferred term is “cross-channel” attribution instead of just digital attribution as in the past. If you measure only digital, you’re missing the bigger picture. Attribution needs to account for online, off-line and non-media factors (like what your competitors are doing, or even the weather).
Marketing Attribution and marketing mix modeling don’t play well together.
In fact, the two technologies are merging to form the future of advanced marketing analytics. As this happens, what Forrester Research calls “adaptive marketing” is replacing old planning and measurement processes, transforming how major brands deliver on marketing goals and connect with customers. As attribution and mix modeling tools are integrated, old campaign mindsets become obsolete and real time optimization becomes reality.
Marketing attribution can’t inform programmatic buying.
This, too, is changing. Top tier attribution technology can sync with media buying engines to help companies instantly adjust their media spending to match the analytical insights they generate.
Myth #4: Attribution is plagued by ad viewability, cookie stuffing, un-tracked media and other problems and isn’t worth the bother.
Reality: While these issues are real and pose problems for simpler systems, the most advanced attribution technology can filter results to count only what should be counted, and measure the true effectiveness of your marketing.
Attribution can’t measure longer term brand impacts.
As the technology evolves, the most advanced tools can now measure longer term brand impacts alongside shorter term, consumer level impacts. That’s significant since failing to account for brand can throw ROI calculations off by a bundle.
See our Forbes article on this topic for more myths and realities of cross-channel attribution.
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How confident do marketers feel in their marketing measurement? Based on a number of 2014 surveys, the answer seems to be: not very.
A useful place to start is a September study from Forrester Research(sponsored by marketing software Kenshoo). The study found that “only one in nine marketers use advanced attribution methods.” The marketers who are using attribution are also falling behind on best practices. “Among those using attribution,” the study press release explains, “28% still use single click methods.” That means last click attribution (and the like) is alive and well.
The study included a survey of 106 marketing professionals—spanning brands, agencies, and analytics team in the U.S. and Europe. In other words, a lack of good attribution seems to be a global problem—or at least cross-continental one—and a problem that runs the gamut of the marketing ecosystem.
Another study by Econsultancy (from May, in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud) looked at the global problem head-on.
First, the good news: for over two-thirds of worldwide respondents, integrating marketing activities was a primary goal.
But there’s a lot of frustrating news as well. Many marketers felt they had little good insight to work with: only 43% of the respondents—less than half—felt they had a strong enough grasp of the customer journey to pivot their marketing mix accordingly. It’s no surprise that a full 62% of respondents felt that their messaging, execution, and media did not align across touch points. Meanwhile, 35% of respondents felt that their organizations were “not really” prepared for cross-channel marketing—and only 7% of the respondents did feel truly prepared. (Read more on the study in eMarketer.)
Poor Attribution, Less Mobile
That lack of confidence isn’t just impacting decisions. It’s impacting marketers’ ability to push ahead on new channels. A good example comes from another Forrester report—this one interviewing 100 brand-side marketing decision-makers. According to the study, a full 93% of marketers interviewed would increase their cross-channel investments if they could get a better handle on mobile attribution. As it is, though, only 13% of the marketers felt confident in their cross-channel measurement—and only 18% felt confident in their ability to gauge mobile ROI. Less knowledge means less investment in critical channels.
The Value of Marketing
The lack of confidence is moving up the corporate ladder, too. This year’s CMO Survey from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the American Marketing Association, and McKinsey & Company finds that a full 62% of marketers feel pressure from their CEO’s and/or boards to prove the value of marketing. Marketer’s aren’t just facing a loss for the data that helps them manage their work; they’re at a loss for the data that helps them to prove their value.
There is a silver lining through all this. Marketers are aware of the problem they face, and they know where to find solutions. To cite just one example: the CMO Survey also finds that marketers expect to increase analytics spending by 73% over the next three years.
Here’s to great insights ahead.
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