Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE
Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE

You know something is going wrong when marketers believe they are delivering integrated campaigns, yet consumers are not seeing it that way. In Kantar Millward Brown’s recently released “AdReaction: The art of integration” it was reported that while 89% of marketers surveyed believed their campaigns are well integrated across channels, just 58% of consumers agreed – a fact that severely hampers brand effectiveness.

The AdReaction study examines multichannel advertising campaigns on a global scale and provides a benchmark for marketers to ensure they’re making the best use of the plethora of platforms available to them by producing advertising campaigns that are consistent and effective in the eyes of consumers.

The big take-out: Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction 2018 study reveals that marketers and consumers have different ideas about what integrated content consists of. This means that marketers are missing the mark when it comes to navigating all the media platforms at their disposal, minimising brand impact. 

Bear in mind, this is a landscape where consumers are presented with advertising campaigns coming at them from a multitude of platforms. At the same time, marketers are trying their best to get to grips with how to make optimal use of the channels available to them to reach consumers. Add to this, the study reveals that there is disconnect between the way marketers and consumers define a successful campaign, says Duncan Southgate, global brand director: media and digital at Kantar Millward Brown.

To create campaigns that are more integrated from a consumer perspective, the AdReaction study has produced a number of guidelines. These include the inclusion of cues – the more, the better. For example, consumers expect consistent cues, such as logos and slogans, across platforms. Moreover, brand impact is intensified when there are characters or personalities that can be associated with brand on an ongoing basis. Another guideline is that certain platforms work particularly well with others; such as TV and outdoor, or TV and Facebook.

The big idea has not lost its importance as the central player in every campaign, across every platform. According to AdReaction, the idea is the most important element of the campaign and plays the role of connector across all content and platforms. Campaigns with a strong central idea to act as a cue for the brand across platforms perform substantially better than those that do not have it.

When it comes to producing an ad campaign that is truly integrated and will resonate with consumers, every execution must stand out. As the study states, “unless spend is skewed towards one execution, every piece of content matters and contributes to the overall success and brand building”.

It’s important for marketers to understand the value each channel brings to their brand and to invest only in those that are relevant. Each channel must deliver in terms of impact and cost. The study cautions, for example, that while online ads can extend reach, consumers react more positively to traditional media platforms and are more likely to recall negative online experiences.

Finally – as always, the one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work when planning a multichannel campaign, and content must be customised to fit the platform. Think flexible content that can be adapted, but with a very visible golden thread pulling the campaign.

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