The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
Direct marketers have long known something that brand marketers haven’t: responsiveness counts. And not much else.
Brand marketers have long focused on targeting their advertising to consumers based on various demographic and psychographic characteristics. Women 25-34, Male beer drinkers 21+, Early Adopters, and so on.
Increasingly though, targeting and media buys will move away from this kind of targeting to what I call “response based targeting” – even among brand marketers. Response based targeting is just that: targeting consumers who are proven to be most responsive to your advertising, regardless of what they look like.
How does it work? For starters, let’s assume that your brand historically targeted Women 25-34 years old. Naturally, your media plan targeted this group too, maximizing reach at 80% using traditional TV.
Along comes single-source. Long hailed as the “holy grail” of advertising, single source matches individual household viewing behavior with the same households buying behavior. Several firms now offer this capability in the consumer packaged goods sector, and it’s likely to come to other categories in the not too distant future.
What now? Using single source, you can analyze historical data to identify households with similar purchase behavior prior to your advertising campaign. Then, households are divided into exposed versus non-exposed households and, using smart statistics, identify the single variable sales impact of your advertising.
Voila…your campaign built sales +8% among those exposed versus not exposed to your brand’s advertising! But that’s just the beginning–here comes the interesting part.
The sales responsive households can be grouped into most to least sales response. And brand marketers can then look at the most responsive households and ask some interesting questions like:
- What do these households look like?
- Are they truly women 25-34?
- What did these households watch?
- How did their media consumption differ from the original plan?
The answers could surprise you. What if the most responsive consumers were actually women 45+? What if they turned out to have very different media consumption that what your original plan focused on? What indeed.
The answer is simple. You would target based on sales response. You’d plan and buy your media on a different demographic with different media consumption profiles. In short, you’d reverse engineer your targeting, starting with sales responsiveness and then working backward to your optimal consumer target.
I know all this might sound counter-intuitive and backwards. But it’s already done all the time by direct response marketers. Isn’t it time that brand marketers start to think this way too?
Contributed to BSI by: Randall Beard
Sponsored By: Brand Aid