Warc - Advertising Research 2012, 25 September, London Driving Intelligence in Brand Communication
Advertising Research 2012 will demonstrate the impact advertising research has in helping brands not only produce maximum ROI, but transform and evolve in today’s climate of economic uncertainty. This years conference has been designed around updates in our understanding of emotion and neuroscience, coupled with advances in digital measurement and exciting new methods of research. Chaired by Merry Baskin, the speaker line-up includes industry leaders from Vodafone, Movement Research, TripAdvisor and GfK plus case studies on Apple Inc. and Aviva.
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. Warc Ad Research 2012 preview: A defence of social ROI – An interview with Luca Benini, MD Europe of Buddy Media
Interview conducted 14/9/12 w/Joseph Clift (Web Producer, Warc) Where are marketers mainly going wrong in the measures of effectiveness they're using?
I would say that marketers are getting the concept of social wrong when they approach it as yet another marketing channel. I think that marketers that are truly understanding the value of social are the ones that understand that social is reinventing their marketing overall. It needs to be connected at the core of their marketing and at the core of their business objectives. The marketers that we talk to – and the marketers that find themselves with the best results out of social – are the ones that connect all of the pieces together throughout their marketing strategy and put social at the forefront of their thinking: when they approach a new product, a new market, a new positioning, or when they interact with their customers. Where are the best examples of valid measurement?
I think that when we talk about best case examples, we can go from a very high level of measurement, when we look at brand equity, brand awareness and brand favourability. We have a couple of examples of companies that are measuring [this], and they are really achieving great results on improving on [these metrics]. Companies such as Burberry or Ford, that completely transformed their businesses by embracing digital and, specifically, embracing social – and, by doing so, achieving tremendous results. Really impacting on their ROI. There are companies that use measurement to define the ROI of social where their investment is measured against their ability to drive traffic to their website. I have a killer statistic in my presentation that represents why social is so impactful – YouTube gets more traffic from Facebook than from Google. That's the one statistic to go back to when you want to understand how impactful social can be in driving traffic to your website – if it's eyeballs that you're looking for. When I close my presentation, I deep dive into a sales case study, where the impact that social sharing and social events have on the bottom line is measured: ultimately, are we selling more products, and, if so, thanks to what social activity – and how can we map it back to the initial social media event, and what can we benchmark it against? I think this is a great case study, we're going to look at some numbers coming out of a L'Oréal example where they have implemented a new social sharing technology into their site [with Buddy Media tech]. Thanks to that, we can map all the social activity back to a conversion, a sale. Can we measure the effectiveness of how we use social media for customer service?
This is a way in which companies and the marketers we talk to find a way to justify the investment made in social media internally. Because it's a very tangible way for them – if they can prove that they can save 10% in customer service costs, then that 10% represents immediately an ROI for them. The savvy marketers are those that are using this [customer service saving] to actually get the approval from the board, but are then implementing social media strategies that go well beyond customer service, in terms of the returns that they guarantee them. Does measurement difficulty actually benefit social media?
[NB: I put this question in the context of 2 carmakers: Ford, an advocate of Facebook marketing, and GM, which recently suggested it would cut back its Facebook investments] Specifically on GM, and their stance regarding Facebook, I think they were a bit too early in judging how Facebook was impacting their bottom line. My CEO, when he was interviewed on this very subject, replied: 'well, it's like saying TV doesn't work in the 1950's'. I think the analogy probably stands. I think how [social] is measured, how you can make that direct connection, we might not be there yet. We have some examples in my presentation that might convince some of the most sceptical people that this is working – and this is working wonders for the companies that do it right. But I think that, broadly speaking, social is measured against the results coming from search. And search, being a direct response channel, is very measurable. That's it's luck. And, obviously, it created a massive business for Google and everybody else who was working in that particular space. Compared to that, any type of marketing investment will look difficult to measure. If not with questionable results. But search is a very special case. You can't run a brand campaign through search.
Exactly. The problem is, we're talking about a whole different level here. People need to know about [a brand], people need to care about it, they need to engage with it, and the way that people now get to know brands now, what it stands for and if it is for them or not, is through the social channel. Because one of their friends is talking about it. One of their friends is telling a story about their relationship with that particular brand. And this is what is building a brand today.
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