Why do so many in our business see brand advertising as mutually exclusive to sales-measured marketing? Peter Drucker certainly wouldn’t. His writing on the subject is clear. The purpose of marketing is to create customers. Full stop.
Why then do we so often find ourselves tiptoeing around, afraid of offending folks doing “branding” when we want to talk about measuring sales outcomes on a brand-advertising channel like TV? Because, as we well know, for many in the world of brand advertising, the idea of being held accountable for provable sales ROI is sacrilegious. To them, making brand advertising accountable for sales is to demean it as a direct-response technique.
There isn’t a question that all advertising is now becoming accountable at the sales-response level, even TV. There is a long list of companies doing that today, from Nielsen, with ITS NCS and NBI products to TiVo’s TRA, to Comscore/Rentrak to Neustar’s Marketshare Partners to Oracle’s Marketing Cloud to Marketing Evolution to Analytic Partners -- and many, many more. Since this is now happening everywhere, does the growing focus on sales outcomes necessarily have to create tension with marketers looking to run advertising that helps them grow their brand?
It does not. For some marketers, it’s just a question of the time horizon in which they expect the sales payoff to occur. It might be over a matter of years, not just a matter of days and weeks. That is how the CMO of one of the world’s largest packaged goods companies told me that he views the ROI of his “brand” advertising.
At the very least, it should mean that everyone in a brand-advertising exercise understands the ultimate goal of their work: to create customers. As a fellow marketing-technology entrepreneur tweeted on the subject earlier today, it’s about “branding with a purpose.” I really like thinking about it that way, because it’s hard to imagine a truly appropriate goal for a branding exercise that is focused on anything but driving a sales-outcome purpose. Can you?