A new report from Kantar Millward Brown reveals a disconnect between how marketers and consumers perceive campaign success.
The report, "Ad Reaction: The Art of Integration," finds that most marketers believe their respective campaigns successfully fit together, but just over half of consumers agree.
There is also an oversaturated ad market, according to intended targets. More than eight in 10 (81%) consumers around the world say they are seeing more ads than they did three years ago, and 69% of them believe these ads are more intrusive.
“Consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles, while marketers struggle to make the most of ad formats and channels to best reach consumers," stated Duncan Southgate, global brand director, media and digital, Kantar Millward Brown.
The research identifies what KMB describes as several guiding principles for brands to deliver effective, multifaceted advertising that will be well understood across channels by consumers.
For one, integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands, yet just one in four of the campaigns analyzed by the research firm were not well integrated. "The more cues used, the better," the report concludes. While basic connective elements like the same logo and slogan are no-brainers, the study shows that consistent characters or personalities are the individual cues that most help brand impact, often differentiating the best campaigns.
The report also finds that all channels benefit from synergies, but some channels work particularly well with each other. The strongest overall synergy combinations are between TV and Facebook and TV and outdoor.
The report also finds that effective campaigns need a strong central idea to act as connective tissue across all content. Campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand key performance indicators (an increase of 64%), especially brand image associations (up 91%).
In addition, unless media spend is skewed toward one execution, every piece of content matters and contributes to overall success and brand building. Moreover, with every piece of content reflecting upon the total execution, marketers need to choose channels wisely -- only using those that have a clear role in the campaign and in reaching the target audience.
It is also important to understand what each channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost. For example, online ads are cost-effective in extending TV reach and building brand metrics from awareness through to purchase intent, per the report. However, consumers’ attitudes are more positive toward traditional media than online advertising, and people are more likely to recall negative online targeting experiences than positive ones.
The research also suggests that there is a "sweet spot" between integration and customization. Three in 10 (29%) of the ads tested were integrated but not customized, while 26% of the ads were not sufficiently integrated. Kantar suggests that a strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.
When implemented these principles provide a better ROI, concludes KMB. The benefits of well integrated and customized ad campaigns boost campaign effectiveness by 57%, yet fewer than half (46%) of all campaigns tested met these guiding principles.
The study is based on quantitative research of more than 14,000 16- to-65-year-olds between August and November 2017 in 45 countries (at least 300 per country). Kantar then contrasted these results with the agency's September 2017 Getting Media Right study including views from over 300 marketers representing advertisers, agencies and media companies as well as analysis of KMB’s CrossMedia database among 223 campaigns that had been monitored during 2015-2017. The report can be accessed here.