Commentary

Beyond Short-Term Sales: Building Brand Equity In Search



MMM ... good! Oh, wait, not that.

We were hearing about how marketing mix modeling (that MMM) builds brand equity in search and Trevor Hettesheimer, Manager, KPI, Analytics, Search, and Planning, Volvo Cars, was on the stage.

Volvo's MMM datasets include more than 100 independent variables, including fuel prices, the stock market, the unemployment rate, weather, pricing, discounting, inventory supplies, PR, ad spend, and the consumer confidence index. All of it forecasts future scenarios.

"Knowing the predicted risks of sales targets," he said, "one can optimize the ad mix to mitigate risk within the planned budget." It has its limitations, however.

Few at Volvo, he said, can explain MMM. A few years ago, one executive there called it smoke and mirrors. After Hettesheimer proved the accuracy of the performance by using a scorecard to track predictions against results, now the discussion has gone to ... it's magic!

MMM can tell you how much to spend in each channel, he said. What to invest but not why or where. It needs to be updated over time.

"MMM biases need to be taken into account when building media plans. Data Driven Attribution ensures choosing keywords that have better consumer engagement  on site to move consumers toward purchase." 

MMM measures the "halo effect" of channels and nameplates working together. "The key is to know which channels. and nameplates give consumers the impulse to type Volvo into search bar.

"Brand building is a long play. MMM will never recommend investing dollars into a pure brand campaign. 

"Search is becoming a full-funnel activity. Your search team should work closely with your other teams, display, video, planning, etc. so that insights can be shared between channels to accelerate the pace of improvement and optimizations. 

"Think about search but also how can it be used as a tactic with other media channels to get people to think about your brand and have more corn to harvest when people are in the market."

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