Get Ready for a Major Marketing Transformation in 2017

January 24, 2017

By Catharine Hays and Mitchell Reichgut

It's time to stop placing marketing in a silo, where tactics are implemented in a way that is equivalent to setting up buckets into which advertisers drop dollars. New principles that help avoid this pitfall form the core thesis in the newly published Beyond Advertising: Creating Value Through All Customer Touchpoints, by the Wharton Future of Advertising Program. Digital, social, and mobile media have significantly disrupted the foundation of marketing and traditional models of advertising (i.e. recall, reach, and frequency). To innovate beyond traditional advertising, we must shift away from thinking that merely addresses the way we purchase, create, distribute, track, and evaluate our marketing efforts. Brands must think more holistically and include all value-creating touchpoints with their audience to redefine the "marketing mix."

Beyond Advertising includes research from 200 diverse perspectives and weaves a common theme about the scope, practice, and value of "advertising." Advertising should encompass every communication or point of interaction between a brand and an individual, including the orchestration of touchpoints beyond the traditional realm of advertising.

Consider a recent partnership between Pandora and Gatorade. The companies worked together to create three workout music stations – warm up, workout, cool down – all associated with the sports drink's "G series." Over the course of two months, the stations ran more than a half million ads. The target audience, teenagers, responded by listening to an average of over an hour of music per day, with 96 percent of all users accessing the stations on mobile devices. A collaboration like this makes sense because it provides memorable value, delivers with relevance and choice, and engages people in a way that makes sense for the brand's purpose.

As brands shift to evaluating campaign performance based on business outcomes instead of media outcomes, they are becoming more aware that consumers demand greater value and more relevance from the ads and brands they engage with. Let's face it – people dislike ads and find them annoying/intrusive. This is intuitive, and also well documented – ads annoy 64 percent of consumers according to a recent study. Brands are responding accordingly and becoming more creative in the ways they deliver value for customers. Today, it's becoming less about any individual ad unit and more about creating a holistic and individual experience across marketing tactics.

There are many more examples of companies that think beyond a siloed approach to marketing. Mobile devices and technologies like apps and beacons have all disrupted the way brands reach and engage their customers. New business models such as Snapchat, Airbnb, and Uber completely change the way people consume products and services.

Other brands are using more standard marketing tactics, but connecting them in unique, value-enhancing ways. For example, Icelandic Glacial bottled water employed new video ad technology that go beyond a siloed marketing approach.

When Icelandic Glacial challenged itself to raise brand awareness, it took a 360-degree approach, generating product interest by partnering with online and offline marketing experts.

Mobile video played a central role in the brand's initiative because of its increasing importance to customers. Research indicates that people spend over 25 percent of their daily average media time with mobile media. Online videos ads produce twice the message recall, ad likeability, and 1.75 times the brand recall compared to television views. Icelandic Glacial drove completed video views exclusively with a target audience interested in bottled beverages. The brand utilized opt-in value-exchange placements to unlock entertainment, points, and other digital content to target just the right audience. The Native ads appeared on leading editorial sites and people opted in to see the ads. This non-interruptive experience is perfect for mobile devices, and it fit the brand perfectly.

Additionally, Icelandic Glacial partnered with leading experiential marketing firm, and branded a double decker bus that traveled to Miami, New York, and Los Angeles to give away product. The company tied its experiential marketing initiative to PR via social media and communicated directly with fans to share promotional offers, bus location details, and product information. The brand invited people to learn more about its environmentally friendly practices on its website and social channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Icelandic also supplemented its digital and experiential elements with POS displays in key cities and other unique Out of Home activations. Although awareness was the leading KPI, product consideration was not far behind. Icelandic Glacial also distributed coupons to target audiences in specific geographies.

Results from the campaign were stellar. Sixty second videos achieved a completion rate of over 73 percent. Additionally, 99 percent of web visits during the campaign were unique, with each bus stop doubling the baseline digital traffic for that geography, and Facebook "likes" increased by 48 percent YoY. The campaign proved that a multi-pronged approach to generating awareness works best when each marketing touchpoint is integrated in an authentic way. Most importantly, all of this activity propelled sales during the campaign to increase by 25 percent.

We expect to see more brands connect their marketing touchpoints in holistic ways to provide on-going value. Brands are leveraging new forms of digital ads, experiential marketing, and technologies to provide new and more full ways to connect with consumers and strengthen loyalty. Bridging the gap between traditional and non-traditional marketing touchpoints will maximize campaign value for brands while benefitting more people.

Catharine Hays is executive director of The Wharton Future of Advertising Program and Mitchell Reichgut is CEO of Jun Group.


"Get Ready for a Major Marketing Transformation in 2017." Catharine Hays, Executive Director of The Wharton Future of Advertising Program; Mitchell Reichgut, CEO at Jun Group, January 2017.

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