Maxmising the media mix
With zero-based budgets and cost efficiency on everyone’s mind, there is a big focus on reactive, targeted media at the moment. A lot of people have been promoting its value, which for our part has included thought leadership on channels like programmatic advertising and time/geo-targeted SMS messaging.
These channels have a real place in the marketing mix but there is a subsequent trend emerging in the industry. Increasingly, brands are using hyper-targeted digital channels in place of tried and tested media. You will have no doubt seen Adidas in the news this month doing just that, with their CEO announcing an exclusively online approach to their marketing.
At Capture, we believe that there is real value to be found in the more innovative channels, but when used as an addition and not an alternative to traditional advertising. As far as the shopper is concerned, “retailer-owned” media remains fundamental, with third-party options fulfilling different objectives in most cases.
Since we’ve worked on over 4,000 campaigns in our time, we’ve looked at our evaluations database* to show the value that “retailer-owned” media offers and who does it best.
What do we mean by “retailer-owned” media?
We are talking the channels booked directly with the retailer or their appointed media centre. They sit separately to the cross-retail opportunities and include; Security Gates, Bollards, Trolley Bays, Radio, Car Park Banners and Fixture Media. Otherwise known as core media.
How does it measure up vs “new” media?
Campaign data shows that “new media” works well to drive sales during the test period. This is to be expected, with these channels often used to drive sales for a targeted group at a relevant time.
If you are sending a targeted SMS in proximity to store it makes sense to see immediate uplift for a product that’s of interest to the shopper. What is interesting, however, is that it is the “retailer-owned” media that wins when it comes to longer-term sales uplift. In other words, the impact continues 4-6 weeks post the live period.
That’s an uplift that is reflected in the long-term ROI, with “retailer-owned” channels delivering a return that is, on average, 52.4% higher than “new media” at a featured SKU level, and 39.7% higher at a brand level.
So, what’s going on?
“New channels” by their nature of happening in real time are instantaneous, and therefore attract a more impulsive purchase. This means they don’t provide the longevity or mass share of voice that their more traditional counterparts do.
Think about how many people pass a store entrance gate in the space of a week. Then think about the perceived endorsement and visual impact a co-branded front of store channel creates. It positions the product as one the retailer wants to be shouting about, appealing to the retailer’s audience not just the supposed brand / product audience.
Brands should keep this in mind, remembering the opportunity that “retailer-owned” channels present in growing your shopper base. Your source of growth is almost always bigger than your prime prospect, meaning broadcast channels aren’t something you should necessarily cut in a bid to reduce advertising wastage. We think the two work best when hand in hand. Driving audience efficiencies with the new channels that allow it, while using “retailer-owned” to build wider awareness and secure your product in shopper’s longer term consideration set. And of course, you can still drive efficiencies in this area.
Who does it best?
Compared to the rest of the market, our database puts Asda top across a whole host of metrics.
- Across the board, Asda owned media is on average 25% more cost effective than the total market
- Asda Fixture Media is 9.7 percentage points more effective at driving featured SKU sales in the test period and 6.4 percentage points more effective in the long-term than the rest of the market. This combined with a comparatively low CPM equates to an average long-term ROI of £2.75 vs a market average of £1.64. At a brand level, it’s an even better story, with an average long-term ROI of £7.25
- For Front of Store media, Asda scores higher than the market for Featured SKU uplift in the test period and for long-term ROI. At a brand level, it delivers better uplift for both test and long-term measures. This is largely down to cost effective choices and brandability that simply aren’t available in other retailers.
Best performing front of store media channels
It’s all well and good saying Asda do best, but what is it that’s putting them first? We’ve selected the top two performing channels for front of store.
- Trolley Bay Posters
- What the data says:
- 22.2% Average featured SKU uplift (test)
- 19.4% Average featured SKU uplift (Long-term)
- £4.22 Average brand ROI (long-term) Why we think they work: Trolley Bays offer huge impact, being very brandable and providing brands with a considerable share of voice given their size and presence.
- Bollard Covers
- What the data says:
- 18.4% Average featured SKU uplift (test)
- 14.5% Average featured SKU uplift (Long-term)
- £2.87 Average brand ROI (long-term)
- Why we think they work: Bollards reach the shopper just as they enter, with a minimum of 4 bollards per store creating a great impact and stand out when it matters.
What Capture recommend
We don’t think it’s an either-or situation when it comes to planning your media. Brands need to align ad spend with their objectives and set clear and fair effectiveness measures for each part of the marketing plan.
Be careful not to disregard a media channel through comparison to one that serves a different purpose.