There’s an old saying in marketing that half of the advertising budget is wasted, we just don’t know which half. Despite the maturation of digital marketing and web analytics, this remains a challenge.
Some of the commentaries about commercials broadcast during a certain Sunday game reminded me of this recently (not as good as previous years). As I reviewed other articles I might include for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML], I couldn’t help but think: what would a B2B do with an extra $5 million in the marketing budget?
And that’s the theme for this week. As always, you’ll find three articles below that I’ve vetted and recommend for your perusal.
1) The Results of a 30 Second Spot Costing $5 Million
Advertising spots for the big football game this year grew to $5,000,000 for a mere 30 seconds of airtime. Certainly, these commercials are unique opportunity – eyeballs notwithstanding – given those aired earn the same interest level from viewers as the game itself. Some people don’t even like football, but watch the game for the community – and the commercials.
That’s all fine and well, but what were the results? What did brands get for their money this year? It seems *some* of them earned a little bit of buzz and chatter but not much in the way of sales. That’s according to a piece by Nat Ives in Advertising Age – Super Bowl Ads Haven’t Helped Purchase Consideration Much, Research Suggests – which covered some brand research:
“Ad campaigns built around expensive Super Bowl commercial time improved brand buzz and consumers’ propensity to talk about brands, but they don’t appear to have significantly lifted purchase consideration, according to YouGov BrandIndex research.”
The article breaks out the data which, ironically, narrows like a funnel. It shows “statistically significant improvements” in what consumers “have heard” about some brands and what they “have said” about fewer brands. However, there was no movement for “purchase consideration.”
In terms of cost, keep in mind that $5 million is just for air time; brands have to also invest to produce a high-quality commercial. It also merits pointing out, these are early measurements; perhaps the results improve with time. These commercials have created pre- and post-game opporutnities.
2) Marketers Shy in Commitment to Native Ads
The piece cites data from Advertising Perceptions which shows while there have been many marketing experiments, there are also few commitments:
“In 2016, 33% of those surveyed identified themselves as “mainstream adopters” of native advertising, exactly the same level as a year earlier.”
Native ads can work, but within a framework for best results.
First, native ads should be part of integrated marketing program or campaign; one-offs done standalone are usually a waste of money.
Second, aim to nurture rather than make a hard sell; in B2B marketing that means pitching quality content, like reports, white papers and webinars. The hard sell on a native ad is like making a marriage proposal on a first date.
Third, the goal can’t be lead generation, at least not directly. Instead, every time you run a native ad, you should strive to get a little bit of that audience, to join yours. Why? There are more likely to make a purchase – 50% more likely in this example.
3) What are the Top Challenges in B2B Marketing?
Given the obstacles presented in the first two summaries above, then it’s easy to understand the challenges marketing is up against. To that end, “delivering high quality” leads took the top spot on the B2B marketing list of challenges according to research by DemandWave.
Rounding out the top five B2B marketing challenges are (also see chart nearby):
1) Deliver quality leads
2) Measuring and proving ROI
3) Generating enough leads
4) Producing quality content (B2B could have solved this problem yesterday)
5) Securing staff and budget
“63% of B2B marketers say organic search drives revenue, tying email at the top spot for the first time.”
“64% of marketers feel they have clear guidelines for what constitutes a sales-qualified lead, up 28% YoY, as 58% of marketers are now responsible for a sales-qualified lead goal, representing a 38% boost from 2016.”
Given Mr. Loechner’s reporting, I might dive into the survey findings in greater detail later. The marketing community has been talking about favoring quality over volume and sales-marketing alignment. Perhaps we’re getting there…. an extra $5 million would help.
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