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A Preview of the Journal of Advertising Research

March 2016 (Vol. 56, Issue 1)


Illustration of people jogging

Letter from the CEO
The Race for Connectivity
2016 marks the Advertising Research Foundation’s 80th anniversary, which Gayle Fuguitt, CEO & President describes as a “watershed year” for the ARF. “It is eminently clear that 2016 will be a game changer for our industry given the speed of growth in consumer connectivity across platforms and the race to reach today’s elusive target,” she writes. Fuguitt points readers of the “best in class” Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) to its new website and forthcoming app, which are “accelerating the pace of getting the right insights to decision makers in real time.”

Editor’s Desk
How Is Consumer Engagement Reshaping Marketing?
The current issue’s special package title—How Consumer Engagement Is Reshaping Marketing—offers “perspectives on how academic thought leadership can enhance the practice of advertising and marketing,” says Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Precourt. For that work to see the light of day, the Journal’s editors rely on the wisdom of the men and women of our editorial board who participate in our blind peer review process. Members of the editorial board, a mix of academics and practitioners, are listed on the masthead page at the front of each JAR issue. But the “ad hoc” reviewers who work behind the scenes deserve special credit as well, Precourt notes and as a tribute thanks each of them by name. Adds Co-Executive Editor Jenni Romaniuk: “Our many ad hoc reviewers contribute by filling the knowledge and availability gaps in our Editorial Review Board. These reviewers often become future Editorial Review Board members, in recognition of their continued service.”


Speaker’s Box
Customer Empowerment in the Digital Age
Oguz Ali Acar, a lecturer in marketing at King’s College London’s School of Business and Management, and Stefano Puntoni, professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, cite the trend of shifting power and control over marketing offerings to customers. Empowering customers, in fact, is an effective way for brands to initiate dialog and also can lend to important objective, attitudinal, and behavioral benefits. The authors identify four main strategies involving “deep” and “broad” engagement and “creating” and “selecting” content as ways brands can harness the potential of customer empowerment in the digital age.

Numbers, Please
In the Digital World, Not Everything That Can Be Measured Matters:
How to Distinguish “Valuable” from “Nice to Know” among Measures of Consumer Engagement

Brands have a plethora of ways to digitally engage with consumers, and with each device and online platform comes a different set of means to measure that engagement. The traditional “softer” measures of advertising engagement all still have value—attitudinal shifts in brand recall, likability, and purchase intent … along with harder measures of sales lift. But, writes Gian M. Fulgoni, co-founder and chairman emeritus of comScore, Inc., digital metrics (clicks, viewability, “Likes” and “shares”) have complicated the mix, making it harder to distinguish between those that matter to marketers’ return on investment (ROI) “versus those that either are nice to know or downright misleading.” Measurement, Fulgoni, notes, is a work in progress. “Immediacy and relevance in an ‘I-want’ world … would appear to trump loyalty nowadays,” he says. But among the winners “will be brands that are able to derive methods to measure and understand consumer demands for mobile engagement and then deliver against those needs.”

Research Quality
A Process for Developing an Optimal Model for Reducing Bias in Nonprobability Samples:
The Quest for Accuracy Continues in Online Survey Research

In 2010, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) began a groundbreaking study—Foundations of Quality 2 (FoQ 2)—to explore and potentially identify practices, methodologies, and technologies to improve the accuracy of online survey research. Previous analyses of FoQ 2 data have suggested, in fact, that variables other than traditional demographic ones, if included in sampling or weighting models, can increase accuracy. But there is still no consensus on what specific variables to include in those models. In this article, researchers from The NPD Group—George Terhanian (chief research and analytics officer/president of solutions), John Bremer (executive vp of research science), Jonathan Olmsted (manager/solutions), and Jiqiang Guo (data scientist)—identify several such variables after applying statistical optimization methods to FoQ 2 data. The evidence suggests these variables can reduce bias (and thereby increase accuracy) by a third for more than 100 questions across 17 sample sources and two sample types. This learning may be important for policy, practice, and even the future of survey research.


Enriching Media Data: A Special Report from the U.S. Coalition of Innovative Media Measurement – Quality Is Key Requisite for Maximizing Return on Advertising Investment
When founded in 2009, the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) was named for its mission: “to promote innovation in audience measurement for television and cross-platform media.” This New York City-based organization—a group of television content providers, media agencies, and advertisers—collaborate on research in their quest for “new methodologies and approaches to audience measurement.” In 2015, CIMM hired media consultant Gerard Broussard to interview data providers and end users to develop guidelines for assessing the data quality of various data enrichment offerings. Data providers increasingly are delivering purchasing, demographic, and lifestyle data for matching to digital and television usage behavior for segmentation, media targeting, and ROI analyses. This excerpt of Broussard’s report, which CIMM published in June 2015, recommends greater disclosure and transparency to improve data quality and standardization of nomenclature and metric definitions to support the expected growth of programmatic media transactions.

Masters of Marketing Analytics:
The Winning Papers from the 2015 ANA Genius Awards

In 2013, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and analytics software provider MarketShare (recently merged with Neustar, Inc.) created an awards program to emphasize the importance of connecting marketing to actual business results. Genius Award winners are recognized for producing some of the most innovative and powerful work in marketing analytics. In this article we offer adapted case studies from the four 2015 award recipients: SAP (on the event experience and ROI), Franklin Templeton Investments (engagement impact), Adobe (viewability), and Turner (data-driven media planning).


How to Capture Consumer Experiences: A Context-Specific Approach to Measuring Engagement – Predicting Consumer Behavior Across Qualitatively Different Experiences
Researchers from Northwestern University and Seattle University offer a new approach to measuring engagement that would be flexible enough to accommodate context-specific indicators of experiences without altering the higher order meaning of the engagement construct. Engagement, the authors caution, is a multi-level construct that emerges from the thoughts and feelings about one or more rich experiences involved in reaching a personal goal. Given this definition, any measure that seeks to truly measure engagement must attempt to capture these important goal-relevant experiences in a context-specific way, write Bobby J. Calder, Kellstadt Professor of Marketing in the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; Mathew S. Isaac, assistant professor of marketing in the Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University; and Edward C. Malthouse, Theodore R. and Annie Laurie Sills Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications and Industrial Engineering and Management Science at Northwestern University. Their study included three assessments of engagement when consuming live jazz music, newspapers, and television programming—which provided evidence that a flexible approach to measuring engagement can help predict consumer behavior.

The Effects of Advertising Consumer Co-Created New Products:
A Brand-Alliance Framework Model Can Predict Perceptions About Co-Created Brands and Their Creators

Karina T. Liljedal, a doctoral candidate at the Stockholm School of Economics’ Center for Consumer Marketing, studies what happens when co-created products are communicated through advertising to observing consumers—those who don’t participate in the new-product co-creation. With lessons from the likes of Dell, Lego, McDonald’s, Nike, and the Japanese consumer goods company, Muji, Liljedal finds that brands can involve consumers in co-creation as a way of improving the success rate of new products. “In such cases,” she writes, “consumers participate in a collaborative new product-development activity in which they actively contribute and select the content of a new product offering.”

Measuring Consumers’ Engagement with Brand-Related Social-Media Content: Development and Validation of a Scale That Identifies Levels of Social-Media Engagement with Brands
Drawing the fine line between measuring engagement with brand-related social-media content—rather than engagement with the brand per se—this study defines and measures “engagement” as a behavioral construct rather than an affective/cognitive one. The researchers introduce a “Consumers’ Engagement with Brand-Related Social-Media Content” scale that they believe provides clear guidance on the “consuming, contributing, and creating” dimensions of social media. Simply put, the scale, which is based on an earlier model (Muntinga, Moorman, and Smit, 2011), offers a new means for auditing and tracking the effectiveness of social-media marketing, according to Bruno Schivinski, currently sociologist and lecturer in marketing at Nottingham Trent University; George Christodoulides, professor of marketing and assistant dean at Birkbeck, University of London; and Dariusz Dabrowski, chair and associate professor of marketing at Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Management and Economics. (Schivinski authored the study while still at Gdansk University.)

What Really Makes a Promotional Campaign Succeed on a Crowdfunding Platform? Guilt, Utilitarian Products, Emotional Messaging, and Fewer but Meaningful Rewards Drive Donations
The Internet has enabled a variety of engagement tools in recent years, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding among them. California State University/Fullerton marketing professors Steven Chen, Sunil Thomas, and Chiranjeev Kohli, have examined the latter with a regression-based study of a stratified random sample of 200 campaigns on “Marketers and advertisers who use crowdfunding as a means to develop (and promote) new products may benefit from a framework that helps them achieve their funding goals,” the authors write. “Crowdfunding allows donors to engage in the early development of a business venture. Donors may feel like they are part of the bigger picture and may encourage others to participate through word-of-mouth and online sharing.”


Coming in June: How Neurological Measures Work in Advertising
JAR Co-Executive Editor (Global) Jenni Romaniuk looks ahead to the June Journal’s special package about neurological measures in advertising. “Neuroscientific methods now are taken seriously and competing for advertising research budgets (Stipp, 2014). With this increased demand comes more scrutiny,” writes Romaniuk, who is associate director (international) at Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia. “The JAR continues to disseminate insights generated by these new methods to help practitioners improve advertising effectiveness.”